FFT Press Release, February 24, 2020
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.
The poster, a window into Roland-Garros
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 RolandGarros, 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.
Every year for the last 40 years, the French Tennis Federation has given free rein to an artist to create a poster for the #RolandGarros tournament. This year, it took the brave step of entrusting the poster’s creation to a talented young artist, Pierre Seinturier : pic.twitter.com/a01KZlwRq2
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) February 24, 2020
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.