Claude Rutault
InquiryClaude Rutault

Claude Rutault was born in October 1941 in Trois-Moutiers and died in May 2022 in Suresnes, France.

He did not make his paintings himself, he did not have them made in his studio, he did not supervise his hangings, but he did write a set of instructions, guidelines and recommendations called «definitions/methods». These are meticulously followed by a collector, a museum or a gallery, whom he calls the «charge takers» and who work to «update» them.

The origin of his reflexion was born in 1973, when he was painting the walls of his kitchen, during his move to his new house. He repainted one of the canvases in the process and hung it up again. Since then, he has been reflecting on and deepening the significance of his act.

His first definitions/methods dates from 1973 and is numbered 1: canvas per unit, «a stretched canvas on a frame painted in the same colour as the wall on which it is hung. All standard commercially available formats can be used, whether rectangular, square, round or oval. The hanging is traditional».

His paintings have a limited life span. Indeed, if the «charge taker» decides to move it or repaint the wall on which it is hung, he will be obliged to do the same for the canvas and consequently give it a new identity, he «updates» it.

The instructions of the «definitions/methods» are clear, short and simple. Their execution depends solely on the «charge taker». Their interpretations, the following of the instructions, the shapes, the colours, the location, the context, all contribute to Rutault's lack of control over them. These parameters are unpredictable, linked only to the «charge taker» and cannot be anticipated. If his paintings evolve in an unforeseen way, the «charge taker» will have to inform Rutault.

Over time, he has had to accept that his paintings have their own paths and existences. They evolve without markers, without his control. His «definitions/methods» have described the birth of hundreds of paintings for which he is no longer responsible as time goes by.


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