Laurent Hours was born in Paris, where he currently works at the National School of Beaux Arts. His paintings feed on a peculiar atmosphere; he offers viewers snapshots of memory in dreamlike settings. He recounts stories with depictions comprised of natural elements, of the earth, water, stone and sun. He creates stories of towns which have vanished or perhaps never existed, of oceans and deserts splashed in ochre. His scenes are warm and strong, and settings in which his minute figures often attempt to claim it, like a string of froth clinging to the sand.
Laurent Hours works with varnish, he decided on such a unique medium because it allows him to produce works that evoke the feeling of ancient frescos and the sense of the passage of time. Hours finds inspiration in crumbling walls, ancient architecture, prevailing relics of ancient monuments. His application of archeological melancholy in his work reflects the state of the past. Over time, Hours has slowly given way to a simplified work, more poetical in its enigmatic images.
Hours combination of varnish and canvas produces backgrounds complete with numerous opposing layers of color mingled together creating a tangible sense of depth. Laurent Hours actively searches for deep and rich material to fill his canvases, similar to the patinas of years gone by. He then defines his oceans and deserts, constructs his towns, and then finally uses a light brush to draw in his mysterious figures.
Laurent Hours has had numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe throughout the last 35 years. His work is featured in prominent public collections such as the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and the French Embassy in Nairobi. In addition to his presence in multiple public collections, Hours has received numerous awards and distinctions including the Prix Delmas de l’Institut de France in 2007 and the Grand Prix international d’Art Contemporain de Monte Carlo Prix de ICOM in 1980.