Olieverf op doek - Gesigneerd - 2017
|Titel van kunstwerk:||Topos 7|
|Techniek:||Olieverf op doek|
|Totale afmetingen:||19×27×2 cm|
|Verkocht met lijst:||Ja|
It is always very surprising to see the palette of a painter because on the surface you can already see the unravelling of all issues, the torments, the questions running through his compositions.
This is what we can see in the photographs of nearly 200 palettes of painters (Kandinsky, Matisse, Picasso, Twombly, Chagall, Bacon...) by Matthias Schaller, a collection that he presented in 2015 at the Giorgio Cini Foundation during the Venice Biennale and that can be found in his book Das Meisterstück.
So, what to say of the palette of Emilie Sévère, nearly a dozen centimetres thick and divided into clearly identified areas of yellow, blue, red? It guides us to the fact that this compact mass of coloured pigments will escape the borders that define it, a transformation of the material. It is similar to the model of a mountainous area. We understand therefore that her painting will testify of a relief, will house cavities, will be a moving territory focusing on a multitude of forms it will be exciting to explore!
Is Qui dira notre nuit your first solo exhibition?
No, I exhibited in 2014, two years after I left the Beaux Arts of Paris, at Galerie Intuiti, however I never had the opportunity to work with a curator for a solo exhibition before. Baozhong Cui chose the works, the title of the exhibition and the scenography. With the Inconnaissance collective we have the experience of participatory curators provided by the artists, I let myself be guided to take advantage of an outside perspective on my work.
What directions were suggested by the curator in your work habits?
His main suggestion was that I should introduce more diversity in my formats. He prompted me to reduce the size of my paintings so that the variations incite a dynamic attitude of the visitor.
Can you tell us about the introductory work Disparition that contrasts with the rest of the exhibition?
Disparition opens the exhibition and is a work from 2012. It shows the transition with an earlier period when I was attending the Ecole des Beaux-arts in Rennes before I joined the Beaux-Artsl in Paris. During this period, I was very influenced by the Support Surface movement or the minimalist approach. I was following the interventions of some artists such as Olivier Mosset or François Perrodin. I made monochromes and ‘sandwich paintings’ or ‘prison paintings’. I used to do this on any type of media, cardboard, canvas or wood, on which I made a very lively and hectic painting that I recovered with a new layer in the colour of the original media. Of the first painted surface, you could only see some colour patches on the edges. I did this type of painting for a year. When I arrived at the Beaux-Arts of Paris, the imprisoned colour returned to the foreground of the canvas.
Wasn't there a fresco or mural painting quality to these different layers?
For me these were paintings-objects. Some aspects of this period have stayed, like the principle of painting a pattern to hide it, or the attention to the composition elements of the painting: ecru canvas, the materiality of the paint... Here the linen canvas has become a pattern. The term of ‘disparition’ refers directly to my way of painting which proceeds by successive layers. I start by painting a sort of fog with tumultuous gestures then slowly, I cling to accidents to create forms. They allow me to build up the painting over multiple layers. There is a lot of repentance. I always more or less consciously leave a clue of what happens, it's part of the history of the painting. For example there are many characters, animals, places that are buried, covered. The painting holds its own memory.
‘Disparition’ expresses very well that by hiding a shape we reveal it. I was very much influenced by Timanthe’s painting in Pompeii, which represents Agamemnon entirely hidden by a drape. What I love in ancient painting is that it does not show the drama but gives hints of it.
So you are not in a drawing that introduces the paint...
It's the paint that guide the forms. I don't draw a sketch on the canvas before starting a painting. I have no model, no plans, I try even to avoid to build an idea while painting. Very soon the masses appear. I often use the local tone in the oldest paintings of the exhibition, which have gradually evolved towards more mixed tones. Initially the I worked in more distinct zones: blue on one side, orange on the other and finally yellow. Three colours that are very characteristic of my palette.
What compels me to paint, are the colours. There's an enjoyment in applying colour on the canvas, like a child.
Maybe in all painting there is this desire to find that first joy of a child that brings a medium to life by colouring it?
The painting Al-Zahr marks a turning point in my work, the colours come alive and have become the subject of the painting. In all the following painting ‘I paint the paint’. The blues give directions, the yellows are more fragmented and give light, the reds provide the substance... I work a lot on the colours until I am satisfied, to achieve depth and intensity.
When we discovered the quadriptych that you introduced in the 6b, we had the impression that you wanted to create a feeling of confinement...
Many of my polyptych works can modulate according to the space. By their large formats and angular disposition, I try to create an immersion in the colour. I like the large formats because they provoke a slowdown of my gestures and play with the time of creation. When I paint, I'm in a very receptive state, I absorb what comes from outside while listening to my inner self. The radio is often on, I'm crossed by what I hear, trying to avoid giving more importance to any element above another, to the point of not thinking about what I am painting.
Words, phrases collide, appear and disappear in the paintings...
There are some recurrent shapes in my paintings: caves, forests, camps. I don't mean to represent real shapes, but to paint the idea, something it provokes. For example the cave - found in many of my paintings - contains, protects and helps to identify the subject.
What connection do you make between the figurative pattern that sometimes appears in a painting and the exclusive focus on the treatment of the colours?
For me both appear in the same intuitive way. When I am painting I accept everything that happens. I'm looking for an open state, a certain kind of concentration. Everything is on the same plane, figures, subjects, gestures, just trying not to place one above the other. I am looking for a, let's call it ‘aconceptual state’.
Text by Point contemporain © 2017 (freely translated).
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