Lek & Sowat were invited to collaborate alongside the legend Jacques Villeglé at the for DRAWING NOW PARIS Espace Commines, and as they usually do they invited their contemporary peers Cockney, WXYZ, and Sebastien Preschoux. This is the second time the duo have collaborated with Villeglé, the first time being at the Palais de Tokyo for an installation and short film Direct Outlines. The actual chalkboard used in the film was also installed as part of the project. The focus of the exhibition involved drawing and bridging different generations of artists.

Villeglé was an important figure in New Realism in the 60’s establishing his own marks and alphabet as well as utilizing ripped posters taken from the city. He then pasted them back together creating Ultra-Lettrist psychogeographical hypergraphics. An important figure predating the newer graffiti urban generation, yet sharing a common inspiration and muse of the urban city. This collaboration builds important dialogue between the artists and in a way passing of the torch from a legend to not only emerging artists but an emerging artform. We are excited to see curators and institutions finally take notice and not only embrace today’s generation but give them an opportunity to collaborate and share this important moment with legends such as Villeglé. Make sure you stop by and support this important project if you are in Paris.


Pictures Courtesy of Nicolas Gzeley

By inviting Jacques Villeglé, Lek and Sowat to exhibit at the Espace Commines, we hope to organise an encounter between two generations with an aesthetic that stems from an awareness of the urban space and the creation of new artistic narratives. Drawing has taken on a new dimension for all of them, while retaining its essence as a form of record-keeping.

Jacques Villeglé has appropriated “the signs, symbols, and figures that anyone could draw in the sand or in chalk on the wall” from the street, making of them his manifesto. Numerous times has he traced these symbols here and there on paper, canvas, or across walls. A major figure in New Realism, in the 1960s he created a “socio-political” alphabet that he used to create diverse and varied graphic productions. From writing, to drawing.

Lek & Sowat, approaching their 30s, display a resolute admiration for their elder. Emerging from the graffiti scene, they see themselves as artists. In 2009, they discovered an abandoned supermarket, covering some several thousand square metres. They christened this unique space “The Mausoleum” and, in the company of like-minded artists, they covered the walls in frescos. Last year they were invited to the Palais de Tokyo, and, together with around 30 fellow artists, they took over an underground section of the building. Their art encompasses typographic designs and abstract figures, beckoning a new form of prospective drawing.

Philippe Piguet
DRAWING NOW PARIS Artistic Director, exhibition commissioner