Christophe Robe — Des peintures, des dessins
Des peintures, des dessins
Past: December 3, 2015 → January 16, 2016
For this, Christophe Robe’s first solo exhibition, Galerie Jean Fournier, is showing a group of paintings and drawings representing the artist’s most recent work.
Robe’s investigations take place on the border between figuration and abstraction. What immediately strikes the viewer is the strangeness of a dreamlike world in which recurring figurative elements — most often vegetal or organic — are juxtaposed with more abstract ones. This intermingling is reflected in recourse to different techniques, as Robe rubs back, washes down and accumulates layer upon painterly layer.
This “gourmet” accumulation of media and methods summons the viewer’s imagination to the outer reaches of fiction or fables for children. Landscape, undergrowth, sea floor: each picture is a world in itself, marked by an ambiguity between depth and surface, between painting’s physical and optical dimensions. Intertwined branches mesh with sharply defined geometrical shapes, or with more uncertain forms and textural excrescences open to multiple interpretations. When something seems immediately recognisable, Robe responds by confusing the issue. Successive layers of paint enhance the images’ depth, in a use of stratification that embodies the surfacing of the artist’s perceptual memory.
“From stratum to stratum, porosity, capillarity and transfer lead the eye down into haptic depths to which only the vocabulary of gastronomy seems equal: slivers of crystallised light, toppings of bitter-sweet nuances, rolls of candied colours, paint beaten until stiff, creamy tones, chromatic caramels. A groundbreaking inventory of interplay between painting and savouring that propels the viewer-taster behind the screen of the visible and into the deliciously troubled waters of painterly blindness.”1
The same teeming abundance is to be found in the artist’s drawings, rich formal explorations that are totally independent of his painting yet linked to it in a host of different ways. This is why the exhibition mingles them cinematically with paintings large and small: close-ups coexisting with long takes.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue prefaced by Stéphanie Katz (Published by Galerie Jean Fournier).
1 Stéphanie Katz, Ni homme, ni bête, seul l’arbre, in cat. exposition Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, 2015
Opening Thursday, December 3, 2015 6 PM → 8:30 PM