@ardeinv
adrien.vescovi@gmail.com

Biography

Adrien Vescovi living and working in Marseille for a few years after a long isolated practice in the mountains of Haute-Savoie. The artist reinvests with contemporary issues the free canvas and a painting thought on an architectural or natural scale. Adrien also carries out an in situ practice with a reflection on the history of the places he invests, the specificities of the architecture and composes a spatial organization of his work to echo the contexts in which he is invited.

Born in 1981, he is a graduate of the Ecole supérieure d’art de l’agglomération d’Annecy, his work was presented in Belgium, Denmark and Mexico. In 2017 he made a residency and exhibition at the Cyclop in Milly-en-Forêt. In 2019 his work will be presented at the Galerie des Ponchettes with the MAMAC of Nice, at the Villa Noailles, at the Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Haute-Vienne (Rochechouart ), at the Palais de Tokyo and at the MRAC of Sérignan.

His works are in the collections of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes and Frac PACA.

Credits

Web design & development : oreliostudio.com

CV

2000 – 2006 Ecole supérieure d’art de l’agglomération d’Annecy (DNSEP)

*Upcoming and current

2020 Crystal Clear, Pera Museum, Istanbul / TUK
Prix Ricard, Fondation Pernod Ricard, Paris / FR

*Solo shows

2020 Slow Down Abstractions, Studio Fotokino, Marseille / FR
2019 Mnemosyne, Galerie des Ponchettes, MAMAC, Nice / FR
2019 mens momentanea, 7 Clous, Marseille / FR
2017 For the memory of a life time, ChezNeon, Lyon / FR
2017 Mnemonics, Galerie Ceysson Benetiere, Saint-Etienne / FR
2017 Résidence et exposition, Le Cyclop, Milly-la Forêt / FR
2016 Turn off the lights, Casa de Francia, Institut Français d’Amériques Latines, Mexico / MX
2015 Amnesia, Tripode, Rezé / FR
2015 3XL – DSCN1989, Nosbaum Reding Project / LUX
2014 Sugar and spice, Galerie TORRI, Paris / FR
2013 Afterwards, Mosquito Coast Factory, Campbon / FR
2013 Brain Freeze, Glassbox, Paris / FR

*Group shows and other medium

2020 Sur pierres brûlantes, Triangle France – Astérides / Ateliers de la Ville de Marseille, Friche La Belle de Mai, Marseille / FR
2020 Your Friends and Neighbors, High Art Gallery, Paris / FR
2019 Par hasard, Centre de la Vieille Charité & La friche Belle de Mai, Marseille / FR
2019 Futur, ancien, fugitif , Palais de Tokyo, Paris / FR
2019 La mesure du monde, MRAC, Sérignan / FR
2019 Festival international de mode de Hyères, Villa Noaille, Hyères / FR
2019 Viridarium Chymicum, San Sebastiano da Po, IT (residency)
2018 Accrochage dans la collection, Musée d’Arts de Nantes / FR
2018 Biennial IntoNature , Curated by Hans der Hartog Jager, Frederiksoord / NL
2018 Rapido Rapido , Collection N9, Interior and the Collectors, Noirmoutier / FR
2018Sometimes, however I am called to action by the siren song of the narrative faction , Curated by Furiosa Monaco, Marseille / FR
2018 Norma, Curated by Maud Salembier, Maison Pelgrims, Bruxelles / BE
2018 Aller-Retour, Belsunce Projects, Marseille / FR
2017 Club Andalouse, curated by Marie de Gaulejac, Paris / FR
2017 Back to the peinture, La Station, Nice / FR
2017 Villa Datris, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue / FR
2016 Don’t read books, Chez Neon, Lyon / FR
2016 In & out, Villa du Parc, Annemasse / FR
2016 30 ans déjà, Villa du Parc, Annemasse / FR
2016 Art Ephémère, Marseille / FR
2016 Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris / FR
2016 One Thousand Books, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhague / D
2016 Sequoya Dream, La Galerie, Noisy-le-sec / FR
2015 Problème de type Grec, sur une invitation de Jagna Ciuchta, La Galerie, Noisy-le-sec / FR
2015 My internet…, Galerie Jeanroch Dard, Bruxelles / BE
2014 (IM)MATERIEL, Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris / FR
2014 Le corps invisble, Galerie Edouard Manet, Gennevilliers / FR
2014 Rien de plus tout du moins, sur une invitation de Benoît-Marie Moriceau, Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine / FR
2014 Art is hope, Palais de Tokyo, Paris / FR
2013 Une nouvelle unité , Les loges de la bastide Saint-Joseph, Marseille / FR
2013 Romantic duo,  Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille / FR
2013 Looking for Vidéo, Galerie Claudine Papillon, Paris / FR
2012 Keep me in suspense, The Central House of Artists, Moscou / RUS
2012 Bauhaus. Entretenir des choses matérielles, Kunstforum, Essen / DE
2012 Désarchitecture, Galerie Gourvennec Ogor, Marseille / FR
2012 Centre Aéré, Galerie de l’ENSAN, Nancy / FR
2011 Inauguration, Galerie Gourvennec Ogor, Marseille / FR
2011 Vigoureuse Affection, A l’atelier, Ivry-Sur-Seine / FR
2011 Ecole alternative bAbA, Paris / FR
2011 Colloque « L’aire du Jeu », INHA, Paris / FR
2011 Grand concours de tableaux monochromes, Galerie Jean Brolly, Paris / FR
2010 Aires de Jeux, Centre d’art Micro Onde, Vélizy-Villacoublay / FR
2010 Ils chantent et ils jouent, les gens entrent, Maison des Arts, Grand Quevilly / FR
2010 Collection Permanente, Mains d’oeuvres, Saint-Ouen / FR
2010 55e Salon de Montrouge / FR
2009 Opération tonnerre, Mains d’oeuvres, Saint-Ouen / FR
2009 Ligne à ligne, Galerie Nationale d’Indonésie, Jakarta
2009 Déminage, MAMAC, Liège / BE
2008 Playtime, Béton Salon, Paris / FR

*Public Collections

2019 CNAP / FR
2019 MAMAC / Nice / FR
2016 Musée des beaux arts de Nantes / FR
2012 FRAC PACA / FR
2011 Conseil Général des Côtes d’Armor / FR
2009 Ville de Montrouge /FR

*Residencies 

2016 Cité internationale des Arts, Paris / FR
2014 Summer Lake, Annecy / FR
2009 Triangle France, Marseille / FR

*Publications

2020 Les inrockuptibles, 14.09.2020, Des artistes exposent leur singularité “Sur pierres brûlantes”, Ingrid Luquet-Gad
2020 Paris Match, 30.07.2020, Les bouillons artistiques d’Adrien Vescovi, Anaël Pigeat
2019 TL Magazine n°32, Interview par Rachel Moron
2019 Les inrockuptibles, 6.11.2019, Résiste, Ingrid Luquet-Gad
2019 The Drawer, revue de dessin, Volume 17 – Rose
2019 Palais n° 30, Futur, ancien, fugitif, le magazine du Palais de Tokyo
2019 Catalogue 003, 34e Festival International de mode, de photographie et d’accesossoires de mode, Hyères, La Ville Noailles
2019 Madame Figaro, n°1849, Marseille l’art de vibre, Lisa Vignoli
2019 La Marseillaise, Novembre 2019, Adrien Vescovi, Alchimiste de la couleur par Alain Paire
2019 Narthex, « Mnémosyme » : l’infusion du temps, au MAMAC hors-les-murs à Nice par Odile de Loisy
2018 ArtPresse, Les galeries d’art contemporain de la province au monde, par Alain Quemin
2017 Monsieur Météo, Entretiens, Mouvement par Alain Berland
2017 Milly-la-Forêt : les artistes invités au Cyclop célèbrent le hasard, Le Parisien, Cécile Chevalier
2017 Crash Magazine n°79, par Dorothée Dupsuis
2014 Adrien Vescovi : support, surface et Lune, Quotidien de l’Art, par Jullie Portier
2010 A New Dynasty, Catalogue Contemporary Art Magazine, Numéro 3, Isabelle Le Normand

 

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“A few months ago, for example,” wrote Yves Klein in his Chelsea Hotel Manifesto, “I felt the urge to register the signs of atmospheric behaviour by recording the instantaneous traces of spring showers on a canvas, of southerly winds, and of lightning (needless to say, the last-mentioned ended in a catastrophe). For instance, a trip from Paris to Nice might have been a waste of time had I not spent it profitably by recording the wind. I placed a canvas, freshly coated with paint, on the roof of my white Citroën. As I drove down Route National 7 at 100 kilometres an hour, the heat, the cold, the light, the wind, and the rain all combined to age my canvas prematurely.” “After all,” he concluded, “my aim is to extract and obtain the trace of the immediate from all natural objects, whatever their origin – be they human, animal, vegetable, or atmospheric.”

Making the journey from Marseille to Nice at the start of summer 2019 to attend the opening of Adrien Vescovi’s show at the Galerie des Ponchettes, I found myself thinking about the trips Vescovi had often made between Paris and the Savoie with his rolled canvases, then latterly between Paris and Marseille, and my mind drifted to the image of the artist’s large canvases now hung facing the ocean on the Promenade des Anglais, exposed to the wind and the sun for several months, and to Adrien’s statement that his paintings function to “register the landscape”. Adrien Vescovi’s paint work is a rather curious dish. Without the assistance of a roller or brush, he instead cooks his canvases in an infusion of plants picked from the alpine pastures of the Savoie before offering them up to the elements. “To read making longitudinally, as a confluence of forces and materials, rather than laterally, as a transposition from image to object, is to regard it as such a form-generating – or morphogenetic – process,” wrote the anthropologist Tim Ingold. “This is to soften any distinction we might draw between organism and artefact.” Vescovi’s paintings, which might better be termed dyes, are therefore the product of different atmospheric forces which all have a stake in the outcome of the processes put in place by the artist – processes that result in the canvas “loading” or rather “taking on” the landscape in which they are inscribed: components in a temporality of faire – doing – that shifts to share itself with a more passive laisser-faire. A useful parallel might be drawn with the artist Vivian Suter who, after a storm which ravaged her studio in the Guatemalan jungle and lashed the canvases stored there with rain, earth and leaves, decided to leave her paintings out in the open air and to use what the environment had put at her disposal as paint: the juice of herbs, flowers and plants. In this way she used unexpected obstacles for her own purposes rather than trying to combat or protect herself from them. The developing bath of plant infusions in which Vescovi soaks and boils his canvases is not to be found in the darkness of a lab but in the open air, where the canvases are quite literally exposed and sometimes even overexposed to the light that accelerates their disintegration. Heatstroke. This makes me think of the heatstroke to which the artist Katinka Bock makes her folded materials vulnerable, placing them directly under the sunlight on the roofs of the museums in which she has been invited to exhibit. As I wrote in an essay dedicated to Bock’s work, these processes don’t undermine the activeness of the artist’s hand, but rather allow forms to be inscribed in temporalities which might otherwise have passed them by, thereby creating an equilibrium between human and atmospheric forces. Notions of disclosure and unveiling endow this materialist phenomenology with an unexpected sort of spirituality. The way Adrien Vescovi arranges his canvases – sewed together so that large sections of colour are suspended or superimposed on top of each other – constitutes a strange hieratic assemblage. Might this be due to the fact that apart from the cotton of his canvases he also uses embroidered and embellished bed covers as material: pieces of fabric from another era which evoke the material used to make chasubles? At the Galerie des Ponchettes, Vescovi’s works are arranged so as to resemble a church’s nave and the public is free to circulate among large strips of free-hanging fabric, while jars containing his colourful concoctions are placed on the floor alongside ropes that run the length of the gallery walls, giving the impression of a ritualistic or even liturgical apparatus, which nonetheless has nothing confessional about it. One might be more inclined to draw parallels with Hélio Oiticica’s ‘Parangolés’, performed on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, or with Franz Erhard Walther’s colourful wall formations which Vescovi would have encountered as a regular visitor to Mamco when he was a student in Geneva. There are so many ways of making paintings experiential, of uniting the living, moving body with colour; of producing an unfolding, an extension of the head-on relationship with the painting in order to generate a more immersive environment from the coloured surface, as evidenced in Vescovi’s installation at the Palais de Tokyo where the arrangement of suspended canvases over 16-feet in length created a vast tent through which the public could walk. This sort of shelter undoes any notion of monumentality. A critic once compared Walther’s works to “sleeping giants” but one might rather confer a metaphysical and meditative propensity to their overpowering size and the silence that it provokes, rather than a form of disempowering domination. Folded in such a way as to give shelter, the canvas offers a form of immersion and absorption which thwarts any of the aggressiveness that might commonly be associated with monumentality.

The colours Vescovi uses are impure – neither bright nor strong – though this statement could probably do with further nuance and revaluation because Vescovi’s latest work, exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, includes much more radiant colours for the first time and strangely recalls the shades of Georgia O’Keeffe’s layered landscapes of skies, deserts and flowers, arranged in more stratified layers than in his previous work. Due to the experimental aspect of Vescovi’s process, colours are usually washed out, stained and mottled so that they never become abstractions. These colours inscribe the paintings within a period of time, and consequently reference the human in all its impurity, finitude and vulnerability.

The same can be said of the pieces in which Vescovi presents canvases rolled around old steel bars whose rust at times seeps through and engulfs the fabric.  The comparison with ancient manuscript seems difficult to avoid but Vescovi is more interested in the process of oxidisation which usually goes unnoticed. Around a sculpture of a Cyclops in the forêt de Milly near Fontainebleau, Vescovi placed white cotton canvases, lain over steel rails, held together by wooden logs and iron bars, which quickly became swollen with water and covered in leaves. His aim was to obtain a trace of the immediate. Immaculate canvases corrupted by time and meteorology: another way of negotiating monumentality and vulnerability.

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Adrien Vescovi by François Piron
Réseau documents d’artistes, december 2019

Known as the main protagonist within the plant kingdom, chlorophyll absorbs the red and blue components from sunlight, which it transforms into vital energy. It is for that matter, and in a magical sort of way, the only structure that can transform the plain encounter of cyan and magenta into a brilliant mint green. This natural element is one of the main ingredients in Adrien Vescovi’s mixtures, infusions, and other painting mixes. Through a process akin to dye, he develops a substance’s active principle by boiling a liquid and progressively tinting the canvases. His fabric is structure-free, the frames disappear only to reappear in another form: at times as improvised seating for the viewers, a Jansenestic bed base, or a colored-pigment mixing tablet. Disrupting the frame itself, he removes the painting from the roughly comfortable minimal surfaces onto which we are invited to contemplate, observe, or appreciate a desalinated landscape.

In the same way colors in tubes cause a revolution among artists linked to Impression, soleil levant, Adrien Vescovi deconstructs the painting medium and surface with every migration of his studio, switching from a more simple and common vertical apprehension, to a new horizontally engineered one.

Indeed this shift not only concerns the painting’s subject but also the place in which the painting appears. It is with this mindset that he builds each one of his permeable studios, capable of adapting to a valley, to a garden or a street, a city, a suburb, in the daytime or at night. Though a long way from the boats in Argenteuil, from the majestic cathedrals, or joys one can experience visiting the Norman countryside, there still remains a common interest in faithfully reproducing a light that conjures an impressionist meteorology.

In fact, these perceptible climatic changes compose the essence of his painting, whether it is temporarily installed on a roof in the passage des Cloys, at a ski resort near the Swiss border, or in the middle of the street, during his residency at the gallery in Noisy le Sec. Adrien Vescovi’s paintings are windows exposed to the sky’s fluctuations, balancing between crepuscular and diurnal rays, on which ultraviolet and infrared impressions naturally predominate. They are later associated and assembled together. These epitomes of constant nomadism appear to us as scenes of light, brightly colorful or tie and dye constructions, they are transported, hanged, and sometimes abandoned. Their more recent form echoes a suspension or hammock: a temporary resting place that symbolizes leisure but also an invitation to take a nap, out of sight. This makeshift bed offers isolation without extracting the sleeper from the exhibition and its context. What more splendid feeling than to be literally cradled by a painting?

This hanging sleeping bag evokes the panoramas and other pictorial renditions of endless color ranges or a certain garden in Giverny – the truly noteworthy element of Monet’s home in the Parisian suburbs. And yet, this ephemeral vessel could also be the fruit of a sort of islander seclusion, motivated by the pleasures of solitude, by the life and strange surprizing adventures of Robinson Crusoe, the sailor who spent 28 years on an un-inhabited island on the coast of America.

Arlène Berceliot Courtin, May 2016

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The forest beyond reason by Arlène Berceliot Courtin
Les ateliers d’artistes de la Ville de Marseille, May 2016

Adrien Vescovi is a French artist based between Paris and Les Gets, in the Haute-Savoie department. For years now he has been developing a practice at the crossroads between painting and artisanal textile work, often in the form of monumental pieces that question the traditional painting format but also our relationship to landscape and abstraction. His installation for the Casa de Francia gallery is in two parts: five large format “paintings”, whose canvases are transformed by the sun, rain, and infusions made from plants found around his studio in Savoie, share the space with an in situ installation soaking in the pools facing the gallery, in which pieces of fabric are immersed in a juice of local plants and pigments for the duration of the exhibition. Once the exhibition is over, they will be sent back to France and become elements for future art works, laden with the Mexican climate and landscapes.

Interview between Adrien Vescovi and Dorothée Dupuis, Mexico City, September 16, 2016

You graduated from the Beaux-Arts in Annecy in 2006. We met when I was at the head of the residency program at Triangle France in Marseille in 2010. At that time, you were still doing a lot of video, performance, installation, and drawing. Painting didn’t yet play an important role in your work. Would you agree there was a turning point in your work and when would you say that it occurred?

Everything went very quickly once I started working with fabric. But really, these considerations had always been there, they just became more established and progressively defined. For instance, some of the things that I make today are manipulations I had experimented with as a student: I projected objects onto canvases, their shapes were abstract and I would paint them in black and white – I’ve always had these questions of light and abstraction in mind. When we met at Triangle, I was working on the “Aires de Jeu” drawings (Vanishing Point, 2010). What first started as a well-defined, functionalist drawing then drifted into something completely different. Painting was something I always contemplated, even if I’d put it aside. In 2012 I walked past a storefront that was under construction and hidden by a giant piece of fabric that was gradually covered with dust, dirt, and graffiti… the first textile works stemmed from that.

I find it exciting that you seem to have found a work protocol – you call it a “form” – with which you are comfortable and able to produce fluently: I feel that is something essential in any meaningful artistic practice, no matter the medium or subject. By focusing your practice around certain specific issues – you call them “painting questions” – of color, composition, format, craft, you place it both within a Western art history and in  discussions of painting. Daniel Dewar uses the word “post-minimal” to define practices that attempt to question – and transcend – the relationship between an art work and its production, posited by 60s and 70s minimalism. Minimalism extended its experimentations from the pictorial space to a three dimensional space, by introducing a modern approach to objects in relation to their means of production and indirectly exposing social issues linked to these production methods: especially the relationship between art and craft, craftsmanship. How does your practice associate with these questions?

I’m a very formal person: form is what allows a discourse per se, to develop. This is an interesting aspect of Reto Pulfer’s work for example. Without the process, there is no work, and ultimately there’s often nothing left but traces. At first I worked with raw material. Then one day, I left two big canvases outside my studio (in Paris at the time) and they slowly became discolored, leaving a natural pattern behind. After a series of works created in Paris (Through, Twin Bubble Gum, Grey Memory, 2013/14) I decided to set my studio up in my grandfather’s old woodworking shop in the Alps because the rays of light there are stronger, which accelerates the work process. My second work session there was during the fall, the trees had turned yellow, red, orange – it was beautiful and I hadn’t experienced fall in the mountains for a while. So that’s when I started the decoctions: it came from a simple desire of making a “juice” from this landscape. Until now it’s only ever produced a pretty common brown: it’s more of a conceptual gesture, an idea, even if I try to come up with new colors. I’m currently researching natural colors that are produced elsewhere – I’m planning to go to India soon – where the minerals offer different opportunities, particularly in relation with desert landscapes that are of course a reference in 60s and 70s American art, which you mentioned earlier.

You commented on mysticism earlier: you seem to think there is an absolute and spiritual dimension in art and painting. If one were to consider that many of today’s practices  attempt to recreate typical gestures from Western modern art and appeal to painting as a symbol of a pre-state of representation, something primitive, opposable to artistic movements like relational practices or to new technologies, like the Post-Internet movement – though they do it in a very citational way – it almost seems like a heroic quest, and yet very conservative and nostalgic. Your work makes me think of the Myth of Sisyphus, in the sense that it allows you to detach yourself through a certain poetry – though we should be careful with poetry’s catch-all concept – and many of your actions are useless in a plastic sense, they are invisible to the eye.

I tell myself that every time! I’m in the studio, repeating these gestures that take hours without really knowing what shapes will come out of them, what colors. I like that haziness, though I’m getting better at managing the processes, at knowing when something will come out of them or not. Ironically, there’s a specific way to get unexpected results, you go through repetition, displacements, shifts. These are important notions that Deleuze spoke about in “Différence et répétition.”

It’s like Rosalind Krauss’ essay on the grid, except my surface is the studio’s facade, and my system is irregular. I don’t want to give “identifiable” signs or tell stories. I work by  deconstructing patterns.

Is technique important to you?

I don’t know. There has to be a bit of control. I try to apply myself. I’m very methodical, I need the space to be well thought out. Every day when I come in, I organize my work space, it’s a way of focusing, entering a sort of meditative state, like a trance.

But really the meditation comes when I’m sewing: when I’m sewing 7 meters of fabric together, the sound of the machine becomes hypnotic . I have a hard time concentrating, probably because of a snowboarding accident I had when I was 23 and still a student in art school: I was in a coma for 24 hours. I did some research on memory disorders and realized that a ton of people had them, that they are also a consequence of modern life and my work allows me to address that, through questions of traces, of material that are loaded and unloaded with information which we ultimately don’t see. I repeat absurdly rigorous gestures as a means of not losing track.

You mention the way a serious accident that you experienced personally has instilled your artistic practice which is both formal and abstract. In that same sense, it’s interesting to see how contemporary art works linked to modernism are very attentive to 60s and 70s “Identity Politics” in conceptual art, which traditionally attempted to liberate itself from issues of medium.

To a certain extent, painting is a personal reflection: it’s a surface, there’s a connection to the mirror. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I really think making art is an attempt to define oneself. In my case, I think it’s more of a way of experiencing objects, that occurs in the studio in a very practical manner. I also try to interact with situations, buildings, interior spaces: I have an eye for design and objects, it’s a fondness I got from my parents who work in the distribution of industrial design. Ironically enough, when it comes to functionality, I try to find something physically spectacular in simple and humble gestures and material. I can sometimes handle over 100 meters of fabric for one work, like I did recently with a curtain that I used to block the access to the Villa in the park in Annemasse (Chunking, 2016). This specific work really reveals that monumental quality, the intense gestures, the relevance of format. In Rezé, I had to work with an imposing structure built by Massimiliano Fuksas in the 90s, made of black metal beams, with slanted walls, so my proposition was to go the opposite direction: hang the paintings directly onto the building (Amnesia, 2015, Tripode, Nantes), in a very light and simple action. The installation process is the moment I have to make decisions, whereas the first part, working on the textiles, is filled with doubt since I never know how the colors will come out. It’s my own way of taming the unpredictable.

TURN OFF THE LIGHTS

Curator: Dorothée Dupuis

Galerie de la Casa de Francia, IFAL Mexico

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Interview with Dorothée Dupuis, Mexico City, September 16th 2016

Hi Adrien,

I’m writing from my bed. I like writing at night, with my computer on my knees, it’s so different from when I’m at my desk during the day, always available, reachable, always prepared to divide my time and continually open new windows on my computer screen. But most of all, I don’t have wifi in bed, so no other resources, no distractions… And I’m pretty tired, like after a busy day. So as I write in this state, I feel the need to extend and focus on one simple thing, for a while, vaguely. It’s probably a good state for writing about, as if it were since, those hammocks you made for the art book fair in Copenhagen, where Theophile’s Papers’ commissioned furniture to present its books on.

I know I’m not the only one who has fond memories of hammocks, books, and gardens: the shadows, heat, summertime, naps, swaying, flipping through pages, not really reading, a happy seclusion, hanging above the ground… I imagine that reading in a hammock, in an art book festival where the sources of information are far too rich for anyone’s attention span, must be quite a different feeling. Maybe offering flexible structures to settle in is also an invitation to accept not to see everything, nor read everything, maybe to the point of turning this subjectivity into a privilege, a welcoming retreat, where one can hide in the very midst of a dense and bustling situation. These long strips of fabric, sewn together with bulky seams, hanging from each end, stand in for the robust furniture that is more adapted and functional for showing books, as the surface of a table, a chair, a shelf twist into the folds of these enveloping and supple forms. A book is also a bound object, its content concealed by its cover or successive pages. Seen from my bed, and probably also seen from a hammock, a book and hammock seem very similar with their folded structures, their plays of showing and hiding, and this closeness makes these two shapes inviting to one another.

Actually, this relaxed state that I am in and am imagining started long before the convergence of a bed, a computer, and a room or a hammock, a book, and a festival. Firstly, it’s the way you relaxed the material itself, because the hammock’s fabric is actually loosened canvas: both untightened and released. It has escaped the frame onto which it was meant to be stretched. The fabric has shifted from the project of a painting to the object of the physical experience of a creased painting, from a flat supporting structure to a tangle of material hanging from two ends. It is a painting that ultimately refuses to be seen entirely, whether it be up close or far away, because it can undo the eye’s distance by wrapping or hiding its beholder. You made these canvases at the residency in Noisy-le-Sec, in the art center where I work mostly during the day. This is where you sewed the different strips of pastel pink, yellow, and blue. The picture you took of the towers surrounding the residency, right before dusk, echoed your vertical composition and its colors. And then, immersed in a decoction only you know how to make, with leaves that you picked from a flowerbed, it suddenly took on a very local dimension. Your trip to Copenhagen transformed this project, allowed it to become functional: from horizontal compositions, the canvases creased, freed from any supporting structure, to become simple  and welcoming objects, shapes at rest.

Good night, and see you tomorrow,

Emilie

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Émilie Renard, 2016