Pierre Moignard was born in 1961 in Tébessa, Algeria. He lives and works in Paris. As a student he was influenced by Georges Seurat and Guy Debord, and the Édouard Manet exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1983 made a lasting impression on him.
In 1987, he took part in an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou – Musée National d’Art Moderne titled Vincent Corpet, Marc Desgrandchamps, Pierre Moignard, which will be remembered as one of the last artistic scandals in Paris. He exhibited a large number of paintings drawing on biblical iconography. These works, swiftly executed following a brightly colored grid, offered a youthful and iconoclastic response to the dominant artistic practices of his time.
In 1990, he settled in Paris and began work on two series of paintings: the (autoportrait) series, comprising almost three hundred small-format paintings of identical size, designed as a means to transcend the forms of formalism, and the series Compossibles, eighty paintings that critics would, strangely, compare to Francis Bacon. The (autoportraits) were shown at the Centre Pompidou in 1994 and the Compossibles series the following year at Galerie Nathalie Obadia.
In the 2000s, Moignard regularly visited Venice, Los Angeles, where the tragic sight of homeless people lying on the beach revealed to him the pictorial direction that his art work would take. He often walked on this beach that was in stark contrast to Las Vegas, where he also worked between 2006 and 2009, gathering material for his first film Who Chooseth Me – Notes for the Merchant of Vegas. This work was shown along with his Découverte painting series at the MAMCO in Geneva in 2010.
Between 2011 and 2013, Moignard worked on his second film, Holyland Experience, which juxtaposes with an insightful sense of grotesque, the phenomenology of the decor at the Orlando theme park devoted to the life of Jesus and the narrative of Carl Dreyer’s film Ordet (The Word), in which the “mad” son Johannes embodies Jesus Christ. In 2015, in Mexico, he made Comment Faire Oxi, a film portraying the necessary yet improbable and collective search for art, revolving around the question “What is art for you?” The film, looking at the past and possible hopes, is divided in two by the intrusion of a political event, the Greek debt crisis.
From 2013, Moignard began to work simultaneously on four series of paintings. The Made series combines painted cutouts, taken from Manet’s Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers, with minimalist ornaments from the late paintings of Willem de Kooning. Who chooseth me and Holyland borrow images from his own films. The series Suite P takes elements from Picasso’s late drawings and incorporates them into readypainted abstract backgrounds. Moignard believes there is something more intense than the author’s endeavor alone. Using something ready-made or “already there” is not a quotation; it is the invention of new configurations that are of interest only insofar as they open up a window onto the reality outside of the painting. In 2018, the anne barrault gallery devoted an exhibition to his most recent works, titled Tableaux Nouveaux.