The roof: how does it work?
The poster for the 2020 Roland-Garros tournament is unveiled.
Every year for the last 40 years, the French Tennis Federation has given free rein to an artist to create a poster for the Roland-Garros tournament.
This year, it took the brave step of entrusting the poster’s creation to a talented young artist, Pierre Seinturier, who was able to grasp and transpose the very soul of Roland-Garros into his piece.
He glorifies the red clay and the rituals that are involved in preparing one of the oldest and most noble surfaces in the history of tennis, in a poster that is bursting with intensity.
For Pierre Seinturier, Roland-Garros was synonymous with epic sporting encounters and unique moments spent with his family in front of the television, until he finally visited the Roland-Garros stadium for himself during the 2019 tournament.
Thanks to his recent foray into clay-court tennis, his time spent at Roland-Garros, and his tour of the unusual Simonne-Mathieu court, Pierre Seinturier was able to capture the very essence of the tournament’s unique atmosphere, from the thrill of watching a match in the stands to time spent relaxing in the stadium grounds. His poster gives a very intimate view of the tournament.
Pierre Seinturier’s artistic style comes into its own at Roland-Garros. Sitting in the stands, he saw that the spectators were attending a real show and he saw, for the first time, the different perspectives and unexpected angles of the television cameras.
At the same time, he discovered those unique moments that only happen at Roland-Garros, such as the courts being prepared and the great care taken of the legendary red clay. Watering the courts, combing them, sweeping the lines: a great many gestures involved in a ritual that is as symbolic as it is essential at the French Grand Slam. The omnipresence of the clay and of plants also strongly influenced the artist.
Pierre Seinturier’s original piece shows an intense depiction of how the courts at Roland-Garros are prepared, the moment before the players come out on court, like a pendant to dramatic art.
On its noble wooden support, the poster shows vegetation in the foreground, highlighting the actions of the 189 groundsmen who work every day to prepare the clay on the 33 courts available to players during the tournament. It is as though he is gifting the public a privileged snapshot, hidden behind the vegetation of the Simonne-Mathieu court greenhouses.
“The Roland-Garros tournament and the French Tennis Federation, which organises it, have a special relationship with modern art. The French Tennis Federation believes that there is a very strong link between sport and culture, between sport-related emotion and artistic emotion, between sporting body language and cultural expression. Sport, just like culture, evokes the strongest emotions when the codes of the sporting aesthetic are broken down and reinvented,” announced Jean-François Vilotte, Managing Director of the FFT.
“I immediately liked the authentic atmosphere that its graphics give off. The fact that he has captured the objects that provide the tournament’s very soul. But I was immediately drawn to the groundsmen’s work. This simple and repetitive movement on all of the clay courts is, without a doubt, the gesture that is most characteristic of our tournament’s identity and, beyond the groundsmen, all of the people who make it a success. Seeing the court as a plant-based world glorifies how we see Roland-Garros stadium. This must be what we call an artistic view,” said Bernard Giudicelli, President of the French Tennis Federation.
Modern artist Pierre Seinturier was born in Paris in 1988. A graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs’ printed image department, his art combines drawing and painting in a technique that blends silkscreen printing with printed images.
Equipped with a strong visual memory, he particularly enjoys using transcription and observation techniques, featuring unusual compositions and backdrops. He creates pieces that are strongly influenced by the atmosphere of a fantasy North American film world from the 1960s.
Mid-way between peace and drama, Pierre Seinturier, who is highly skilled in non-abstract art, invites nature into his world. He draws inspiration for his art from film images, the work of photographers he admires, old posters or even engravings, lithography and silkscreen printing.
This remarkable diversity makes for extremely promising works, which have been exhibited in the Musée des Tissus in Lyon, in non-residential wings of the Palais de Tokyo, and, most recently, in the Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois gallery in Paris, with his exhibition Centralia. Winner of the Jury’s Prize at the Salon de Montrouge in 2013, and of the Hors les Murs/Institut Français programme of the “From New-York with Love” project in 2017, Pierre Seinturier has created the poster for the 2020 edition of Roland-Garros.
This year, the FFT is unveiling its forty-first official tournament poster. Though they are continuing the tradition of commissioning a work of art by a French or foreign artist every year, they wanted to inject a new lease of life into their initiative.
Proud of their exceptional relationship with the art industry, the FFT wanted to embark on a project that would bring them even closer to the modern art world. To guide them through this process, they called upon the expertise of Fabrice Bousteau, editor-in-chief of Beaux Arts Magazine.