The Cohle Gallery is proud to present the second solo show by French artist Ador, entitled Olibrius. Here we are confronted with the artists reality, full of caricature, humour and sarcasm where we are each free to create our own narratives from the images presented.

Throughout the exhibition Ador deals with issues of current affairs, oftentimes complex or political. Rendered using his signature detailed style, his work presents scenes that lie somewhere between playfulness and darkness. The show’s opening coincides with the launch of the artists new book, with both serving to show Ador’s collection of imagined characters brought together for the first time.

The much anticipated exhibition constitutes an important step for Ador, acting as a retrospective of his 18 year career to date. Ador, who is baed in Nantes in the west of France, has previously showcased work both in gallery exhibitions and outdoor murals worldwide, including a previous solo show at the Cohle Gallery in March of 2020. Two years later, he returns with Olibrius.

The word olibrius, chosen as the title for both the forthcoming exhibition and book, can be translated as ‘an individual who makes himself annoyingly noticed’. For the artist, this self-deprecating term represents his way of engaging with the public, whether that be through canvas works in a gallery or outdoor paintings on street walls. In his work he sets out to tell stories which hold the potential to appeal to, surprise, or even unsettle viewers.

This exhibition will see all of Ador’s characters presented together for the first time. Wild and captivating scenes ensue as they run amok. Some of these characters are drawn from fairytales, yet find themselves suddenly faced with reality. We see humans, bananas, penguins and bees as subjects, some with names and others nameless. There’s Benito, a foolish warrior who struggles with how to present himself to the outside world, or Belicus, the three eyed wizard character who is constantly unhappy. We also see the frequent representation of a little boy who is put in various situations, forcing him to confront challenging elements of society.

In choosing to use these childlike, eccentric and relatable characters as protagonists, Ador is able to address complex political or philosophical issues through his work, avoiding confrontation and making them easier to digest for the viewer. Not impeded by language barriers, his wish is that his work can be understandable and relatable for people from all walks of life, a sort of universal imagery.

Ador is constantly looking to his surroundings, interested to see what he can learn next. The things that he learns become the inspiration for his work - current affairs, cultural phenomena and language. For him, art and creativity are ways in which one can take refuge from the madness of reality and find meaning. Speaking on his creative process, he explains : ‘There is always an opportunity to imagine, smile, laugh, show resilience or poke fun at ourselves. This is how I see my images, by looking at what is around me, processing what I see and creating a visual overview of the lived experience…I tell these stories because we are alive!’

The exhibition will take place from the 7th through 30th of April at the Cohle Gallery, Paris.

The exhibition opening will be held on Thursday April 7th from 6pm to 9pm.

A book signing of Ador’s new book Olibrius will take place on Saturday April 10th from 4pm to 7pm.


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