Didier Boussarie — Arrière saison
Past: September 3 → October 15, 2011
What becomes of the spring leaves’ fresh luminosity once they have fallen? What happens to the body after love making? What of that small whistling bird once its song has ceased? Why do deer fight so violently? Does the softness of barely grazed skin remain on the fingertips? And, don’t those marvelously too pink voluptuous flowers announce the imminence of their own downfall? These are the questions that underline Didier Boussarie’s work. Throughout multiple forms of expression, he explores the notion of time, fragility and beauty, and the way in which these ideas are manifest in the late autumn, when the passing, cyclical dimensions of all forms of life are particularly explicit.
Boussarie’s tempera paintings and drawings alternate between strong strokes and hesitant, light strokes: bringing to life a leaf, a messy undergrowth or a proudly erected sunflower fratrie. The compositions stand out against an apparently void background…this is however composed of subtle work on colour that fills the space making it vibrate. In an intimate series of ink works on calc paper, the insistence of the pen occasionally tears the mat surface, as if the intensity of the subjects presented is echoed in the process of the drawing itself. And each of the works is a struggle scene: the rutting deer, the silent body of a lifeless bird, a tree trunk invaded by parasite growth and the magnificent nudes just barely created from the matter, the strokes and space. In Boussarie’s grey metallic boxes with their worn patina, a solitary leaf has pride of place; recalling the idea of the herbarium, a kind of case preserving the memory of what a plant was and which is revived only through gaze and touch. In this box, the leaf, chosen for its’ dried beauty, is twisted in the absence of humidity and lodged with a simple stem like a trophy. It is a frail trophy conveying the movement that it once had. For a long time, the fabrication of the boxes — the work of an artist and a shrewd cabinet maker — remained Boussarie’s secret garden. Often the boxes are recycled — either metal or wood — and are meticulously prepared before being adorned with a photo that has also been reworked with varnish or colour, to make it appear more ancient. Time is visible everywhere: on the image of a body, a flower or in the movement of a living being. Recently, he took this kind of work one step further by creating boxes that recall domestic altar pieces belonging to certain cultures: they can be suspended, closed or opened revealing an interior nestled with miniature objects — dried plants or fruits, small engravings directly cut into a metal plate, bulging and sensual varnished photos with a shiny finish… Within these small stagings, attention has been given to the slightest detail and the playful juxtapositions, which are either harmonious or sometimes chaotic, maintain the sense of mystery contained within the boxes.
Late autumn is a particularly rich and touching body of work on life and the beauty of all things. Boussarie seems to have succeeded in stretching out time for want of stopping it.
An overview of Boussarie’s work since his first exhibition in 1989 reveals an artist who experiments a lot: oils on canvas, varnished wood, photo collages on wood, paintings set in boxes, tempera on paper, ink on calc paper, etc. And if this marks an important evolution in terms of form, we can however observe continuity with his fundamental concerns.
Event Sunday, October 2, 2011 5 PM → 7 PM Concert by Delfine BOCQUET, “Fleur d’Alabrune”