REZVANI PAINTINGS
Serge Rezvani
22.03.2024 – 18.05.2024

Rezvani, paintings

Serge Rezvani

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
22.03 – 18.05.24
 
  • Repentir I A, 1962/1992, Oil on canvas, 195 x 195 cm | © Thierry Cohen
  • Repentir XIV AA, 1962/1992, Oil on canvas, 200 x 190 cm | © Thierry Cohen
  • Sans titre de la série Blanche, 2000, Oil on canvas, 122 x 194 cm | © Thierry Cohen
  • Sans titre de la série Effigie, 1962, Oil on canvas, 146 x 87 cm | © Thierry Cohen
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia

Painting the unspeakable under the radiant sunshine of the Mediterranean coast. Painting the unspeakable, by night, while humming, by day, Le Tourbillon de la vie, the song written for François Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. “L’indicible” is how Serge Rezvani defines his visceral painting in the sunny pages of his autobiographical novel Beauté, j’écris ton nom. It’s a novel that seeks to rediscover the source of the earthy, fiery pigments with which he has spent his entire life, digging into his thick jute canvases. Serge Rezvani, whose very life, with its wartime terrors, its Edenic lights and its extraordinary resonance with the unfolding of historical time, surpasses any narrative. Writer, musician, poet, but above all a painter, which is less well known.

From an early age, he scribbled in the short-lived petticoats of an extravagant and terribly ill mother, who finally abandoned him on the eve of the declaration of war in 1939, to die in the morbid solitude of the Warsaw ghetto. The infinite trauma of the eternally absent woman is embodied in his paintings in the form of a violent “abstraction” – even if he refutes the term – of a distant, unknown maternal death. In adolescence, the young man “went into painting” – as he put it – furiously, obsessively. A survivor’s gesture. From the depths of scattered glimmers that seem to emerge from an underground world, he draws out the demons of an unattached, demolished, bruised childhood. His companions in misfortune were the painters Jacques Lanzmann and Pierre Dmitrienko, and the English sculptor Raymond Mason, with whom he shared a daily life of misery, first at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, where he found refuge, then in a vast bourgeois house with no heating, where the small group of artists dreamed of themselves as the new avant-garde of the immediate post-war period. They were the young abstract artists of the Ecole de Paris, also known as the “Les mains éblouies” collective, exhibited by Aimé Maeght. Around them gravitated Raymond Queneau, Boris Vian, Modigliani, Picasso and even Paul Eluard, who entrusted the young Rezvani with the engraving illustration of one of his Apollonian poems.

For in the deep, dark mysteries of this era, with its taste of eschatological utopia, the dazzling pleasure of love and appeasement seep through. For Rezvani, it was Lula, the goddess of his life, whose daily life he shared for 50 years in a house tucked away in the Maures mountains. Their paradise. He painted tirelessly, sometimes tempted to destroy his canvases. Lula stopped him. In 1962, the year of the release of Jules et Jim, his Effigies appeared, dark, immobile, totemic heaps with sculptural angles, seeming visions of a lost ancestral femininity, imbued with this new labyrinthine, enigmatic abstraction that he seems to share with Serge Poliakoff and Nicolas de Staël, his elders. Playing with overlaps and dark projections sprouting from the painting’s interiority, they seem to have emerged from distant sub-layers, as if from a secret straitjacket, an ebony chrysalis with primitive accents.

Rarely shown, some unpublished and dormant for years, these mute fetishes are here resurrected alongside Repentances, a series produced thirty years later, in more vibrant shades of blood-red and violet, evoking the slender nuances of Tintoretto. Set in complex compositions of occult windows and doors, these cloisonné-meshed canvases seem to trace the convoluted network of a spaceship hull or cryptic palace. They also evoke a resurgence-tribute to Rembrandt’s Flayed Ox, and by correlation, in a pictorial lexicon closer to our painter, to that of Soutine. There’s a palpitation that’s contained, buried, that of the canvases created in the wake of the Effigies, which the artist has now undertaken to cover. The latter were full of abysses of flesh, tangles of viscera, mazes of weightless shreds. More tortured and cavernous, and even monstrous in some cases – in the sense that they revealed a buried and traumatized part of intimacy, like a bodily externality, an alienation, that only painting, this inexplicable incarnation of the artist’s soul in the field of the world, has the power to reveal. Without words. Because words, just after the war, were no longer enough. Les Repentirs thus had the effect of appeasement, or repentance, when the painter’s gesture was replayed. After them, Rezvani stopped painting for almost 30 years, with a few exceptions, to devote himself to writing. 

Yet while his writings exude tenderness and humor, though invariably marked by a radicalism that characterizes each of his artistic expressions, his paintings are the exact opposite. Driven by a quest for the unrepresentable. A quest that never ceases to haunt him, even in his later Blanches series (2000s), constructed like woodcuts. More hieroglyphic, seeming to unite the tachist tenderness of a Tapies and the scriptural reveries of a Chillida, they still dig the furrow of a motif partitioned by secret doors crossed by apparitions, behind which lies the unknown. The painting? That “palpable space of the painting as a support for the informable”, as the artist’s luminous pen puts it.

– Julie Chaizemartin, journalist and art critic

ROADS THAT MAKE US
Mark Powell
12.01.2024 – 02.03.2024

Roads that make us

Mark Powell

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
12.01 – 02.03.24
 
  • Head to the coast, 2023, Ballpoint pen drawing on a antique map of Ireland, 74 x 50 cm
  • The first dance, 2023, Ballpoint pen drawing antique envelopes, 27 x 17 cm chacun
  • Lines grow, 2023, Ballpoint pen drawing an antique French Magazine cover, 30 x 21 cm
  • Vogue, 2023, Ballpoint pen drawing an antique vogue patterns envelope, 27 x 30 cm
  • From one path, 2023, Ballpoint pen drawing on antique map, 58 x 105 cm
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 |© Aurea Calcavecchia

On old papers with an outdated appearance – stamped envelopes, road maps, playing cards – Mark Powell (1980, England) draws a whole gallery of portraits using a ballpoint pen whose expressive power captivates the eye with force and authority. Here, the artist takes care to depict the entirety of the epidermal contours of his subjects – unknown faces most often encountered in the street – seemingly emphasizing their truly parchment-like bodily texture: wrinkles dig furrows right into the skin, imprinting the body with the traces of memory and the marks of time, the very same ones that shape landscapes and geological soils. Geographical inscriptions become embodied and lodged in anatomical details: faded with the background and then no longer distinct from it, the human face becomes a palimpsest, Mark Powell then generating a new way of viewing in his works. The skin becomes a surface on its own: leveraged only to convey interiority, the artist strives to reveal its enigmatic part, its whole density. This one seems to be driven by past wanderings – personal trajectories, cultural journeys – where intimacy and history blend without ever disturbing each other. Far from the images of perfection, the face then appears like an open book where the gradual curve of the dermis and skin tones inform about the depths of memory, as well as its sedimentation.

  • Maud de la Forterie, Historian and art critic 

REFLET(S)
SylC
12.01.2024 – 02.03.2024

REFLET(S)

SylC

L’Atelier
Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
12.01 – 02.03.24
 
  • Reflet(s) XII, 2022, Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, 130 x 195 cm
  • Reflet(s) XVII, 2022, Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, 61 x 50 cm
  • Reflet nocturne, 2022, Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, 100 x 100 cm
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia
  • Exhibition view, 2024 | © Aurea Calcavecchia

Through the mask bird

Leaving the studio, a lingering, ambiguous sensation. The pleasant imprint of a luminous, colorful universe. Flowers of acrylic and oil pastel. Laces of color. Attractive pinks, blues, greens, yellows and bright reds. Sunshine. It diffuses into the soul and body. Sweet, lively, boundless, like love radiating from a child’s imagination. And at the same time, the sensation of a shadow covering everything. Cold memories down my back. A black wall built between the eye and the heart. It freezes. It keeps you at a distance. It doesn’t seduce. A disturbing, angular charcoal line. A fossilized white presence, two gaps to plunge into.

That’s where SylC’s universe is headed. Right on the edge of flight and bottomless fall. Revealing what lies beneath. He is the bird and the death mask. One and the other mingled. As the taste of heaven and earth mingle in our mouths.

Intuitive, SylC’s art explores the unknown fire we carry inside. Don’t look for ultimate truth or fixed meanings. From painting to drawing to sculpture, his art is all about ambivalence and clashes of polarities, breaks and sutures. Aesthetics of fragment and hybridization, embodying the facets of life and interiority. Between the power of life and fragility, freedom and hindrance, desire and fear.

SylC’s hybrid universe is above all characterized by an ambiguous realism that navigates between reality and imagination, observation and fantasy. Of course, there’s a certain taste for the classical realism of the Flemish and Italian Renaissance in his work. An attraction to the abundance of nature, to anatomical detail, to the transparency of skin and its light. But we could also speak of a Baroque, Surrealist or Expressionist sensibility: non-finishes and the vagaries of matter, anatomical oddities, an imaginary world populated by mythical creatures, Narcissus, Centaurs and other hybrid bestials.

The most striking works are those that do not seek seduction, and that free themselves from the mimesis of the image. Where the unfinished and the imprecise remain. Where the flow of matter instinctively springs forth, through which the eye may or may not reconstruct a form. When fragments of legs sprout from a black drop. When the presence of a very realistic piece of face floats in a barely sketched shapeless mass. When the sharp, precise line suddenly stops, drawing only armless bodies, unfinished hands and eyeless faces. When the softness of round, flowing forms cohabits with the dry hardness of angular line. And when realistic beauty gives birth to all manner of monsters and other expressionist deformations. When the white reserve proliferates and says nothing but its great despairing emptiness.

Osmosis, Otherness, With or without rider, Reflet(s): in SylC’s universe, the question of identity predominates and always arises in an unconscious, ambivalent way. One body walking with another. A body that reflects another. A body that carries another. A body that grafts itself onto and merges with another. A shapeless shadow floating in the air. What do we see in these figures? An indestructible bond, family love, amorous fusion? Or hindrance, dependence? Are they presences or losses, mourning? Survivals of recumbents and Pietas grafted onto real models? What do we see in these figures? A beast, an animal? A child, an adult? An angel, a demon? Are they vibrant comets, eternal flowers, odes to life? Or are they carriers of death, with their half-open mouths and black orbits? Are they present, beating in the depths of our bellies, or remnants of a past lost in our heads?

No one knows what’s being represented.

Us and the others or the other “I ” inside us?

We and our ghostly memories that we carry in our bodies, with a thousand beliefs and a thousand disillusions. We and our multiple lives, which turn our souls into ashes, where new fires are constantly rekindled.

What does it represent, SylC? Perhaps the in-between. That mysterious passage through which we all pass, on the edge of which something always comes to an end and something new begins. Just like the ambivalent nature that takes shape in our works. Here, an ode to life, nourishing, fertile nature. A vast expanse of water in which our reflection is reflected, giving birth to the form of the living while at the same time making it disappear, caught up in its bottomless mirror. There, incandescent light beyond a verdant forest, whose glowing beauty we don’t know whether will be a heavenly refuge or an apocalyptic end.

Often there’s a mask. Here sometimes emerges from a black envelope, long-beaked and menacing. Or a skull face with fixed eye sockets. Here, often, a fragile circle encircles the white face. Like Ophelia’s face on the surface of the water. Like those ancient masks molded on the faces of the dead, a plaster spectre floating in the void.

The mask is what remains and what has passed. What was and what will be. The mask is what we see and what’s behind it. It’s the mask of death, but also, and above all, of metamorphosis. Like the masks of those strange, hybrid gods with horse or dog heads who have emerged from distant magical rituals. Like the mask of all the winged beings we carry within us. Beings of passage. From an imaginary beyond the grave, endlessly reborn in our heads. Leaving reality behind to help us explore other worlds. To open doors within us, to all those other “I “s that inhabit us. Children, adults, old people. Ageless beings in constant evolution. In whose arms we merge matter and spirit, joy and sorrow, inside and outside. A taste of heaven and earth.

We’re just firebirds in black masks.

It’s up to us to see through it. Otherwise. Something else.

– Amélie Adamo, May 2023

MON MAROC
Flo Arnold and Christophe Miralles
17.11.2023 – 23.12.2023

Written by hautmarais on . Posted in exhibitions.

Mon Maroc
“Je croyais rêver”, E. Delacroix

Flo Arnold & Christophe Miralles

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
17.11 – 23.12.23
 

By giving their exhibition the title of Delacroix’s phrase “Mon Maroc, je croyais rêver” (“My Morocco, I thought I was dreaming”), Flo Arnold and Christophe Miralles are in no way demonstrating an outdated, anachronistic orientalism; rather, they are asserting the need for art to always return to the power of rapture that seized the colorist of genius on his discovery of the port of Tangier.

If the artist couple are among the many foreigners who have made Morocco their adopted country, they are not only paying homage to a land that can pride itself on having inspired so many illustrious painters, from Eugène Delacroix to Henri Matisse, Majorelle and other orientalists, it also symbolizes the idea of a creative process based on encounters and nomadic journeys, creolization and hybridization of influences, far removed from a conception of the work rooted in a patriotic and narrow-minded genealogy.

The exhibition at Loo & Lou Gallery, with its deliberately rhapsodic scenography in which the works criss-cross each other, playing on their differences and betting more on the effects of telescoping and the unexpected than on any unity of style and purpose, helps to underline the mix of genres characteristic of the “aesthetics of the impure” that characterizes the confrontation of these two creations, and more generally the art of our time. While the painter exalts a virtuoso superimposition of varied colors, whose subtle modulations irradiate his canvases with a rare sensuality, don’t Flo Arnold’s works favor paper textures whose shades of white are only weighted by the greenish reflection produced by the oxidation of the brass structures of his installations, or a few rare shades of his imaginary maps?

What’s more, while Flo Arnold’s organic installations seem carried away by an aerial power that goes beyond the specific framework of each of the mediums traditionally devolved to the fine arts system, the artist appropriating with delight the gestures of the painter and sculptor, to the point of enlisting them in a choreography on the bangs of architecture, Christophe Miralles’ paintings never cease to deepen the singularity of the pictorial fact alone. A marriage of fire and earth, the two works complement each other in their strange dissimilarity.

Indeed, while Christophe Miralles’ painting focuses on the human figure alone, it never ceases to thwart its factual and anecdotal representation, to the benefit of a plastic exploration with bewitching chromatic accents (Confluence), going so far as to make, like Bacon, “from a mouth a Sahara”, all the while walking with the memory of Goya’s work, which greatly inspired the artist in his early days. And don’t some of Flo Arnold’s works, with their polymorphous volumes and elusive shapes, evoke that witch-like aesthetic whose vitality of becoming was praised by Deleuze? In this respect, the installation Le sens des Mondes perfectly encapsulates the surprising plasticity of the Franco-Moroccan artist’s work, taking up only part of the structure of a larger whole, recently exhibited at the Festival international Constellations in Metz. Far from losing its enchanting power, the boat suspended by ropes between the picture rail and the gallery floor pours out a stream of opalescent forms, magnified by the backlighting and sound system, plunging the viewer into a Rmbaldian poetic narcosis. Is my gaze not drawn into the enveloping foam “aux neiges éblouies” (with dazzling snows), alongside the exalted lyricism of verses from “Le Bateau ivre” (The Drunken Boat)?

Unhierarchical, focused and elusive, Flo Arnold’s works are rhizomes of surprising spontaneity. Using white water-repellent paper glued to brass frames, the artist can give her pieces any dimensions they wish, always cutting or adding new modules as her projects dictate. The polysemic richness of this art form is undoubtedly linked to the designer’s background, whose childhood was imbued by her travels in Africa, and still seems enlivened by the omnipresence of lush vegetation, the importance of a whole set of pre-signifying semiologies – dances, rites, signs marked on the body, fabrics…

In this sense, the artist frees herself from cultural boundaries and the frameworks of each of the arts she revisits with total freedom – drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture… Don’t her installations end up playing with urban space during the Nuits Blanches, creating a kind of performance that has nothing to envy to the enchantment of Eva Jospin’s forests, or Christo’s wrappings?

What comes to dominate Flo Arnold’s plastic and Christophe Miralles’ pictorial space is a world of curves, inflections, circles, spirals and colored volutes. So many formal characteristics that testify to the same effort to construct the work as a “space of happy intimacy”, to use Bachelard’s beautiful expression. The art of this artistic couple is in no way reducible to decoration or mere retinal pleasure.

He makes visible an intensive inner space and invites us to cultivate it as an intimate cell…

– Philippe Godin, Art critic

FORÊT NOIRE
Cedric Le Corf
20.09.2023 – 28.10.2023

Written by hautmarais on . Posted in exhibitions.

FORÊT NOIRE

Cedric Le Corf

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
20.09 – 28.10.23
 

Cedric Le Corf’s second Paris Solo Show at Loo&Lou Gallery was eagerly awaited. In 2020, the public discovered the work of this young artist of German and Breton origins, whose powerful, baroque sculptures, in which porcelain was interwoven with wood, showed great promise. Born of his experience in Madrid at Casa Velasquez, Cedric Le Corf’s new works put aside the use of porcelain to focus on the luminous and colorful possibilities of painted wood.

With these new sculptures and high-reliefs in polychromed wood, Cedric Le Corf explores the expressiveness of form, and the theatricality of color and light. Drawing on a vast imaginary museum that stretches from North to South, creating astonishing explosions, this research is imbued with a singular vibrancy. Of course, there’s the Spanish Baroque taste for tragedy, charged with the eloquence of chiaroscuro and mastery of color, as seen in the painted sculptures with waxy pulpits or glazed ceramics by Juan De Juni or Alonso Berruguete. But in this way of attacking wood and working with color, there is also the survival of a German tradition. This tradition ranges from the Rhenish heritage of the polychrome wood schools and the crude realism of Dürer and Grünewald, to the powerful German Expressionism of Baselitz and Lüpertz, whose language of tension and laceration left its mark on the artist during his time in Berlin.

Whereas yesterday’s sculptures focused on the tragic representation of the body, whether human or animal, butchered, quartered and recomposed, today’s new pieces focus on the theme of forest and light. They stem from childhood memories, echoes of the forest where Cedric Le Corf grew up in Germany. But they also stem from more recent observations, during walks in the Celtic lands where the artist now lives again, in the Scorff valley in Morbihan. Immersed in the forest. This is where Cedric Le Corf chooses his wood. Maple, chestnut, oak, eucalyptus, cherry. Whether painted or left untreated, the wood is always soft enough to be worked quickly, following the spontaneous flow of ideas and sensations felt by the artist. Stimuli abound in this everyday environment steeped in history, in the heart of vibrant nature.

Nearby are Porz a maro (the gates of death) and Devil’s Rock, where the ocean plays its marine ode, turning smooth rock into a relief in its own right. And then there’s the timeless soul of the land. Here, the remains of an Iron Age village. Here, medieval gems. Like the Eglise Notre-Dame de Kernascleden, with its colorful Flamboyant Gothic vaulting, the whirling of Hell and its danse macabre. Like the chapel of Sainte-Barbe, a favorite of the artist’s, with its keystones, tinderboxes and sculpted beams, transformed into monstrous Gothic creatures.

Of course, the raw, archaic, inhabited and powerfully expressive aspect of this pervasive context, which nourished the works, is also present. We feel the textures and smells, like green, damp moss, the taste of mushrooms or the grainy hardness of low stone walls. The light vibrates through the leaves and the trees shimmer in the puddles. You can hear the wind and the swirls of the sea banging against the large rocks. A sea field found in some of the engravings, drypoint on metal, exhibited alongside the reliefs and sculptures. We listen to the passage of time, to the rhythm of deer footprints or fox skulls embedded in the earth. Like a hollow path, Cedric’s work is all light and dark. Intensely dramatic, traversed by powerful vital and telluric forces, it plunges us into the beauty of the dark. Crossing a dark forest, pierced by a trickle of light. Just enough for rebirth.

  • Amélie Adamo, Author, Art critic and independant curator, Paris, July 2023

LES BRUITS DU MONDE
Joël Person
20.09.2023 – 28.10.2023

Written by hautmarais on . Posted in exhibitions.

LES BRUITS DU MONDE

Joël Person

L’Atelier
Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
20.09 – 28.10.23
 

Les Bruits du Monde

It’s difficult, if not impossible, not to be moved, immediately and literally, by Joel Person’s drawn work, so much so that his charcoal blacks, applied with force or delicacy to his various media, seem to come to meet us to tell us about the world around him, the universes that fascinate him.

Today, this graphic rendezvous by the renowned author of sensitive horses, whose material reminds us of the precious heliogravure-printed English editions of the 20s, plunges us into a magma of images whose simple ambition is to make our eyes shine, our ears throb and our hearts beat.

Les Bruits du Monde, what a formula! Like the title chosen over thirty years ago by Peter Greenaway for his superb exhibition at the Louvre entitled Le Bruit des Nuages (The Noise of Clouds), the title of Joel Person’s Images is intended to reflect a completely different kind of sky.

Meeting in « Kaleidoscopie Chorus Achromata »* 

In the studio, over a cup of coffee, I come face to face with the artist as draughtsman, but above all in front of a large white wall on which, with the touch of a finger, subjects of all kinds cohabit. Unfinished or impeccably finished (implacable?), his drawings have been inspired by various databases. The creative spirit is set in motion.

The overall effect is really striking.

You don’t know where to look…

It’s like being in a TV surveillance booth, responsible for a multitude of images that you have to see and then scrupulously decipher.

This masterful kaleidoscope leaves no doubt as to the quality of the artist’s workmanship.

A further paradox is that this graphic ensemble emanates a sort of muted sonority. Before our very eyes, we feel the sensation of a crackling sound, preparing us, without a moment’s hesitation, to feel our own emotions.

Although colorless, the source of emotions according to the ancients, drawing nonetheless has that uncanny ability to speak to the soul of the layman who ventures into sacred land shaded in black. Joel Person’s pencil strokes, like so many lines, form his personal alphabet, with which he builds his narratives, composes his stories. What seduces us sometimes also disconcerts us. How do you go from an overtly violent street scene to a sublime portrait of a thoroughbred Arabian stallion? Any answer to this question is futile. The best thing to do is not to sulk in pleasure, but to take these plural images as they come, in good company, the company that, thanks to the artist’s talent, allows us to open our eyes and appreciate…his new Sounds of the World.

If Person is an artist in the literal sense

Joel is an artist in the figurative sense.

 

     –   Edwart Vignot, Art historian

 

« Kaleidoscopie Chorus Achromata »*  neologism specially coined to describe part of Joel Person’s artistic work: relating to a diversity of things, people, multiple situations without color…

CHARBON
Lydie Arickx
09.06.2023 – 28.07.2023

Written by hautmarais on . Posted in exhibitions.

CHARBON

Lydie Arickx

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
09.06 – 28.07.23
 

Charcoal: in choosing this title for her new exhibition at Loo & Lou Gallery, Lydie Arickx is not only referring to the material that inspired some of the works on display, but also to a deeper interweaving of memories that seems to be woven together like the past sediments of her own life. Doesn’t coal refer to that dark country dotted with slag heaps, peopled with memories of mines and corons, particularly in the north of France, where his family still has deep ties? Doesn’t it also evoke images of shameful atavism, child labor and the “black faces” of Germinal, silicosis, the cries of miners’ wives and the blasts of firedamp? Hasn’t it served as fuel for a whole imaginary world of social revolt, that of a people who “thunder in their crater”, rising up like an underground force, and will soon shatter the earth? By summoning this ore laden with all these fragments of human and plant life – coal being no more than an extract of fossilized trees and plants compressed in the viscous night of this region’s subsoils – Lydie Arickx also continues her exploration of the arborescence of the living, while drawing on the mystical depths of Flemish painting.

By going to the coalface, Lydie Arickx is not afraid of dealing with a material that is not only tainted by the dirt of anthracite, but also demonized by its responsibility for global warming. The artist, no stranger to the art of systematic bricolage, even confides her wonder at this new ingredient likely to enrich her laboratory of plastic experimentation. Lydie Arickx has long been a devotee of “wild thought”, which Claude Lévi-Strauss described as “the inscription, in the pictorial world, of techniques considered inadequate, unacceptable and unprofessional”. Hasn’t she always resorted to the most unorthodox materials, totally alien to the rules of academic painting?

It was in an impromptu way, using its medicinal virtues, that she discovered the full aesthetic potential of this vegetable charcoal. By mixing it with water, it diffuses on contact with the paper and spreads out in a multitude of unexpected graphic gesticulations, drawing a venous network with gnarled ramifications that are as organic as they are magical.

Here, the artist finds a new way to realize the dream of an informal expressionism: that of a material without form, without framework and without corset; similar to the lianascence of certain Caribbean plants, whose extreme versatility lends itself to all transformations and deformations, indefinitely malleable. Lydie Arickx enriches this substance, sometimes mixing it with pigments and acrylic resin.

Like a Füssli watercolor revisited by the “turbulent infinity” of Henri Michaux’s mescaline drawings, evanescent and tenuous silhouettes fade in and out of view, lending the works the in-between quality of dream and fantasy. With its depth of black and remarkable matte finish, doesn’t this charcoal evoke that “work in black” that would have made the greatest alchemists dream? Doesn’t it embody the power to transmute values, bringing beauty out of the dark, impure depths of the vilest materials?
By restoring to the great flow of life the most sordid and apparently repugnant parts of existence, Lydie Arickx’s art seems to be permeated by a song of desire that is reminiscent of the lyricism of certain pages by Henri Miller: “I love everything that flows: rivers, sewers, lava, (…) all the pus and filth that as it flows purifies itself, everything that loses the sense of its origin, everything that travels the great circuit towards death and dissolution. “

Hence, no doubt, this tendency to “add another layer”, with this yellow face in particular, with its impasto of materials giving the painting the appearance of a veritable “bas-relief” of “material” glory.
So, by perpetually enriching the variety of materials in her plastic vocabulary, isn’t the artist inventing a language open to the gaping holes of life, in the same way that Hugo drew the illuminations of his poetry from the “Mouth of Shadow”? Because for the painter, as for the poet, isn’t it above all a matter of knowing how to “contemplate”?
Less than a creator of forms, the artist becomes a revelator, a “tool” for revealing the virtual properties of a material. Just as a child marvels at seeing his or her own drawing, so is he or she astonished by the emergence of forms forever in the making?
Lydie Arickx’s works are fully part of an aesthetic of play. To appreciate them, we should no doubt draw inspiration from the famous passage in Leonardo’s Notebooks entitled “A way of stimulating and awakening the intellect for various inventions”, and the “walls smeared with stains” from which “an infinity of things are born that you will be able to reduce to distinct and well-conceived forms”.
Thus, from limbo, and from the lineaments of a wash, a couple of embracing figures seem to tenderly form as the ink meanders.
By placing Lydie Arickx’s work under the Duchampian banner, could we not say, at last, that in this exhibition, “it is (also) the viewers who make the painting”?

 

– Philippe Godin, Art critic

ÉVOLUTION
Élisabeth Daynès
28.04.2023 – 03.06.2023

Written by hautmarais on . Posted in exhibitions.

ÉVOLUTION

Élisabeth Daynès

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
28.04 – 03.06.23
 

A young woman is swaddled in a chrysalis, ready to hatch into a new femininity. Her carefully sculpted, calm face exudes a poetic quality that exists on the edge of death and rebirth. She will soon emerge into an uncertain land that offers dreams and utopias. Is she Ophelia from the future? Plastic cocoons her body, suggesting the advent of new genetic processes that will seal our long descendance from Homo Sapiens. 

“Is it science fiction? No, it is a waiting room from the future”, Elisabeth Daynès answers. The artist, who works with paleogeneticists, anthropologists and biologists, is known for the faces and bodies of cavemen she recreates for museums and prehistoric sites. Within Evolution, a Neanderthal looks at us with irony, his arms crossed, wondering what we inherited from our ancestors and what generational abyss we are headed towards. A curious, hyper-realistically sculpted man asks himself the same question, as he peers into a relief of a flayed face through the prism of Alioscopy technology. A worrying otherworldliness manifests from this monstrous double of ourselves.

Monsters seem to have infiltrated the physical preoccupations of our time, haunted by the spectre of genetics and hybridization, for better or for worse. It cannot be mere coincidence that questions of gender, sexuality, and identity are raised at a time when social networks are turning human bodies into guinea pigs, ready to mutate in the name of the diktat of the beauty. Is there a genetic nightmare in sight? Probably…

Daynès speculates that we will soon be birthed from small hulls, resembling vulvas, that grow on charred trees. After visiting several research laboratories working on synthetic skin, she began questioning the scientific process of grafting. Her works emulate a hybridization of the living, and suggest augmented, artificial properties that interfere in the evolution of species. “This is a crazy time to be living in, with new norms, new mutations,” she observes. Passionate and anguished, she emphasizes the generational madness in holding Kardashian behinds and blistered lips as the pinnacle of beauty. Today, it is possible to change breasts as easily as it is to change dresses. The sixteen-year-old girls who get their mouths plumped often forget that these acts of cosmetic surgery are, for some, irreversible… 

A sculpture of proliferating breasts in the form of black charcoal and golden mushrooms suggest a different paradigm, where the womb will no longer serve for fertilization. Occasionally nightmarish and unpleasant, yet pop and grotesque, Daynès’ creations are futuristic anticipations of the Anthropocene, where the artist is unafraid to introduce a certain derision towards these new identities. Where do we come from, what are we, and where are we going?

– Julie Chaizemartin, Journalist and Art Critic
(Translation by Alexandra Gilliams)

DRAWINGS
Mark Powell
28.04.2023 – 10.06.2023

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Drawings

Mark Powell

L’Atelier
Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
28.04 – 10.06.23
 

Mark Powell was born in 1980 in Leeds, Great Britain, and attended the University of Huddersfield, where he enrolled one day by chance when he met the head of the fine arts department to whom he showed some drawings. The meeting facilitated his enrolment, and Mark Powell began to study drawing and painting.

For this first collaboration with the Loo & Lou, the Atelier hosts a gallery of faces superimposed on fragments of maps and plans. Foreground and background merge their reliefs, wrinkles become roads, geological lines become wrinkles at the corner of the eyes. The artist draws his own topography, he whose eventful life and numerous peregrinations have led him from city to city, undoubtedly leafing through the maps and plans that he now covers with a refined line. His drawings are rooted in his own uprooting, in these paths taken or imagined whose sometimes evocative titles lead us to the crossroads. The terrestrial data become supports of their transformation into anatomical data, and conversely. The journey takes place in these comings and goings that inspire us with faces and landscapes.

The perseverance of the artist and the meticulousness of the line explode in the immediacy of the figuration which faces us with force, rendered simply by his instrument of preference, the ballpoint pen. It is a conscientious work that allows few failures but that requires clarity and delicacy. If Mark Powell feels close to Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney or Samuel Basset, the finesse of his line reminds us of the careful and learned gesture of engraving. Claude Mellan in the 17th century detached the face of Christ, floating on the sheet of paper, representing it with a single stroke like a long path that takes up the woven thread of the shroud of Saint Veronica. Powell has fun with the same feat, drawing the weaving of the face.

If the first function of a map is to find one’s way, it is also the flattened face of a city, of a place: it is the schematic, essential and conventional representation behind which one can guess, if one wishes, the bubbling of life and the city agitation. It is no coincidence that Mark Powell also chooses old postcards as background archives that capture personal experiences, fragments of stories. We imagine the lives of these faces, all their possible directions; it is an invitation to travel, a work of an aesthetic as well as narrative quality.

– Nina Lashermes

UNDER MY SKIN
Arghaël
10.03.2023 – 15.04.2023

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Under My Skin

Arghaël

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
10.03 – 15.04.23
 

Under My Skin

Placing the practice of drawing and the nude motif at the very core of his artwork, Arghaël reconnects with a long tradition of bodily representation, ranging from prehistory with the Venus of Willendorf, to the ideal of ancient perfection with Praxiteles’ statuary, to the cult of flesh, whether magnified by Renoir or unsparing as  in Lucian Freud’s paintings.

As if the artist was seeking to anchor his work in a soil rich enough to bear the cadences and dances his art conjures up. Doesn’t each of his drawn figures seem to be caught up in some kind of vertigo, all the more intense as each defies our usual perception of human attributes and identity ? Aren’t their faces systematically scratched in a manner similar to  Artaud’s self-portraits ?

Immersing his live models in mysterious, indecipherable  animal or human postures, the artist invites us to enter an ambiguous world merging man and beast, which Bacon had explored in his paintings. A world of exploding vital forces within the very hollows of our flesh. In perhaps an even cruder way, Arghaël plays with our representation of sexual organs, at times eluded, at other times, added, freeing himself –and us- from the confines of gender to question the notion of sexual identities. Through the prism of current gender studies and debates on intersexuality, his recent work with transgender models revisits the classic figure of the hermaphrodite. With its lines in perpetual motion, never fully stabilized, and its profusion of forms constantly morphing into new ones, isn’t drawing the ultimate art form to open up the body to its multiple identities ?

From that perspective, Arghaël’s artistic protocol is pure kairos captured in the drawing act itself which, through its obsessive iteration, gives his art a rare power. Far from being mere sketches for future paintings or sculptures, the artist’s drawings stand their ground, free from so-called superior art forms and claiming a territory of their own. 

Far from configuring the silhouettes of his nudes, Arghaël’s raw linen canvas brings to life the invisible forces driving his models from within – under their skin. 

As a graphic acupuncturist would, his hand maps out a new anatomy of who we are, using strokes of charcoal or pastels to define meridians and reveal the latent energies hidden in the many folds of human skin. 

In Arghaël’s new pieces, charcoal gives way to increasingly elliptical forms, where lines are suggested yet enhanced by the fluorescence of pastels and touches of ochre chalk. The bodies spread and stretch like in André Kertész’s photographs, or contort themselves in poses evoking Hans Bellmer’s dismembered dolls. The hand that draws becomes one with the hand that sculpts, escaping the limits of reality to finally embrace its own, ever-lasting energy.

By Philippe Godin,
Art critic

FRAGMENTS
Tanc
20.01.2023 – 25.02.2023

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FRAGMENTS

Tanc

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
20.01 – 25.02.23
 

Diffractions of an unknown writing 

With his Fragments series, Tanc operates a new variation within his own work. This time, the artist inventor of abstract writings reveals surprising diffracted calligraphies. 

He changes his practice, and passes from a continuous flow to a discontinuous flow. Thus the uninterrupted gesture which consisted in covering a surface becomes the occasion of a fragmentation of the surface itself. To the beautiful totality of a canvas composed like a page, from left to right, from top to bottom, the artist prefers the way of the fragment. Diffracting the One, he carries out a new internal cutting of the painting. Change its syntax by changing its rhythm. 

The passage from continuous to discontinuous, from unity to multiplicity, offers new possibilities to the artist. Energy is no longer the same. It is no longer the result of a single flow, but on the contrary of a multitude of flows.

Tanc proceeds by dispersion, fragmentation of writings. Moreover, he begins to work on disparate fragments of paper that he assembles, juxtaposes in larger compositions. The whole forms a puzzle of writings with a deconstructed style. 

Each piece of the puzzle has its variations. Variations in scale and style. The magnification, or close-up, allows discoveries. It reveals the digging of a surface or an unpublished grain from which new motifs emerge in the pictorial matter. This one appears fluid, scattered, letting emerge the emptiness between the lines. The drips give a sense of gravity to the painting. Wonderful veins of reality. 

Lines, drips, stains form segmented writings, intertwined in networks. From their optical synthesis, figurative images sometimes emerge: a blue tree blown down by the wind, branches bending under the weight of snow, unspeakable things reflected in the water, or, again, water trickling over the signs of an unknown writing. It is a matter of flow and blue. The use of two types of spray cans, one based on solvents, the other based on water, contributes to create accidents of textures favourable to the reverie of the eye.

Tanc’s work is situated at the intersection of several artistic worlds, oriental calligraphy, American action painting, from Franz Kline to Jackson Pollock, New York graffiti, Korean painting with the Dansaekhwa movement, and a constellation of artists that goes from Cy Twombly to Henri Michaux.

The Fragments series rethinks the relationship between the different styles previously developed by the artist, as it functions as a new mise en abyme of the work within the work. For, as Tanc himself says, his goal is to “rewrite his language constantly.

By Eric Monsinjon
Historian and art critic
December 2022

COLLAGES
Anna De Leidi
20.01.2023 – 25.02.2023

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COLLAGES

Anna De Leidi

 
L’Atelier
Loo & Lou Gallery Haut Marais
20.01 – 25.02.2023

 

“I work with the medium of collage, using recycled and found materials.  

I enjoy cruising through second-hand shops’ shelves and street libraries, searching for books and magazines, ephemera or other types of paper to use in my collages. 

The composition process always starts with a figurative subject or a small group of images which I feel are related to each other. 

From a figurative foundation I then continue by adding paper layers, juxtaposing textures, tones and fragments to create a whole that feels complex yet simplified to its essence and that acquires a stronger abstract and lyric nature as the work progresses. 

The subjects I seek, often presenting a narrative quality, are evocative of a story that feels at the same time intimate and universal.  

Related to historical and social themes that blend the boundaries between past and present, permanent and temporary, personal and political, they are a statement to the continuity of human existence. 

My work acts as a mirror that allows me to look into my identity and feelings while also bringing new purpose to images that would otherwise go unnoticed. 

I aim to highlight the connections that exist between my own experience and others’ and I always felt that collage was the perfect medium to establish this dialogue.”

  • Anna De Leidi

Pour demander la liste complète des œuvres disponibles, veuillez nous contacter par courriel ou par téléphone (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.  

NATURE // NATURES
Group show
23.09.2022 – 23.12.2022

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NATURE //NATURES

Group show

 

ARGHAËL // LYDIE ARICKX // FLO ARNOLD // DOMINIQUE LACLOCHE // CEDRIC LE CORF // CHRISTOPHE MIRALLES // JOËL PERSON // PAUL DE PIGNOL // OLIVIER DE SAGAZAN // JOHAN VAN MULLEM // JEAN CLAUDE WOUTERS

 

Loo & Lou Gallery Haut Marais
23.09 – 23.12.2022

“We live” is the title of the first manuscript published by Lydie Arickx in 2014, such could be the subtitle of this first group exhibition, so much the vital breath seems to spread through the works, certainly diverse but all sharing the idea of a communion with nature, Whether it is through the search for the unexpected and regenerating springs of natural materials, used as mediums, through the transgressive and revealing act of dissection – which can be likened to a pictorial introspection – or by resorting to the diluted traces of ink and pastel leading the figuration to the limits of its metamorphoses. 

The meeting of the eleven artists presented allows the viewer to embrace in a single vision the singular and quivering artistic identity of the gallery, made of moving materials and intimate roars. Aesthetics of engagement rather than contemplation in front of Lydie Arickx’s germinations and Olivier de Sagazan’s tortured masses, ferocious auscultation in the heart of Cedric le Corf’s ashen undergrowth and flayed sculptures, ghostly dance to the rhythm of Christophe Miralles’ anonymous bodies, outcrop of an interior cartography in the spontaneous and green features of Joël Person, proliferations and vegetable delicacies at Florence Arnold and Dominique Lacloche, telluric and fantastic visions at Paul de Pignol and Johan Van Mullem, veinous and troubled expressiveness at Arghaël, strange occultation of desired landscapes at the only photographer of the group, Jean-Claude Wouters. 

These artists explore the earth and the flesh more than they create dreamed spaces. Their motifs are those of our world, for better or for worse, without concession, with the tenderness of love and the tension of death. Borrowing not from a return to primitivism but from the source of a sublime classicism, made of landscapes and human figures, that is to say “nature and natures”, in echo and fusion, where the great history of painting and sculpture, from the anatomies of Gautier d’Agoty to the impressionist whispers, passing through the Spanish Golden Age, silently deafens. But here revisited in the light of a contemporaneity concerned with biological understanding and the preservation of nature. The latter is indeed everywhere. We want to save it, give it legal rights, exploit it with respect. To take it once again as the standard theme of an exhibition might therefore seem easy, except that here, in this exhibition, in this gallery, it is not just a fashionable straitjacket, it is the living flesh of the works. Nature is no longer the fixed model, it is the work, it is the living landscape, it is the bilious torment of its author, it is the mirror of man and his innumerable complexities. “The plant is a silent collaborator that I try to hear. I do not impose my vision on these leaves but compose it with them” confides Dominique Lacloche.

For the artists of the gallery all maintain an intimate link with the body – human or plant – and its secret grooves like so many valleys in which the gaze does not dare to penetrate at first sight. Abysses of suffering or eroticism, crucible of organic mutations and upheavals of life. Artists on the verge of their skin whose fragility and poetry become manifestos of resilience or cries for survival. Against the immobility of the image, we are in the existentialism of the form, probably requiring sometimes a certain fetishism or a kind of animist mysticism. However, the power of the imaginary always passes here by a matierist gesture, prosaic or more sophisticated, but whose characteristic is to leave the free field to the experimentation and the intuition. Whether they mimic states of enjoyment or morbidity, whether they ooze hedonism or melancholy, the human and plant figures presented in this exhibition are fragments of emotion, responding to the vast prism painted and drawn running from the formal to the informal, virtuoso and intranquil elasticities that, even when they correspond to the definition of still life, are above all presences. One enters freely into the realm of the senses.

  • – Julie Chaizemartin, Art critic 

To request the full list of available works, please contact us by mail or by telephone at (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.

ÊTRE CHAIR
Olivier de Sagazan
03.06.2022 – 29.07.2022

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ÊTRE CHAIR

Olivier de Sagazan

Loo & Lou Gallery Haut Marais
03.06 – 29.07.2022

There is the body that is modeled, kneaded, triturated, excavated, dissected. It is transformed to the extreme with a certain fascination bestowed upon it. Between the palms of Olivier de Sagazan, matter takes life and is incarnated in unconscious doubles. Clay creatures are birthed and earth emerges through the images of the mythological beings, extirpating themselves with grand effort from the chtonian depths. Moving with clumsiness and dignity, they are an uneasy reflection of our deep, primitive nature; a throbbing, heart-rending echo that we have spent millennia repressing. Born of the earth, yet still partly stuck in it, they remind us that our bodies are made of the same vital matrix. This is “world flesh,” an idea conceptualized by Merleau-Ponty who envisaged the universe as a whole through a sensitive and fundamental correlation of the elements. De Sagazan never ceases to explore this primordial ontology in an ever more intense, ever more intimate desire to pierce the secrets of life.

Now, the artist attacks the landscape felt as a body, yet he has removed the human figure. “For me, a painting or a sculpture is always an organism. It is a question of bringing life to it,” he expresses. Facing the canvas, the artist creates more than he paints. His hands knead the clay and, this time, he has mixed it with grass, glue, and acrylic. Composite material that will never solidify, but could be sown. His body moves in front of crusty materials whose germinations stretch out in dazzling undergrowth. With large gestures from top to bottom, without any prior idea, he enhances it with bright colors, making the plants grow towards the light in a spontaneous, irrepressible impulse of elevation and depth. The texture becomes denser, materialist, welcoming reliefs and transcending any idea of representation. The painting here is not an image: it is breathing and has become “flesh.” Their naturalistic textures enhanced with expressionist colors inevitably brings to mind Anselm Kiefer’s dramatic fields of straw, mud, coal, and lead. Bright yellow, dreamy blue, acid green, a mysterious red… With De Sagazan, however, the landscape is anything but symbolic, it is the energy of nature whose magical body extends our own. The artist also sees self portraits in them, like a transfiguration of his conscious being within earth. He claims deep commitment in imagining a new alliance between man and nature: a nature that he has wrongly forgotten, to the point of disincarnating from it. Painting and sculpture would perhaps be the only gestures capable of making us feel this physical, biological link that unites our flesh to the world in an unfathomable sensitivity.

– Julie Chaizemartin, Art Critic

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the full list of available works, please contact us by mail or by telephone at (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.  

Andrew Ntshabele
01.04.2022 – 27.07.2022

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ANDREW NTSHABELE

L’Atelier
08.04.2022 – 27.07.2022

Loo & Lou Gallery is pleased to present recent works by the South African artist Andrew Ntshabele for his very first exhibition in France from April 1 to May 21, 2022.

Ntshabele has quickly developed a personal technique through painting figures in acrylic on large format supports made of collaged newspapers.

Andrew Ntshabele paints characters that he observes on the streets of Johannesburg as a reflection of the negative physical, socio-economic and political changes of the post-apartheid city of Johannesburg. Selectively choosing newspaper backgrounds with pertinent headlines, he paints over them with the resulting pressure and strain on citizens who live and work in a polluted city. Photographing and meeting his subjects around the city prompted him to investigate these difficulties in order to understand the root causes of the degradation of the city center.

After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, he feels that people should confront his art from a new perspective and try to find happiness in these difficult times. Within some of his more recent work, more joyful feelings are present. For this new series, he explored the work on a medium and large scale, using newspapers related to articles on Covid-19.

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the complete list of available works, please contact us by email or by phone (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.

EMBRASURE
Tana Borissova
08.04.2022 – 21.05.2022

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EMBRASURE

Tana Borissova

Loo & Lou Gallery Haut Marais
08.04 – 21.05.2022

When approaching Tana Borissova’s paintings, a moment of epiphany may arise while gazing into their forms. Many of the works proposed in this exhibition escape the immediate classifications that we usually lend to this technique. The viewer may have difficulty grasping what exactly they are looking at, with no obvious sign emerging that can satisfy certain interpretations and reassuring identifications. The absence of any iconography and the spontaneity of the organic forms testify to a proximity manifesting itself as lyrical abstraction. Shall we not acknowledge a certain effort to resist different types of visual and conceptual anecdotes that have dominated the history of painting? 

Borissova shares the painter Nicolas de Staël’s “undecided” position by refusing to choose between abstraction and figuration. If her blue paintings evoke waterfalls, she refuses any reference to the idea of a landscape. Nature as it is shown here has nothing to do with a fleeting impression of a pastoral scene. It refers more to the ancient conception of phusis, designating a continuous birth of forms; a momentum that is miraculously captured in the thickness of her paint strokes. 

Borissova skilfully plays with the contrasts between the intensity of black backgrounds and a chromatic efflorescence that invades the canvas. She also produces a duality of transparency and opacity, tempering the impact of her rough impasto with the liquescence of the acrylic paint. By giving the motifs the appearance of crackling matter, the artist opens her painting to the elements of poetic fire and imaginary water. 

Her figures are forever in suspense, caught in between a stark presence and the heaviness of absence, like a passage, emergence, breakthrough, or burst. The canvas becomes a sequence of twisted, fragmented, and undulating forms, carrying its motives in aquatic and carnal becomings, as in the aerial and lyrical blazes of the Embrasure series. 

Emerging from the obscure depths of memory, Borissova offers us a moment that has been torn from oblivion and the alienation of the world.”

 Philippe Godin, Art Critic

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the complete list of available works, please contact us by email or by phone (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.

ATARAXIE
Johan Van Mullem
03.02.2022 – 19.03.2022

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ATARAXIE

Johan Van Mullem

Loo & Lou Gallery Haut Marais
03.02 – 19.03.2022

A stream of consciousness…

For Johan Van Mullem’s second exhibition Ataraxie at Loo & Lou Gallery, introspection remains at the heart of his work, however his famous, abstract depictions of faces transform into a perspective of the outside world through landscapes. The select anthropomorphic portraits in this exhibition act as a catalyst for this transition, where human appears to amalgamate with nature. These ethereal portraits and settings have come forward from the depths of a silent and unconscious world within Van Mullem, “where emotional information is stored.” Distinctive scenic elements are composed through an expulsion of rapid movements that he anchors with a horizon line. According to the artist, landscapes offer a clarity of perception in an increasingly uncertain world. Painting allows him to release and attempt to understand the impressions that this world has forcibly imprinted on his subconscience since the beginning of his existence. His work additionally references his Flemish origins, and believes these impressions can be passed down through generations and from one kindred spirit to another. He has referenced Rembrandt and Da Vinci as “companions” throughout his journey as an artist.
 
Within this new series, Van Mullem develops his unique style of stream of consciousness painting that rests between figurative and abstraction that he has been working on since he was only five years old. He began creating art as a means of escape from his difficult, itinerant childhood as the son of a diplomat. He was born in the Congo but spent his formative years in Tunisia, a place that he described, after returning to visit as an adult, had such wonderful light that eventually introduced new colors and luminosity to his landscape paintings. Van Mullem works with oil-based etching inks, reminiscent of his time spent as an engraver, and builds them upon each other to depict storms, rain, and sunsets over mountains. The colors overlap, fade, and stretch, yet they rest together in harmony. Creating depth that he then glides over and erases, the light is unveiled and the subject comes to life; The sun comes out, a burst of rain splashes onto a body of water, the wind blows. The artist has created an imaginary world with unconventional colors that are a reflection of his soul and memories, rising from his conscious and subconscious. Landscapes have historically been a means of escape and of spiritual gain. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Romantics created landscapes that evoked contemplation and existentialism, displaying the world as much larger than we are. The longer one looks at Van Mullem’s paintings, the more the unique topography becomes discernable and facilitates reflection, as if one is peering out through a fogged window, their own reflection in the glass cast over a vast landscape. 

— Alexandra Gilliams

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the complete list of available works, please contact us by email or by phone (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.  

Espaces Mutants
Casa de Velázquez
21.01.2022 – 18.02.2022

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Dear friends,

We inform you that the gallery will be temporarily closed until March 2
because the team will be in Madrid for the JUSTMAD art fair.

Thank you and see you soon!
 
– Loo & Lou –

ESPACES MUTANTS

Artists in residence at the Casa de Velázquez 2021-2022

L’Atelier
21.01 – 04.03.2022

From January 21 to February 18, 2022, the exhibition ESPACES MUTANTS in the Atelier at Loo & Lou Gallery will present the work of the artists of the 2021-2022 promotion from the French Academy in Madrid, at the Casa de Velázquez. The exhibition reflects the collective spirit that unites these artists during their residency in Madrid, as well as the diversity of practices that coexist this year in the studios at the Casa de Velázquez: painting, engraving, sculpture, visual arts, photography, video, and film. The result of a close collaboration between the Casa de Velázquez and Loo & Lou Gallery, ESPACES MUTANTS also emphasizes the synergies that unite these two places, both as incubators of innovative practices and unwavering supporters of contemporary creation.

ESPACES MUTANTS is at once an immersive experience, an experimentation in curating and a moment of encounter with the public for the 13 participating artists: Najah ALBUKAI, Carmen AYALA MARÍN, Chloé BELLOC, Maxime BIOU, Lise GAUDAIRE, Mathilde LESTIBOUDOIS, Anna LÓPEZ LUNA, Eve MALHERBE, Alberto MARTÍN MENACHO, Adrien MENU, Pablo PÉREZ PALACIO, Arnaud ROCHARD, Mery SALES.

“Like the stars that can only be seen if you don’t look directly at them, the artistic gestures here escape perception. They flee, struggle, twist, and unravel under our fingers even as the work comes to life. How, then, could one restore it? How could one give an account of this ephemeral breath, to pay homage to it and to give it sight? How, above all, would one be able to capture the fragility of its emergence—to freeze it, without breaking it?

With this mutant space, the artists in residence at Casa de Velázquez offer us an infiltration into the heart of this abstract idea. An exhibition which is like a challenge between constellation and flow of thought, that plunges us into the suspension of time within creation and its metamorphoses. Sketches, research documents, finished pieces, or works in progress, the pieces here take place in the collective installation where singularities intermingle with what is shared. By exhibiting together for the first time, the artists draw a portrait of their experience working as residents while they deliver their first forceful lines.

ESPACES MUTANTS is thus hybrid and plural in nature. The materials, forms and textures intermingle; the directions that lead to interpretation are multiplied; the perspectives are drawn and transformed as connections are established and installed. At the heart of this laboratory, conceived as an immersive experience, a lot depends on the spectator who can activate each of these fragments, read between their lines and to allow themselves to be touched by the crackling breath of these creations in residence.”

 

About CASA DE VELÁZQUEZ

Casa de Velázquez is an institution under the authority of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and is part of the network of five French schools abroad (EFE). It is unique in that it supports both contemporary creation and research in the humanities and social sciences. Casa de Velázquez also plays a major role in disseminating and promoting the work carried out in residence through a rich and varied program, supported by a vast network of international partners.

The ACADÉMIE DE FRANCE IN MADRID is a privileged space that welcomes every year in residence some thirty artists of diverse geographical and cultural origins. Every year, thirteen artists are selected to develop their creative projects in residence.

 

For the complete list of available works, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone at (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.  

LIANESCENCES
Lydie Arickx
16.11.2021 – 22.01.2022

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LIANESCENCES

Lydie Arickx

Loo & Lou Gallery Haut Marais
16.11.2021 – 22.01.2022

Returning from Chambord…

After the spectacular and monumental exhibition Arborescences held at the Château de Chambord, Loo & Lou Gallery welcomes for the third time the artist Lydie Arickx: painter, sculptor, performer and major figure of the French expressionist scene whose work tirelessly celebrates the cycle of life. Supported by the Loo & Lou Foundation,  Arborescences is probably one of the artist’s most accomplished exhibitions.

Lianescences is a kind of extension of Arborescences for an audience that would like to live or relive part of the experience of an outsized and protean proposal.

Lianescences is, of course, not intended to be a repetition of Chambord, but will highlight a works selected especially for Loo & Lou Gallery, and focuses on some the most important and remarkable pieces. Crucifixes symbolizing the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross, presented in the Chapel of Chambord, or The Evolution (Oscar), a bas-relief of bone and resin scaling at 200 x 300 cm will be presented, but an accent will be placed on a presentation of works by the artist, of a more modest format, belonging to the cabinet of curiosities.

“The qualifier ‘expressionist’ that is often attached to the work of Lydie Arickx could be considered reductive. Her work certainly distorts the figure, twists material and gives an account of the violence of the world, but her consistent research of new materials and new forms nourishes her work beyond any label. Her pieces represent more precisely the fears, engulfments, rough, joyful moments and miracles we humans experience with a softness that is moving. After her projects at the Cordeliers convent, the La Piscine museum, the Conciergerie or Biron, she proposed a powerful exhibition at the Château de Chambord for four months. It evoked a reflection on life and its forms and highlighted the porosity between mineral, vegetal and animal, living beings inhabited by a breath with whom death cannot compete, but simply entertain. Whether she uses canvas, concrete, earth, metal, fabric, 3D prints, concrete or ash, Arickx transmits an unparalleled energy that makes her one of the most inventive and engaging artists of her generation.” – Text from the exhibition Arborescences, Château de Chambord, 2021

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the complete list of available works, please contact us by email or by phone (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.  

Nativity
Aurélia Jaubert
09.11.2021 – 08.01.2022

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NATIVITY

Aurélia Jaubert

The Atelier
9 November – 8 January 2022

“The Nativité tapestry is made from hundreds of scraps of different canvases and tapestries that were collected here and there. Assembled together like a collage and sewn into a kind of patchwork, these different pieces form a large fresco that can be described as ‘pop’ due to its references to popular imagery and art history. Animals and characters evolve in varied landscapes where each scene follows one another in different depths of field: Millet and Chardin rub shoulders with Snow White, Renoir and Gauguin meet the Aristocats, and the Virgin presents a strange child to a fireman in the center a flurry of different situations. Nativité is one great, orchestrated bubble that could also be described as a collaboration since hundreds of other hands contributed to it, and it also pays tribute to these unknown female artisans. Together, these women and their work help form this ‘global’ art piece.”

– Aurélia Jaubert

This is Aurélia Jaubert’s first collaboration with Loo & Lou Gallery. In 2020, Nativité received a special mention from the jury at the Contextile Biennial in Guimares, Portugal.

“From her first paintings of colored mortars that she collaged with her original photographs to her more recent tapestries, Aurélia Jaubert has been fascinated by the metamorphoses that can occur in imagery through their passage from one medium to another and the illusions they can engender. She has progressively left the traditional surface of painting for heterogeneous compositions, concocting a kind of utopian mixture that reflects a sort of historical crisis of representation. Through borrowing and combining different approaches (painting, textiles, photography, digital images, collage, sewing, sculpture, sound, music and light), Jaubert sheds a light on what is leftover. Her gestures of an artist and collector of objects are made apparent through her interest in subtle manifestations of nature (reflections, bubbles, shadows, traces…) that she inserts into a cycle that reinstates them with an unexpected aesthetic value, all the while managing to remain faithful to the original image. Dreaming about the fantastic destiny of small accidents or objects of everyday life (burrs, stains, drips, colored debris, decommissioned magnetic tapes, old swimming pool buoys, fabric samples…), Jaubert, an ‘herbalist of the asphalt’, weaves together modern ruins in order to reveal elegant, surprising, bizarre and unprecedented imagery.” 

– Dominique Païni, independent critic and curator

Director of the Centre Pompidou (2000-2005)

Director of the Cinémathèque française (1990-2000)

Pour demander la liste complète des œuvres disponibles, veuillez nous contacter par courriel ou par téléphone (+33) 01 42 74 03 97.  

THE INDIAN YEARS – LES ANNÉES INDIENNES
Fred Kleinberg
21.09.2021 – 30.10.2021

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THE INDIAN YEARS

LES ANNEES INDIENNES

Fred Kleinberg

Loo & Lou Gallery Haut Marais
21.09 – 30.10.2021

Paraphrasing the exergue of Nietzsche’s book Human, All Too Human, one could say that Fred Kleinberg’s work was made for free spirits, as the artist considers himself first and foremost a traveler… This is how he finds inspiration and the material for his pieces, and in this search he has also witnessed great contemporary tragedies. What Kleinberg seeks in this nomadic exploration is not only humanity and the exploration of other cultures, but also what philosopher Gilles Deleuze calls a “chaos-germ”, from which a style can emerge…”

Some thirty works produced between 2000 and 2010 in India

From this point of view, Fred Kleinberg’s Indian Years is not the travel diary of an artist in search of exoticism. Of the thirty or so works produced between 2000 and 2010 in India, we will not find the usual batch of images dear to tourist attractions, with its collection of sacred cows and the colourful abundance of women’s saris. In 2004, while doing an artist’s residency near Pondicherry, the painter had no idea that he was going to find himself at the heart of one of the most tragic natural disasters in history, in the face of which the torments of the shipwrecked Medusa or those of Jonah in the grip of divine wrath might seem like mere anecdotes. On December 26, an earthquake of rare violence provoked a tsunami that hit southern India. Among the rubble of his studio, which was completely destroyed, the artist found only a roll of paper returned by the sea, still bearing the scars of the tsunami’s violence; this became the support for the testimony that the painter had given to this tragedy.

A fresco over 18 meters long as a testimony to this extraordinary tragedy

Fred Kleinberg responded to the anger of nature with the rage of expression by creating a fresco in situ, using black chalk, in a format that was equal to this extraordinary tragedy: over 18 metres long! As the artist learned about the victims he knew, he drew a picture, like a dazibao, which gradually unfolds. This all-over fresco becomes the real seismograph of the catastrophe the painter witnesses. Like an immense graphic wave carrying all the spectres of those who have been swept away, this monumental work constitutes a sublime replica, drawing the viewer into the feeling of dread and aesthetic delight dear to the Romantics. The flow of the sea meets the flow of the continuous drawing, the only way to render the tangled impressions and images carried by the power of the tsunami. By using exclusively black and white, the artist gives his work a dramatic tension that evokes the darkest pieces of Goya as much as Picasso’s Guernica.

Fred Kleinberg’s practice of painting is ‘dialogic,’ with an emphasis on listening, and a desire to connect with the communities in which he creates.

Most of the other works in the exhibition demonstrate the commitment of Kleinberg’s art to a human adventure in which the artist engages in a “dialogical” practice of painting, emphasizing listening, and the desire to create links with the communities in which he creates.
Like the painting Relief, in which the formal questions and the choice of materials remain inseparable from the human experience that gave birth to them; the jute canvases with silk-screened motifs that frame the painting are cereal bag wrappers, recovered by the artist when he was distributing food with NGOs.
By integrating pieces of recovered posters into paintings such as Monbay Victoria terminus or La fuite, the painter also returns to a use of collage derived from Cubism, and suggests the impression of a world shattered in a string of coloured images. The use of the gum arabic technique for some of the works made in the wake of the tsunami, finally allows the artist to accentuate the spectral character of the painted figures. For it is the moods of flight, fear and survival that constitute the omnipresent affects of a majority of the pieces in the exhibition, uniting animal fear with human anguish in the same drama. Only the beautiful pastels of Sadhou figures or young girls, whose survivors from a world whose history seems to be a succession of atrocities, balance the impression of apocalypse that dominates this painting, a distant and noble descendant, no doubt, of a renewed romantic energy.

— Philippe Godin, Critique d’art

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the full list of available works, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone at (+33) 01 42 74 03 97. 

DÉFERLANTE
Joël Person
19.05.2021 – 30.07.2021

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 DÉFERLANTE

Joël Person

Loo & Lou Gallery — Haut Marais
19.05 – 30.07.2021

During his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, from which he graduated in 1986 with honours, Joël Person was able to perfect his drawing skills by observing live models. This concern to constantly deepen his eye and his technique remains intact today. No matter the themes of predilection that he tackles: horses, hair, bodies, portraits or scenes of everyday life, he applies the same rigor to his work and gives way to the sole requirement of an extremely precise rendering that is likely to bring out the very presence of the subject he is drawing.

Even at a very young age, drawing was the only way for Person to express himself, given his dyslexia, which made him unsuitable for an educational system that was essentially focused on learning abstract language forms. Drawing was his resilience, and his way of reappropriating a world that had escaped him.

By practicing live drawing since his childhood, Person has reached a perfection in his art that should, in no way, be confused with academism and the traps of a demonstrative virtuosity, having no other end than to impress an audience eager with a trompe-l’oeil. His practice of drawing has nothing to do with superfluous work or presumptuous play, rather his taste for realism responds to the imperious desire to capture the truth of the subject. Whether it is with the immense frescoes of galloping horses or the more modest drawings, Person immediately inscribes his work in the highest pictorial tradition inherited from the Renaissance, and that of the romanticism of Delacroix or Géricault.

Even when he is inspired by visuals taken from social networks – those of CRS, yellow waistcoats or migrants – Person reworks each of these images on the spot. The reworking through drawing then brings a striking “aesthetic added value.” For example, the drawings of the CRS he is doing for Frédéric Pajak’s next magazine reveals a dimension worthy of the SF universe of a RoboCop. In front of the drawings that Person has produced from internet images, we measure the abyss that separates the attention opened by the artist’s gaze, pencil in hand, and this passive perception that feeds our addiction to social networks.

Person dreams of founding a school of drawing, like the “school of the gaze” instituted in Salzburg by Kokoschka after the Second World War. The ethics of his art remain faithful to Matisse’s teaching, which attributes to the artist the role of undoing the veil of clichés that stands between our perception and reality. Like our relationship with animals, these ultimate figures of otherness that the artist admirably deconstructs in all his work, inviting us to rediscover these silent masters.

Since Freud, we know that great works of art often find their impetus from a childhood memory linked to an emotional content mixing desire and prohibition. Person attributes his fascination for the equestrian motif to his childhood encounter with a Chinese statuette of a Tang horse belonging to his mother, which he was strictly forbidden to touch. Through drawing, he quickly managed to take hold of this impulsive universe where woman and animal seemed intimately linked.

In fact, many of the artist’s drawings of horses make this ambivalence of desire and fear perceptible, sometimes leading the artist to superimpose motifs with overtly erotic components on those of the equine figure.

Thus, with regard to his series of charcoal drawings, the Robes Cabrées, we are reminded of Paul Valery’s observation about Degas’ drawings: “The horse walks on its toes. Four nails carry it. No animal holds on to the first dancer, the star of the corps de ballet, like a thoroughbred in perfect equilibrium, which the hand of the one who rides it seems to hold suspended, and which moves forward with a small step in the sun. Degas painted him with a verse; he said of him: Tout nerveusement nu dans sa robe de soie. “

By repeating a series of galloping horses, whose tight framing on the animal’s chest accentuates the feeling of power and vitality, Person offers a masterpiece with Déferlante to the art of drawing. We find all the tension and eroticism of the bodies dear to the Romantics revisited by the rhythmic power of all-over. This work, whose black charcoal texture enhances the feeling of musical vitality experienced when contemplating it, bears witness to a limitless processual character. Indeed, by repeating these serial cavalcade motifs, the artist can multiply the dimension of his creation indefinitely, even to the point of envisaging the crazy dream of covering the Great Wall of China with them!

By decomposing drawing as a medium assigned to a certain function circumscribed to the space of a frame delimiting a sketch or a preparatory exercise, Person opens up a future for it that takes it beyond its traditional limits. Is it not the symbolic dimension of mythical and legendary horses – whether those of Neptune or of the Apocalypse – that run through history to signify the power of transport of which this animal has condensed the dreams? It is the strength of Person’s work to carry us away with the only recourse of drawing towards the mystery of art, and his insatiable desire for elsewhere…

— Philippe Godin, Art Critic

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the full list of available works, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone at (+33) 01 42 74 03 97. 

LOUISE FRYDMAN
Contemporary ceramics
26.02.2021 – 17.07.2021

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CONTEMPORARY CERAMICS

Louise Frydman

Loo & Lou Gallery — George V
26.02 – 17.07.2021

“My work is an exploration of the forms of nature. I model the earth and give birth to delicate pieces, which I wrap in a powdery white, on which the light comes to rest to make the lines vibrate. Movement appears as an essential element of my work, through living forms and suspended moving parts. I seek the meeting between strength and fragility by working my sculptures in an ethereal way in their forms, and powerful in their dimensions. A petal, a tree, the wind… It is my emotion that I try to show.”

— Louise Frydman

This presentation echoes the group exhibition “Bing! Bing! 砰 砰 ! Céramique Contemporaine” presented by ICICLE (35e Avenue George V, Paris 8e) from March 1 to September 8, 2021. Open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm.

“In Mandarin, the character 砰 (pēng) is the equivalent of the French onomatopoeia “bing!”: it evokes a shock, a clash, and means a rupture, a sudden event that modifies reality.”

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the full list of available works, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone (+33) 01 42 74 03 97. 

LES CHEMINS DES DÉLICES
Catherine Wilkening
09.02.2021 – 19.03.2021

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LES CHEMINS DES DELICES

Catherine Wilkening

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
09.02 – 19.03.2021

For over fifteen years, Catherine Wilkening has concentrated on universal themes that surround the female figure – birth, life, death, and rebirth. Now, her work collides with the figure of the Madonna, one of the most canonical forms in Western art. Wilkening avoids both the image of the divine and the melancholic beauty that encompasses the ideal Christian Virgin, including a contemporary and provocative kitsch approach. Instead, she proposes a series of sculptures that evoke restlessness and agitation, in the image of some other beauty – a beauty of which we do not know is the end or, as Rainer Maria Rilke once said, just “the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure.”

An intense wind blows on the Madonnas by Wilkening that fold their porcelain garments with a baroque gesture that appears to continue infinitely. Decadent and expressionist, shamanic and lyrical, these works are a hymn to a swaying and swarming sensation, an invitation to rid the urge of quick judgements.

Sometimes the sculptor creates her Madonnas ex nihilo from an erection of porcelain that she miraculously assembles – such as the bizarre piece, Le Papillon, evoking a disturbing version of Golgotha. At other times, the artist appropriates vintage sculptures dedicated to the celebration of the Virgin Mary that she diverts from their ecumenical representation to reintegrate them into her mystical and baroque universe.

She customizes them almost through voodoo, covering them with porcelain and glass, gold leaf and acacia branches. The large-format pieces impose themselves, grabbing the viewer’s attention. The viewer may be enticed to change their focus as they get closer to the sculpture, discovering worlds within worlds, and infinite forms wrapped in each fold of material. The base of the sculpture Mortel Immortel, which seemed from afar to be lace, turns out to be an accumulation of butterflies. It is a baroque universe where each volute and wing contains another form, and each of the works carries within it a set of worlds that is folded inside the other. The artist additionally recovers old fragments of forgotten sculptures that she integrates into her new works.

Wilkening is looking for “the monumental in the minuscule.” She conquers the grandeur of her works by exploring all the possibilities of the miniature, enveloping the infinitely large in the infinitely small. Moreover, Wilkening’s sculptures cannot be deciphered through a quick glance. It is necessary to look at them for a long time to reach the meaning of their forms.

The exquisite obsessions of the artist are hidden from our eyes in a maze of the extreme finesse of the porcelain. Wilkening holds the secret! Under the apparent softness and consistency of the white enamel, the chastity of the virgins quickly crumbles under a great pleasure that arises from our souls, revealing the violence of scarifications cracking the skin of the ceramic, the abundance of floral patterns, animal bones and accumulations of small rear-ends, expression of a generosity of life that takes on all the reigns of creation. The artist’s use of new materials such as gold leaf, Murano glass or acacia wood helps to thwart any quick recognitions. The eye hesitates between the aerial, vegetal, and animalistic elements. Glass and porcelain become strange fabrics enveloping a Madonna who is no longer Catholic! Through the infinite exploration of minute detail, Wilkening evokes certain spiritualist artists that obsessively operate as miniaturists on immense formats, folding and unfolding their composition as they advance, practicing a form of automatism. The sculptures are sometimes worked for hundreds of hours, showing a certain asceticism from the artist. Hence the mantric and hallucinatory dimension of some of these pieces that were born in the isolation of confinement. The sculptor made this constraint her own as the expression of a happy and protective solitary retreat where she was able to concentrate and intensify her practice.

This exhibition, Les Chemins des Délices, witnesses the overabundance of an unfulfilled and restless life, taking ever further without the slightest bit of rest, the work of an artist who, in the figure of the Madonna, recognizes her fellow man, her sisters, and the mystery of fecundity and creation.

— Philippe Godin, Art Critic

AVAILABLE WORKS

To request the full list of available works, please contact us by e-mail or by telephone at (+33) 01 42 74 03 97. 

PÉNINSULES
Cedric Le Corf
16.09.2020 – 31.10.2020

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PÉNINSULES

from the Iberian to the Armorican Peninsula

Cedric Le Corf

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
16.09 – 29.10.2020

There are artists who have a brutal inertia and others who are reclusively inclined, both symmetrical ways of separating art from life. This great modernist separation remains significantly followed. Separating oneself from the world and its breath, its increasing fragility, was never something Cedric Le Corf consented to. He does not practice detachment or indifference, and refuses to break with the natural order. The order itself, not merely its depiction: an order that is hard to define, irreducible to our reason, and all the more necessary to excavate from within, through the irrepressible energy of the shapes.

More than figurative, Cedric Le Corf’s sculptures, prints, and drawings consequently capture the heart, perhaps sacredly, through organic mystery in which we are merely the ephemeral passengers. What is it made of, this world, his world, which he himself calls baroque, out of expressionist choice and active listening of its elements, in which he seeks his proper place? The anatomy, both human and animal, seems to be the key player, and almost the implacable law from which derive all kinds of bones: skulls, jaws, limbs, fragments… If it were not for the fact that Le Corf employs materials, from wood to porcelain, which immediately restore the truth of his approach, one might say of Le Corf that he strips more than he sculpts.

His darkest works, which evoke Gericault and Delacroix (although there’s no banal mimicry), contain a tender, active, rough humour, which is not the effect of overly clever contrasts. Rather there is a suggestion, since there is an element of the baroque, of a sense of the circulations and mutations at the heart of which the vital forces victoriously confront the powers of suffering, doubt and death. It’s no secret that Le Corf’s curiosity has always taken him in the direction of those humanists most determined to understand the machinery of bodies and fluids responsible for such a miraculous operation. Michael Servetis, a martyr for truth, and Andreas Vesalius sit in his imaginary pantheon, as do the somewhat closer Philippe Etienne Lafosse, Jacques Fabien Gautier d’Agoty and Honore Fragonard, cousin to the famous painter. In the ancient world, anatomy and dissection were one and the same: there was no alternative to opening up the body in order to understand. But what of art, where the “open form” often remains an excuse for works empty of any meaning. I like Le Corf’s response and his way of naturally reconnecting with the great Sevillians, from Montañés to the young Velazquez (beyond the Romantics and Baselitz). For them, depiction was suddenly threatened by its very realism, figuration by disfiguration. The boundaries gently fall away and, as Le Corf might say, bodies become landscapes. In blurring the kingdoms, anatomy comes to life and enchants us.

— Stéphane Guégan
Scientific advisor to the Presidency of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie


Hölderlin called it the “journey to the colony”. In order to find our origins, we must abandon them, forget them. Victor Ségalen, after exploring the Middle East and the Pacific, returned to Brittany. My journey is also marked by “steles”.

Imbued with a Rhenish heritage, from Dürer to Grünewald, and schools of polychrome wood, I penetrated the marine ode in my studio on the island of Groix, in Berlin, the laceration of German expressionism, then, in residence at the Academy of Fine Arts at the Villa des Pinsons in Chars, the landscapes’ tranquility of the Vexin painted by Corot. Then, as a member of the Casa Velázquez in Madrid, I discovered Spanish baroque and its worship of death, its sculptures painted with waxy flesh or enameled ceramics by Juan de Juni and Alonso Berruguete. And finally, the eternal return to the Celtic land where by a happy coincidence in the meandering Scorff Valley’s landscape, only a few steps away from the enclosures, the porz a maro (the gates of death), the famous dance of death of Kernascléden, and the marvelous rood screen of St Fiacre, I put my bag down and opened my workshops, an imaginary museum in the colors of the “Sarrazin”. A return to the source can only be accomplished if a poet sings, I had to take this detour, the foreign road to start over again without end.

— Cedric Le Corf

Losing the daily Midi; crossing courtyards, arches,
bridges; try the branched paths; run out of breath at the steps, ramps, climbing ;

Avoid the precise stele; go around the usual walls; stumble
ingenuously among these fake rocks; jump this ravine ;
to linger in this garden; to go back sometimes,

And by a reversible lace finally mislead the quadruple sense of the Points of Heaven.

— Victor Ségalen – Steles

FIND YOURSELF
Elisabeth Daynès
05.06.2020 – 23.07.2020

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FIND YOURSELF

Elisabeth Daynès

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
05.06 – 23.07.20
Click here to take a virtual tour of the exhibition
Click here to download the exhibition leaflet

Elisabeth Daynès was born in 1960, and she currently lives and works in Paris. She is well known for her paleoart, and has exposed her sculptures in museums around the world, such as the Field Museum, Chicago; Perot, Dallas; Gyeonggi-do Jeongo Museum, Seoul; CosmoCaixa Science Museum, Barcelona; INAH, Mexico; Narodni Museum, Prague; Calouste Gulbekkian Foundation; Musée de l’Homme, Paris, etc.

For some dozens of years she has merged her scientific reconstructions with art, crossed by a reflection on the subject of the human figure in a contemporary world. Her first exhibition was dedicated to “La Vérité des Visages,” or “the Truth of Faces,” as she has began investigating identity and incarnation. She has followed these themes within a number of other exhibitions, such as Humans, Curieux face-à-face, Bouche B. In 2019, she participated in the art fair, “Art Up Lille,” and displayed her work in two exhibitions: the first at la galerie du jour agnès b. in Paris, and the second at the 836M Gallery in San Francisco. In 2020, Loo & Lou Gallery welcomes the exhibition, “Find yourself.”

For Elisabeth Daynès, the face is a place of mystery, the opposite of a simple surface that one could view as an ephemeral mask. In the piece Trash, abandoned faces are assembled in a multicolored mound, with red lips resembling flower petals that a distracted hand might have scattered. Fleeting masks that their owners had discarded, who were already taken by dreams of other faces. Here she questions if the lifespan of a face could be similar to one of a flower.

Faces or mirages? Versatile and volatile, these abandoned masks portray a measure of thirst for metamorphosis that agitates society. While science continues to offer us new possibilities, and the rewriting of oneself has become a planetary practice, the artist explores the limits of a future where appearance would be a ready-to-wear garment.

A face could be acquired in the same way and know the fate of any other object… that of being discarded. Elisabeth Daynès believes that the face is, on the contrary, the place for the expression of emotion and thought, as well as the the emergence of being. She embodies this in her hyperrealistic statues, which appear to be astonishingly real. This is made apparent by a plunge into an intense confrontation with lost identity. She expresses it in the woman peering the mirror in quest of her truth, or in the model with her closed eyes, signaling itself from her appeasement.

Poetics of the face are her focus: the celebration of the metaphysical power of a face in Identity, an ode to the vegetal in Les Ménines, and in the effervescent bouquets of blooming mouths. Focusing on one part of the body or the face, isolating and transforming it, Elisabeth Daynès has created surrealist fields of flowering red lips and breasts with tender shades of pink in an unusual nursery of mushrooms. She manages to sublimate anatomical detail by giving it poetic strength and creates an art in details where the detail becomes a world in itself. In this way, she teaches us that the face can become a landscape for those who know how to look at it…

ÉCRITURES AUTOMATIQUES
Tanc
17.01.2020 – 14.03.2020

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Écritures automatiques

Tanc

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
17.01 – 14.03.20

Long before he can recall, Tanc has always considered writing as a refuge. As a young student, he would trick his teachers by filling the pages of his notebooks, not with notes, but with symbols that were as indecipherable as they were fascinating. Today, in the intimacy of his studio, Tanc has continued this mania but has adjusted it to his moods, influences, and current obsessions.

Referencing how the process triumphs over the result, Tanc relies heavily on his gestures, which are both frantic and spontaneous. Following his own rhythm, he uses pulses that evoke his memories, unraveling a language of emotion, regardless of its illegibility, using various materials and supports. The language is meant neither to be imposed on the viewer nor translated. Instead, we are encouraged to make our own interpretations. Although he is capable of engaging himself profoundly until exhaustion in a process, tool, form or style, the evolution of his work becomes clear thanks to his numerous series: the Spheres (an ode to spray paint) through to the series of Oscillations (an exploration in sketching), moving to pieces saturated with scratched and scribbled writing. These series by Tanc thus move towards a more complete array of abstraction. Oil paint is amassed onto the canvas directly from the tube, pressed and squeezed until it is finished, and place in a fashion similar to the stirring of tumultuous ocean waves.

Finally, Tanc’s work would not be entirely complete without a reference to music. As a composer himself, electronic music seems to stem from the same sincere and spontaneous creative process, with a similar sentiment: freedom. Similar to Paul Klee during his time who linked painting and music together, today Tanc explores the point where these two disciplines largely inspire and speak to one another.

Ceaselessly exploring his own psyche, Tanc has left a part of himself in his sonar and visual wakes. The hand that writes or draws, that composes or plays, no matter the words, within language and with writing, seems to be saying the same things.

— Sabella Augusto

ÉCLATS DE NUIT
Tana Borissova
07.02.2020 – 14.03.2020

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Éclats de nuit

Tana Borissova

Loo & Lou Gallery – L’Atelier
07.02 – 14.03.20

The universe is an infinite body dressed in stern and thick paint. Waves of pure, discrete, and shameless energies spread on the canvas, surrendering to the fever of depths. Tana Borissova’s paintings represent a mental storm, the secret inner charms, where in every painting is an immense feeling.

They are wandering and sensual, mystical, astonishing and sumptuous, allusive, possessed, bitten by death-life in a skin-paint. Tracks of beings from the origins are splashed in the night, as marks of life. In the veils and the dark folds of Borissova’s work, appear from the end of times a stretched tension, the density of the night and a seizing and fitful source of presence. Thereby, inflamed bodies become sacred, thanks to the heavy-less troubled lights crossing the rarefied air of psychic rivers.  

It’s the fire of the first embraces, where air is burning, where surfaces corroborate, where every sign become pure. Borissova’s thick skies absorb outlines and turn it into profound brumes, deconstructing the world. Feverish blues of the far reaches, exalt the inside of the human boundless matter. Drive into a corner, Borissova’s work is loaded to the bone. Color is not likened to surfaces anymore, but to thickness.

— Christian Noorbergen

le plus vieux jaillissement est un début
donneur de possibilités il en fait sa cible
l’invisible plus palpitant que le visible
provoque la rencontre

vies et désirs entrechoqués
nouvelle voûte céleste à chaque étincelle
à chaque claquement de porte
l’indomptable sauvage vitalité
se cache sous la couche sereine de la peau

l’élan surgit de la fissure
par les lèvres du temps
dans le mouvement perd du rouge
dans le passage perd du noir

Tana Borissova

NATURE FRAGILE
Louise Frydman
13.11.2019 – 04.01.2020

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NATURE FRAGILE

Louise Frydman

Loo & Lou Atelier – Haut Marais
 13.11.19 – 04.01.20

Art and architecture 

Louise Frydman’s sculptures are presented in a space where they respond to each other until they reveal some aspects of the space, allowing the spectator to have a better understanding of the room. Thus the artist questions the existing link between art and architecture. She wants to remain direct and intimate with the public. She has a poetic vision of the world that invites the imaginary into spaces dedicated to art as well as those accessible to the greatest number of people. New questions and new sensitive experiments are aroused by the installation.

NÉ DU LIMON
Paul de Pignol
06.11.2019 – 04.01.2020

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NÉ DU LIMON

Paul de Pignol

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
05.11.19 – 04.01.20

Here comes the humus’ season, of rot’s proliferation, of leafs’ maceration, by operation of the law according to which anything begotten will be in the proximity of excreting, organs of creation are being combined with those of urine, and everything that will be born will be wrapped by slime, mucus and blood, as well as asparagus’ purity and mint’s greenness comes from manure.

— Alejo Carpentier, extracted from Partage des eaux

Before man and its shape, before what will soon be the field of the original outlines and prints, out of infinity, breaks the wideness of a word fit to the arising of mankind: the landscape.

Man is not born yet or barely born and it has already been given the profusion of the landscape of its birth: mud dig by a shovel, a Garden of Eden molded with a punch, a fertile ground as thick as rough. Here is all it will require for mankind to prosper in its being and initiate its history: a vastness well furnished, slightly aggressive from the assault of the diggings, a land without borders, suitable to blossom of desire. There one word to describe it: silt.

It is the name of the matter as well as the kneading, the name of birth and of belonging. What arises from the protective cocoon is mankind in its primordial and definitive nakedness, holding onto the lean shape of the beginning and the slow length of the first days. Facing the landscape, and within it as well, as it would stand in front of its mother, it becomes the shape of its yearning and an opening for expectation. It can walk, subsequently, as night is fading.

— Claude Louis-Combet, July 2019

TOILES VIVANTES
Lydie Arickx
18.09.2019 – 26.10.2019

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TOILES VIVANTES

Lydie Arickx

Loo & Lou Gallery and L’Atelier – Haut Marais 
18.09 – 26.10.19

Lydie Arickx draws and paints with a violence that is, rather, an expressive hyper sensibility. She fears not being able to create in a large way, and makes work using materials that work for her in that moment, be it with brushes, brooms, or her hands. She needs to be able to go hand-in-hand with her pieces, while experiencing a sort of struggle and groups herself with different materials and elements. Her work is focused on motifs that relate to consecrated expression. She pursues this inspiration through her pieces that she makes in the studio.

Her pieces are to be viewed as captured in an immediate confrontation between the world and human beings. Her large scale paintings and sculptures begin at a special moment of communion between object and experience, and are further developed.

Her large paintings of dissected human bodies or large oceans are above all examples of astonishingly large scale developments of her experiences, with all of their intensity. What is most striking is the sense of “coming and going,” a kind of repetition that occurs between them. No matter the scale, one could say that sincerity and truth reveal that the artist and her emotions are completely present within the works. Each moment her practice has its own purpose, even if it will be taken up again and placed into another experience. There is a way of being for the artist that cannot be improvised, that is probably not even spontaneous, but comes from an asceticism, a conquest of the self and of one’s sensibility.

What is also striking is that the strength of feeling does not envelop anything that is pathos. There is an excess of affect that blunts so many other expressionist approaches. The drawings of dissected bodies, to take the most perilous example, are exceptionally strong but also bear witness to a rejection of the mortuary and the macabre. They are poor human bodies transfigured by the vision of art, brought to another reality by the artist’s gaze. Here, as in the landscape drawings, there is a lyrical feeling. The subject triggers a vibration in the artist that leads to a transfiguration, and this transfiguration no longer brings us into the presence of this or that body but of the human and of life in general. Similarly, in Aux, the dance of death becomes the manifestation of the human in general. In the works by Arickx, the elements, nature, and life manifest through a temperament of fire and ice.

NELSON MAKAMO
29.05.2019 – 27.07.2019

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Nelson Makamo

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais 
29.05 – 27.07.19

Nelson Makamo is an artist based in Johannesburg. He was born in 1982 in a town called Modimolle, in South Africa’s Limpopo province. Gifted with an astounding artistic aptitude in drawing and painting, Makamo honed his craft at Artist Proof Studios in Johannesburg, where he studied printmaking for 3 years.

Makamo has exhibited his work in group and solo exhibitions in South Africa, Europe, England and the US. He has shown in group shows alongside other South African artists, including David Koloane, Colbert Mashile, Deborah Bell, and William Kentridge.

Nelsons work is strongly influenced by the candid innocence of children, particularly those in rural South Africa. He believes that they embody the peace and harmony that we all strive for in life. For him, the search for eternal joy lies in the child within us all, we are just so consumed with worldly things that we forget the simplicity of life that can be found through their perspective.

Makamo’s work is included in many collections such as those of fashion icon Giorgio Armani, musician Annie Lennox, Hanzehof Zutphense Kunst Collectis, DJ Black Coffee, Swizz Beatz, Oprah Winfrey, Ava Duvernay, to name a few.

His most recent achievement is one of his artwork gracing TIME magazine’s cover  for their Special Edition on optimism, which was guest edited by acclaimed film director Ava Duvernay.

MÉTAMORPHE(S)
ARGHAËL
20.03.2019 – 11.05.2019

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Métamorphe(s)

Arghaël

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
20.03 – 11.05.19

Anatomical walls

In Metamorphe(s), Arghaël has prolonged his relationship with the body and accentuated his floating figures. The artist, like an animal searching for the souls of beings and things, hovers over his canvas, unveiling twirling bodies that have a dialogue with the great artists who confronted the determined power of their models, from Egon Schiele to Francis Bacon, through the filiform bodies of Giacometti and the organic faces of Artaud. Arghaël is keen to travel elsewhere, to gallop with materials, to climb a stretched linen rock in order to restore strength, to assault, with an unpremeditated candor.

Living distortions

Flesh emerges… the canvas becomes a new skin where the meeting of the moving artist and the immobile model takes place. The artist is horizontal on all fours on top of the canvas to bring the skin to life, and the stoic model watches this vital agitation that turns their body into raw material. It is a transmutation of the body, a sort of passage and greeting. It is about reaching a moment, allowing accidents to occur, permitting the fine dust of charcoal and pastels to break under the pressure of the artist’s swift gestures. It is about distorting reality and giving birth to a madness of life, of language.

Body mutations

Another vision for Arghaël’s drawings is the transformation of bodies, a kind of metamorphosis. The complex figures tend to mix, evoking both ecstasy and pain in a paradoxical weaving of emotions. The body twists and levitates at the same time, causing suspense, creating an enigma to decipher. This alchemical dance is made by figures who appear genderless. When he draws the body of a woman, he removes certain aspects of her femininity  to create an ambiguous intimate space. Arghaël provokes duels on his canvases, between the model and artist, violence and sweetness, man and woman, fauna and nymph, black charcoal and pastel colors, speed and patience, movement and stillness, sensual caresses and harsh wounds. His works are metamorphoses initiated by a “gaieté noire”, a living vision of the universe as bodies. The artist then invites the visitor to feel the canvas, to feel, as a ricochet, that this meeting has taken place. Thus, he offers us to see flesh anew, the fruit of this mutation of bodies.

— Lionel Dax, extract taken from Métamorphe(s), March 2019

GERMINATION
Paintings and pastels
FRED KLEINBERG
30.01.2019 – 09.03.2019

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Germination

Fred Kleinberg

Loo & Lou Gallery and L’Atelier
30.01 – 09.03.19

This exhibition highlighted the correspondences between human beings and the dynamic principle of nature, inherent to each being. “The transformation of violence into beauty” says Fred Kleinberg leads to a wild nature, another organic face of the interiority. Referencing Cézanne, “The landscape is thought inside me and I am his conscience.” This invocation of nature places the human in a cosmogony that corresponds with the elements, the changing seasons, the cycles of the moon, and alternating tides.

In the large landscape paintings, the viewer discovers a forest, in another canvas, a waterfall. These places, born of Kleinberg’s imagination, are as much reminders of his travels as a desire for nature. They are mental landscapes, marked by the absence of any figure. Here, the landscape becomes a screen of the imagination, a projection space par excellence. For Kleinberg, it is his desire to immerse himself and disappear in the earth. A dialogue is then established on a canvas with the sensations of a landscape: the mist rises in the undergrowth, the lapping of the waves skirting the moss of rocks, the breathing of the humus. “How does one make the life of a leaf, a branch, a trunk palpable, when it becomes alive as in a glance,” says Kleinberg.

In Fred Kleinberg’s drawings/pastels, the human figure is perceived as a composite body, each part of it is connected to the universe, belonging as well to the kingdom of the plants, the mineral and animals. Understood in his relationship with his natural environment, the human becomes a living interface, suggesting a new alliance between nature and culture.

— Extract by Jeanette Zwingenberger.

YOU AND I ARE EARTH
OLIVIER DE SAGAZAN
07.11.2018 – 19.01.2019

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You and I are earth

Olivier de Sagazan

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
07.11.18 – 19.01.19

“From all phenomenons or outbreaks, proper to the living, the most admirable one is the apparition itself.” Thomas Hobbes, by this outstanding ellipsis summaries the mystery of the flesh: conspicuous and psychic. 

Disfiguration in art is the Passage from the “Holy Face” to the “Head of Meat”; a cunning of the artist to try to unfold, to understand the mystery of the flesh, and finally to leave these collective hallucinations that lead to absurd beliefs. Paintings, sculptures, performances, remain for me attempts to seize the logic of the living and to discover its true face: how can the blind matter of the stone become more complex to become clairvoyant to the animal?

“Each living being is a sounding board, a unique “Place” from which a world for itself will open, even if it is a bacterium, a toad, or a human being. I would like to surprise and delight myself with the theater played in each organization.”

— Olivier de Sagazan

After the exhibition Êtres-Chairs at the Franciscan Chapel, Olivier de Sagazan carries on with his exploration of the theme of the living at the gallery Loo & Lou which takes for the occasion the appearance of a curiosity cabinet.

“I work mainly with clay and grass that form a kind of mud. Technique used for thousands of years to build walls, but which is also exciting to achieve the support of a painting or sculpture. I deeply love this material because it speaks to our origins. All my exhibitions could actually be called You and I are Earth. There is in each of us a link to the earth that has brought life. The Earth, our planet appears to me as a kind of great vital organism that we must protect.”

— Olivier de Sagazan

L’ÉTERNITÉ ET UN JOUR
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BALLOT
09.11.2018 – 18.01.2019

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L’ÉTERNITÉ ET UN JOUR

Jean-Christophe Ballot

Loo & Lou Gallery – George V
09.11.2018 – 18.01.2019

The title of the exhibition – L’éternité et un jour – meaning “The eternity and one day” is from the movie of Theo Angelopoulos, awarded in Cannes in 1998. By associating two relations with time, the title of the exhibition expresses the complexe relationship we have with the Vanity figure : permanency and finiteness.

This determination to capture and to make visible the work of time is orienting the work of the photographer and had to lead him one day to measure himself explicitly with the Vanities. Whether the rituals are Christian or animistic, we find the skull, reality as well as motive of the universal memento mori (remember that you will die).

On the occasion of an artist’s residency at the monastery of Saorge (residence managed by the Center of National Monuments) during the summer 2017, Jean-Christophe Ballot developed a body of work on the theme of the Vanities.
The artist took with him two resin skulls designed for medical students. He delicately burnished the white surface of the first and painted the second in gold.

For this work, the photographer took the shots with a digital camera. To suit the whims and fantasies of the subjects, he developed his pictures in black & white or in color, printing in formats ranging from 40x60cm to 100x150cm and on supports as varied as the prints black and white, on baryta paper, lambda impressions or pigmentary. He attached great importance choosing the paper, its qualities of restitution and the subject of the image.

Beyond the operating methode, each image offers a poetic, philosophical or spiritual reflection. Through his work, Jean Christophe Ballot invites spectators to meditation.

FLORILEGES
TONY SOULIÉ
14.09.2018 – 27.10.2018

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FLORILEGES

Tony Soulié

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
14.09 – 27.10.18

Loo & Lou Gallery – George V
21.09 – 26.10.18

With FLORILEGES, Tony Soulié delivers his most accomplished pictorial act, the most rebellious, the freest, too, in the shape of a flamboyant and optimistic ode to the inventive strength of the man who can break all the shackles.

He begins by breaking the one of the image that he says “now too full of technology”, a saturation that makes him lose sense. No mistake! The artist does not create a dialogue between photography and painting, but questions the painting, the representation, the emergence of abstraction, the poetry of the in-between. In fact, he searches the wasteland of the image, its distancing, the form never made, the overspray of the painting to let it “shake its colored petals”.

Tony Soulié performs the image as a welcomed murder of the photography. He plays his thriller with scratches, colored drownings, cut-outs within the texture of the image like so many black holes of the matterial and the representation, like so many holes of memory and their beautiful break, a nod to Matisse too.

With his FLORILEGES, the artist slips even behind the image. He begins by tearing off the photographic film to reveal the flesh where he will grow his flowers. If we have known the artist seeking the shape of cities around the world, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, his new cartography is Botany, “a daily flowering”.

TONY SOULIÉ

Florilèges
Exposition du 14.09.18 au 27.10.18

VIDEO : Flowers

L’IMPERMANENCE
Catherine Wilkening – Jean-Christophe Ballot
22.06.2018 – 04.08.2018

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L’IMPERMANENCE

Catherine Wilkening
porcelain sculptures

Jean-Christophe Ballot
photographs

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
22.06.2018 – 04.08.2018

Catherine Wilkening

“Many years ago, I felt the need to put my hands in the soil, in this organic matter. This feeling imposed itself on me and became vital. Sniffing, kneading, crumpling, smashing, clawing the matter until the form comes out…

The clay is a living material dictating its own laws, which demands attention, a particular listening, it’s my guide in our union; just my fingers, no tools between her and I, a fight with bare hands, a fierce and wild battle creating a balance game, I look for the flaw, I flirt with the danger, I explore the junction point, the ultimate point of balance, the moment when everything changes, where the accident springs forth, when the encounter occurs, which gives life, when the clay asserts itself and imposes itself in the creation. Sculpture is born.

7 years ago, it is the meeting with the porcelain, the desire to reach more softness in my works attracts me. Leaving aside the monsters with tortured forms sprung from a fight with raw material, I decided to confront myself with the whiteness, this new medium, its purity and its extreme fineness. The magic happens, very quickly I understand that the only way for this clay to take shape is to give it love and patience. My appeasement will not pass by violence, but by tranquility.

My sculptures have always been inspired by the female figure, with the obsessional themes of : birth, chaos, death, then rebirth. Creating constantly, from a sensation, a word, an image that obsesses me or imposes itself in a given moment. Since life is Impermanence, since we never cease to be born, to be no longer, not yet to be…”

— Catherine Wilkening

Jean-Christophe Ballot

Architect D.P.L.G., Jean-Christophe Ballot graduated from the National School of Arts Decoratifs and from FEMIS. In 1991 he had a residency at the Villa Medicis. His work is about space, from urban and industrial landscapes to natural settings filled with spirits. The artist settles himself in places of memories.

His photographic work on the subject of vanities was presented for the first time at the Loo & Lou Gallery in June 2018 on the occasion of the exhibition Impermanence. They will come has another reflection around the crucifixes of Catherine Wilkening. He also exhibited his works during a solo exhibition at Loo & Lou Gallery in November 2018.

Jean-Christophe Ballot has built his body of work on a creed: that photography is, in the words of Roland Barthes, a “That-has-been”. This determination to grasp and make visible time’s work, which directed his work, lead the artist to measure himself explicitly with the Vanities. Whether the rituals are Christian or animist, we find the skull as a reality as well as a motif of the universal memento mori (a reminder that you will die).

“My photographs question memory, they relate to the history of these places and their transformations. What is essential is exercising a relationship with the void, which is at the center of all my photographic works, and my reflection. I am looking to suspend time and create photography that is contemplative.” 

— Jean-Christophe Ballot

CARTE BLANCHE (2)
AT3LI3ER V3LAZQU3Z
17.01.2020 – 31.01.2020

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CARTE BLANCHE (2)

TO THE ARTISTS OF THE
CASA DE VELÁZQUEZ 2019-2020

Loo & Lou Gallery — L’Atelier
17.01 – 31.01.2020

In September 2019, the 15 artists of the 90th class of the Académie de France in Madrid moved into the studios of the Casa de Velázquez. Through the follow-up of their creative residency, we were able to witness the birth of new works, linked to the project that each of the residents had proposed as the main theme of their year in Spain. The first lines of force of a work in progress were already emerging, taking shape, evolving and sometimes mutating from month to month. They invited Claire PERESSOTTI – author and winner of the 2019 Madrid Prize – to accompany them in the adventure through a text that she created especially for them, inspired by the conception of the exhibition.

Hybrid and multiple, AT3LI3R V3LÁZQU3Z was above all a curatorial experiment by the artists themselves. By moving the creative process from Madrid to Paris, from the Casa de Velázquez to the Atelier of the Loo & Lou Gallery, it is indeed at the heart of a work in progress, with shifting lines, that the artists have proposed to immerse us. Drawing its inspiration from Matisse’s The Red Studio, the central concept of the exhibition established a mirror game between the space of creation and the space of display. The works were intermingled with objects of various kinds, as transitional elements between the act of creating and that of exhibiting. By lifting the veil on what usually takes place in the intimacy of the studio, the exhibition invited us to dive into the heart of the artistic process by giving us a lively overview of the work in residence.

Visible from 17 to 31 January 2020 at the Atelier of the Loo & Lou Gallery (Paris, 3rd arrondissement), AT3LI3R V3LÁZQU3Z was also an opportunity for a new synergy with a place which, like the Casa de Velázquez, aims to be an incubator for innovative practices and a creative laboratory. While support for artists obviously involves day-to-day assistance, it is also based on the weaving of quality collaborations that, year after year, build a solid distribution network committed to young contemporary creation.

THOMAS ANDREA BARBEY (drawing), JONATHAN BELL (music composition), PIERRE BELLOT (painting), MARINE DE CONTES (film), HUGO DEVERCHÈRE (sculpture), CLÉMENT FOURMENT (engraving), ÉTIENNE HAAN (music composition), SARA KAMALVAND (architecture), LETICIA MARTÍNEZ PÉREZ (visual arts), BENJAMIN MOULY (photography), FRANCISCO RODRÍGUEZ TEARE (video), GUILLAUME VALENTI (painting), KEKE VILABELDA (visual arts), JUSTIN WEILER (painting), KATARZYNA WIESIOLEK (drawing)

 

CARTE BLANCHE (1)
Clara Daquin
21.06.2018 – 03.08.2018

Written by Matthew Hong on . Posted in exhibitions.

UNE LÉGÈRE OSCILLATION

CARTE BLANCHE (1)
À CLARA DAQUIN

Chloé JULIEN
Florian MERMIN
NIDGÂTÉ
Inès PANIZZI
Julia PITAUD
Loo & Lou Gallery — George V
21.06 – 03.08.2018
« Il est ici irréparablement, jamais ailleurs. Mon corps, c’est le contraire d’une utopie, ce qui n’est jamais sous un autre ciel, il est le lieu absolu, le petit fragment d’espace avec lequel, au sens strict, je fais corps » — Le corps utopique , Michel Foucault, 1966

A slight oscillation gathers the works of five artists, offering a glimpse on this curious partner called body. Michel Foucault, in his conference Le corps utopique (Utopian body) of 1966, describes it as a confinement, an “ugly shell of [his] head” in which utopias are born. The true utopia would be a place out of every place, where we would have a body without body, bright and clear. Here, in this dark place, the artists exhibit stranges objects revealing their own personal utopias. Hands, gloves, seconds skins, chair and cloak, shine in this ancient curiosity cabinet. The objects, organics and unusual, live in the same place and share among them.

The works of this exhibition tell the great gap between what happens within us and what happens in the vastness of the universe ; the power that emotions sometimes have, a shake almost imperceptible in the world.  The body is a strange travel compartment and our relationships with others spread through it ; physical proximity is often the promise of emotional distance, and vice versa. Man escapes the body through dreams but it is the hands which make the artist. As Henry Focillon mentions in Eloge de la main (1934), a man dreaming cannot create for his hands are laying dormant  “art is done by hands.”

In his book A slight oscillation, Sylvain Tesson describes the daily work of a diarist as a possibility of saving itself from internal and external chaos. It is the same mechanism for the artists of this exhibition : create in order to smooth the inner effervescence.

VERTIGE DU MONDE
Flo Arnold
26.04.2018 – 09.06.2018

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VERTIGE DU MONDE

Flo Arnold

Loo & Lou Gallery – L’Atelier
26.04 – 09.06.2018

Flo Arnold, Installation, papier hydrofuge sur laiton gainé, led, 600 x 340 cm, 2018 © Flo Arnold

Flo Arnold creates for the Atelier an installation called “Vertige du Monde”. This germination of organic flows in backlit paper, with sound system, comes to devour the space like a luxuriant vegetation. The architecture of the place disappears under a spotless waterfall. The visual artist with this artwork emphasizes on the fact that each of us, in order to forget the dizziness of the world all around, must live in a borderless sphere, without limit in the search for an inner peace.

FLO ARNOLD

Vertige du Monde
Exposition du 26.04.18 au 09.06.18
VIDEO : Montage de l’exposition Vertige du Monde

TERRITOIRE UNIQUE
Christophe Miralles
26.04.2018 – 09.06.2018

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TERRITOIRE UNIQUE

Christophe Miralles

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
26.04.2018 – 09.06.2018

Christophe Miralles propose series of oil paintings, papers and lacquers gathered under the title of Territoire Unique. He is addressing humanity, travels, tolerance. Colors are burning his paintings, ignite the space and ashes are dropping off on the big black sheets of paper. His paintings root in the very moment of our contemporary society. A territory that he wishes to be unique for all.

LA FOLLE QUI RIT
Didier Genty
16.02.2018 – 14.04.2018

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LA FOLLE QUI RIT

Didier Genty

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
14.02 – 14.04.2018
Loo & Lou Gallery – George V
08.03 – 09.06.2018

They make a head of them, the beings portrayed by Didier Genty! Torn apart, illuminated, they seem to be made up of incandescent neon lights, intertwined tunnels, networks of all kinds, all in action. Everything moves all the time … Says Françoise Monnin visiting her studio.

Thirty years ago, it was a wax work, on large photographic prints. Self-portraits, in fact. Then, came other doctored faces, exploiting the possibilities of the computer. Return to painting, finally, by need to entirely scaffold structures, to reconstruct… By pleasure, too: to find again sensations felt in front of some paintings of Velasquez, Rembrandt or Bacon, and even more in front of Artaud’s drawings. “He always haunted me”.

“I like the muscles, the blood circulation, the underside of the skin… Identity is DNA, invisible, inner. My portraits are more related to the deep being of an individual, beyond appearances. In the face, I prefer his imprint. I thus avoid the complacency inherent to the practice of portraiture and self-portraiture, for which I prefer to use a camera! (…) My painting like this Folfiri, my chemotherapy, flows in the features of these nauseous still lifes and in these bodies in jolts, slumped. From within things, flesh and moods swarm all over the surface and thickness, the scratches of color, the waxy, brutal and uncompromising features. A big tiredness, a bad taste in the mouth, the body is undoubtedly diminished but the painting remains very alive, question of survival”.

— Didier Genty, 2017

Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais
14.02.2018 – 14.04.2018

Loo & Lou Gallery – George V
08.03 – 09.06.2018

GRAVITÉ
Lydie Arickx
13.09.2017 – 20.01.2018

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GRAVITÉ

Lydie Arickx

Loo & Lou Gallery – George V
13.09.17 – 20.01.18
Loo & Lou Gallery – Haut Marais 
15.09.17 – 20.01.18

Gravity in the proper sense is one of the four fundamental forces of the universe. The one that attracts the massive bodies between them, the one that creates us, structures and makes us turn around the stars of the cosmos. But not far from the inexorable falling bodies and laws of physics, Lydie Arickx is also interested in feelings, those who oscillate between gravity and careless weightlessness.

Painting becomes the incarnation of an energy given anew by the look. But when Arickx’s painting is made of flesh and bones, her sculpture is much more mystical, as id it was disintegrated from the world from the very hand that created it. Earth becomes concrete, concrete becomes bronze, bronze becomes crystal, crystal becomes spirit.

Gravity thus becomes a path, a heavenly way from earth to weightlessness, passing through all the states of a cataclysmic creation that explodes and implants at the rhythm of an incantatory pulsation. The initial gravity becomes lightness and gravity gives way to joy ; the very one that invades the artist completing his work, or tearing off the canvas that did not want to be painted.

LYDIE ARICKX
GRAVITÉ

Exposition du 13.09.17 au 20.01.18