“The idea was to create compositions out of randomly chopped up lettering and then reconstruct an abstract poem from the parts. I wanted something that frees the words and letters from their practical use as bearers of literary meaning, allowing them to function on a purely visual and concrete level.” Cecil TOUCHON
Touchon transforms verbal language into handsome geometric compilations, to reveal the beauty and musicality of language characterized by warmly colored shapes, interlocking irregular grids and rich surfaces. His works are solid, yet visually fluid compositions of striking acuity.
Cecil Touchon was born in 1956 in Austin, Texas. This celebrated artist’s career has spanned over three decades. It is through the art of collage that he has made a lasting and influential mark. These explorations inform his future paintings: they are large scale abstractions based upon manipulation of typographic elements, assembled, deconstructed and reassembled, and the fonts are appropriated from billboards and printed material. His configurations of typographic elements are not reliant on any literary meaning, but instead exploited solely for their shapes and the negative spaces around them. The effect is achieved through visual rhythm and repetition.
Touchon states that he often “hears ideas when listen to music” and then explores how he may translate those ideas into visual references. “The idea was to give the eye a way to experience a painting or other works of art in a dynamic musical way”. This fascination with and reverence for musical theory and composition, is evidenced within the body of his striking works. The distillation of sound is sensed within the arcs he fashions: they are ghosted notes and clefs, poetic arrangements orchestrated by the deft hand and eye of an artist.
He has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and abroad, including the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico and Italy. His works have been exhibited in museums and archives around the world and is part of their permanent collections most often through his affiliations with the contemporary Fluxus community. He is the founder and director of the Ontological Museum and the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction and co-founder of the International Post-Dogmatist Group. Touchon is also a small press publisher with some 35 titles under his belt and has been featured in a number of international anthologies of concrete/visual poetry or collage art. His work has shown up in hit movies and TV shows, and seen on the Paris runway via the avant-garde fashion designer Rei Kawakubo
His works are found in multiple corporate collections including those of IBM, HBO, American Airlines, American Express, Citibank, Las Vegas’s Bellagio Hotel, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Gap, Hallmark, and the Sanyo Corporation.