' Jacques Roch - Kim Foster Gallery
Jacques Roch
Ma Jolie – a retrospective
January 07 - February 16, 2019

Press Release

Jacques Roch (1934-2015) was born in Lyon, France. After studying at the renowned Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Roch made a name for himself during the ’60s with his rebellious comic strips that populated Paris’ underground newspapers. In 1979, Roch moved to New York and began to concentrate on painting. The intensity of street life and the culture of graffiti were new influences and he responded by developing a world of line drawn characters playing out their inner psychic tensions. As a result, Roch had his first show in New York in 1983, curated by Cathy Goncharov. This was followed by shows in the East Village. In 1990 a 10-year survey show of his work was held at Exit Art. This show was the inspiration for an article by the art critic Robert C.Morgan,“After the Deluge, the Return of the Inner Directed Artist” published in 1992.

Ma Jolie, a retrospective, will be Roch’s ninth solo exhibition at the Kim Foster Gallery.  Accompanying the exhibition are essays written by Denise Carvalho and Dominique Nahas.  The show presents a selection of never before seen drawings from the 1970’s as well as large acrylics from the 1990’s (including Ma Jolie and Love Story) and concluding with two small paintings from 2013: The Lucky Knight and La Belle Dame.

Roch’s paintings told a narrative that came close to the edge of a nightmarish darkness, taking a last minute playful turn with sexual daydreams and humorous, childlike doodles. His motley crew of cartoon characters, repetitively applied through silkscreen, had a disruptive presence and was a prominent layer in his paintings, juxtaposed with strange parable like phrases. Roch’s use of acid hued color introduced light and space. He created a world where a host of tragicomic characters cavorted and conspired. These works were laden with psychic goodies, even if specific meanings eluded us.

Excerpt from essay by Dominique Nahas published in D’Art Magazine January 2019   

. .  In these selected artworks extending over decades we feel from the very beginning that Roch engendered an intense vision of play-filled lubricity and turmoil, topped-off with a mixture of frenzy and sensuous delight. His complex vision, while it entices and charms with its surfeit of jitteriness and pliability, has equal parts smoothness and scratchiness and darkness. His imagery (like gnats buzzing at your face, a thousand little tongues haptically engaging your eyes and mind) offers us something strangely comical, yet insistently askew. His feverish imagery (a lot of encrypted doodles, naughty bits, monsters and imaginary beasts, private formulations pertaining to the insouciant pleasures of voyeurism and the carnal) straddle coherency and chaos, control and dissolution . .

Excerpt from essay by Denise Carvalho    

Jacques Roch’s posthumous exhibition, “Ma Jolie,” showcases the artist’s visual idiom through unprecedented brilliance and fluidity. His ever so fresh and liberating palette and compositions appear indelibly wondrous, even to those who have followed his work over decades, as the paintings continue to redefine our ability to perceive and interpret the artist’s world. Some of the works depict a floating perspective into macrocosms of linear potentialities, semi-organic, semi-architectural, machine-like forms, presenting us with the question on the time of paintings, which exceeds our time as it continues to echo their own imaginative consciousness . .

link to video of exhibition


review in DArt

ARTEIDOLIA February 2019 review by Ron Morosan 

link to Arteidolia

…There is a distinct existential dialogue going on, a self dialogue, or talking to himself, that takes place in his painting and this adds a presence to the work that puts in into the company of such artists as Paul Klee and Odilion Redon. The voice of the artist is clearly present in Jacques’ work and contributes to its power. In this way it is distinctly an artist’s art; it claims the territory of art as an artist’s language and doesn’t seek to serve an external objective world or a popular media world…


 link to artist website

Past Exhibitions



2019 / 2013 / 2011 / 2008 / 2005 / 2003 / 2001 / 1998 / 1996    Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

2013            Art 101, Brooklyn

2012            Plume 21, Seattle‘

2010            Galerie Carla Magna, Paris

2009            Side Show Gallery, Williamsburg, NY  with Tony Roch

1990            Exit Art, NYC ‘Ten Years of Painting in New York City’

1986            Howard Scott M-13 Gallery, NYC

1985            Exit Art, Ringside Gallery, NYC

1985            Facchetti-Burk Gallery, NYC

1976            Drian Galleries, London, England



2006       ‘Menage a Trois’ Holland Tunnel Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2005       ‘The Labyrinth’ Holland Tunnel Gallery, Paros-Greece

2004       ‘Christmas Show’ Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2003       ‘A Passion for Collecting: Selections from the Rothfeld Gift’ Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, PA

2003       ‘clear intentions’ The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY curated by Robert C. Morgan

2003       ‘Outside Harry’s House’ Zeeuwse Bibliotheek, Middelburg, Holland

2003       ‘Five Year Anniversary Show’ Holland Tunnel, NY

2001        ‘718 Brooklyn!’ curated by Michael Rush & Dominique Nahas, Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, FL

2000       ‘The Figure: Another Side of Modernism, Paintings from 1950 to the Present,’ Snug Harbor Cultural Center curated by Lilly Wei

1999        Center for Metamedia, Hermit Foundation, Czech Republic

1999        New Tide, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam

1998        Mega Salon, Portrait Show, Tod Jorgensen Gallery, New York

1998        White Box Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1998        Un Coup de des Varik Gallery, New York

1998        Side Show Gallery, Works on Paper, Williamsburg, NY

1998        Chi Meat, Williamsburg, New York

1997        Year End Ensemble, Watercolors by Jacques Roch, Williamsburg Art Center, NY

1996        Chi Meat, Williamsburg, New York

1995        Pick Four, Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

1995        Trans-Hudson Gallery, Jersey City, NJ

1995        Perogi 2000 at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, NYC

1994        Symbolic Surface, Klarfeld Perry Gallery curated by Robert Morgan, NYC

1994        Drop Dead Painting curated by John Ford, NYC

1994        Private Obsessions, Lorraine Kessler Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY

1994        Selection of Artists from Art Omi Colony, Lorraine Kessler Gallery

1993        Art Omi Colony, Omi, NY

1993        The Sublime Banana Peel, B4A Gallery, NY

1991        Burning in Hell, Franklin Furnace, NYC

1990       International Prints Show, Holland Tunnel, Paris traveled to Greece

1986       Trans Cultural Trans Media, Exit Art, NYC

1986       Consensus, Exit Art, NYC

1985       Selections by Kay Larson, Artist Space, NYC

1985       Five French Artist Living in New York, French Embassy, NYC

1984       Proctor Art Center, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, NY

1984       Five Artists, Galerie Paul Facchetti, Zurich, Switzerland

1984       East of East Village, Dramatis Personae Gallery, NYC

1984       Erotic Fan Show, Jon Leon Gallery, NYC

1983       Window Installation, French Tourist Bureau, NYC

1983       Just Above Midtown, Downtown, NYC

1981        Recent Abstraction, Proctor Art Center, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, NY

1977        Maison de la Culture, Des Amandiers, Paris, France

1975        Artistes du 20eme Arrondissement, Paris, France

1965        Salon Scheme, Paris, France



Morosan, Ron, Jacques Roch: Ma Jolie, ARTEIDOLIA, February 2019

Nahas, Dominique, “The Rich Imagination of Jacques Roch: Sensuousness and Impertenent Play” January 2019

Carvalho, Denise, “Jacques Roch” essay, 2019

Carvalho, Denise, “Jacques Roch” Art In America, November 2008

Morgan, Robert C., “Painting the Blues a la Francaise: A Brief Survey of Jacques Roch” catalogue, 2005

Nahas, Dominique, “Jacques Roch” catalogue, 2005

Wei, Lilly, “The Figure: Another Side of Modernism,” Snug Harbor Cultural Center, catalogue, 2000

Carvalho, Denise, “Fairy-Tales,” Center for Metamedia, 1999

Harris, Jane, “Jacques Roch” Art In America, May 1999

Morgan, Robert C., The End of the Art World, published by Allworth Press, 1998

Morgan, Robert C., “Jacques Roch” Art Press, February 1997

Landi, Ann, “Jacques Roch” ARTnews, December 1996

Nahas, Dominique, “Jacques Roch” Review, December 1, 1996

Morgan, Robert C., “Doric Column” Cover, March 1995

Morgan, Robert C., Catalogue Essay Symbolic Surface Klarfeld Perry Gallery, NYC 1994

Morgan, Robert C., “After the Deluge, The Return of the Inner Directed Artist” Arts Magazine March 1992

“Goings on About Town” The New Yorker June 1990

Larson, Kay, Catalogue Essay, Selections, Artist Space, NYC 1985

Cameron, Dan., Review, Arts Magazine Fall 1985



1976         Mosaic on Cement Forms, College of Belfort, Belfort, France

1976         Painted Sculpture, College of Brive, Brive LaGaillarde, France

1971          Mural Painting/Family Crests, Salon de The, Chateau de Brreteuil, Valle de Chevreuse.

1970         Mosaic, College de Tours, Tours, France

1968         Sculpture photographed for promotion by Air France, Paris, France

1967         Mural Painting, Social Security Building, Charieville, France

1966         Mosaic, College Aulnay Sous Bois, Paris, France



1971           Paris Ville Peige book of drawings, Published by A Balland, Paris, France

1973-77      Comics and drawings published in “Pilote,” “Charlie Mensuel,” “Hara Kiri,” “Pourquoi,” Paris, France

1978-80     Comics Published in “Playboy,” “Heavy Metal,” “The New York Times,” NYC

1999          The Dream of the Unicorn, book of drawings with text.

2001          Good Heavens! erotic pasta & fruity salad cookbook, published by Holland Tunnel Art Project



Beaux Arts de Lyons

Beaux Arts de Paris