Grey matter: the sculpture-inspired paintings of Yoann Merienne

Self-taught artist Yoann Mérienne may be young and relatively unknown. But his innovative and unusual approach to creating art is turning heads in his native France and beyond.

Before he begins the painting process, Mérienne, who was born in Sallanche in 1987 and currently lives and works in Lyon, creates physical moulds of his subjects. He then lights each piece in a precise manner, establishing a photographic and cinematic context in which he explores links between 21st century painting techniques and traditional sculpture.

An absence of colour gives way to subtle shades of grey, which are pushed aside by intermittent halos of overexposed light. Mérienne generates his palette directly on the canvas during the painting process, and the texture of his marks hint at the fast and brutal momentum of his brush.

In his new exhibition On the Surface, Mérienne questions the connections between modernity and historicity, with subjects influenced by both Antiquity and the Renaissance. His striking monochrome images deliver a new approach to classical iconography; mixing up different eras in pursuit of a timeless aesthetic.

On the Surface is presented by Galerie Artima in London, from 6 June 2017 until 7 July 2017.