Chut: Surf and Sea and New Works by Jean Jullien in Los Angeles
Jean Jullien has never openly painted quiet, but you could always tell that the silence of the countryside and the sea was always on his mind. He had a way of painting a breeze, as if you could hear the sea air coming off his works, or that you could see the high grass moving along his canvases. It was always a gift, for an artist to in an urban environment and yet paint the rural, country life so eloquently was something that even before the pandemic Jullien was adept to.
Kantor Gallery has an explanation for the title of the show: Chut. To les Français, “chut” is an invitation to be quiet, their onomatopoeic “shh.” It’s perhaps the most efficient way to achieve silence in France. Add an “e” and you get “chute,” a word that means “fall” in French” or “water slide” in English. To an American, “shoot” is many things, but mainly it’s a euphemism for “oh, crap.”
But this is a show about nature, about our relationship to the quiet loudness of a wave crashing, of the sea breeze coming off the coast in the afternoon haze, to nightswimming and dayswimming and everyting in between. It's a show about a return to something universal, and you can feel the peace in each work. —Evan Pricco