Words by Victoria McClure, Rosenberg & Co Gallery, PAINTINGS (Nov. 22, 2022- February. 24 2023)

Heavily inspired by Figurativism and the formal conventions of Abstract Expressionism, Villard's work is firmly rooted in symbolism and evokes a meaningful sense of play. Paintings often portray nonsensical figures and animals, accompanied by a rich contrasting color palette, a defining feature of Villard's work and stylistic choice that is uniquely informed by his color blindness.

Villard's recent retrospective comprises ten paintings created over the last two years, chosen out of the four series made within the period; Dream Of A Hard Sun (2020), Angels (2021), Apollo's Birds (2021-2022), and Story about a whispering Prince (2022).

The earliest works displayed are from Villard's series titled Dream of a Hard Sun. The massive paintings created during the COVID-19 pandemic were born out of necessity, creating consuming environments for viewers to immerse themselves in.
Painted during a period of severe isolation and enclosure, the works are meant to deliver viewers out of a confined space into a nearly tropical world of abstraction. The works span out across vast swaths of unstretched canvas, inviting a feeling of limitlessness. The broad spaces are completed with shreds of primary color layered over deep tones of black and red, creating a feeling of atmospheric depth. Conflicting fragments of color consume expanses of canvas, creating an all-encompassing space.

The works of the following two series, Angels and Apollos Birds, expand on the themes of escapism, and other-worldliness, established in his earlier works. Together with the artist's profoundly personal confrontation with familial loss, these works introduce the concept of Angels, a recurring motif, within his works. Both series deal with the human condition of mourning, featuring amorphous mythical figures in the form of motherly figures or dogs, always in motion to depict a representation of parting. The fictional figures in the works impart a personal and broadly human character to the trauma depicted, removing the subject matter from a practical application into a fabled one, allowing viewers to impart their personal feelings of grief and comfort into the scenes. Villard's paintings from the period are heavy with contrast, allotting the observer no opportunity to rest within a shade or gradient, forcing the eye to oscillate wildly from contrast to contrast. The harsh and illogical contrast of colors within the paintings aids in removing any sense of realism from the works thrusting the audience into his world of angelic abstraction and heavy symbolism.

In his latest and ongoing series, Villard explores a story written in childhood.
In a departure from the earlier works, the world created in Story About a Whispering Prince exists firmly within a frame. Therefore, removing the spectator from the composition places them soundly outside of the composition. Instead, we are situated as onlookers in a world of mythical isolation. Unlike the previous three series, these compositions rely heavily on a sense of framing. Creating windows into worlds of childhood beliefs, almost as if viewers are stepping into a theater set of fictional human emotions. With a renewed awareness of construction, Villard's oeuvre gives way to a compromise between free-flowing constitutions and art historical structures. Eectively showing o Villard's reconstitution of storytelling while maintaining his outstanding ability to transmit an understanding of the human condition.

Villard's work exists outside the bounds of our contemporary technological society, utilizing mythical forms, overstated compositions, and humanist themes to create new dimensions. Villard's works are uniquely approachable and encompassing, allowing viewers of all training to gain from the intimately conveyed motifs of shared human experiences, such as childhood, loneliness, birth, and death.

- Victoria McClure (2022)

Alongside painting, Marco’s practice spans several mediums such as filmmaking, performance and poetry. Born in New York City, raised in France, Marco Villard is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City.


Group exhibition Knapp Gallery, Regents Park, London

June-July 2015

Group Exhibition The Greenpoint Gallery, New York

October 2016

Conception Contemporary Art Show, New York

March 2017

Art on A Gallery, The Wendingo annual Show, New York

June 2017

Solo Exhibition, I Always Thought I Could Remember That Day, 171 Elizabeth Street, New York

September 2019

Solo Exhibition, Apollo’s Birds, 379 Broome Street

December 2021

Group Exhibition, THE PATRIOT, OfLaherty’s Gallery

July 2022

Solo Exhibition, PAINTINGS, 379 Broome Street

November 2022

Selected other works:

I Always Thought I could Remembered That Day, Poetry book, printed by Ki Smith Gallery and sold at The Face Magazine Apartment (2019)

RED, performance co- written and performed with artist Ramiro Batista in Paris (2019) and N.Y.C (2019)

Yesterday Was Better (2019), short film previewed at the 2020 New Filmmaker Festival NYC

Remembering Pollock (2020), short documentary following the making of an homage painting created within the actual’s former west village loft