Past: December 8, 2011 → January 14, 2012
Dukan Hourdequin gallery presents the first solo exhibition by Emmanuel Barcilon (1967) in its new space in Paris.
In each work, the reflexivity of the artist’s chosen support — sprinkled with light revelations — parallels the artist’s quest; he finishes by discovering, among the many forgotten strata, the perfect gap, a window within all the colors. His search for surprises yields an opportunity: the fugitive beauty of the being of the painting. As he excavates his support and its surface, the painting’s memory is revealed to be its strength; Barcilon paints a lake of recollections.
The painting points to the presence of its own history, the traces of which we observe along the periphery of the canvas: the combined color of all the colors that the artist has used, nearly thirty layers. The painting is the culmination of a process of individuation — of “step by step” accumulation, “layer upon layer” stratification — that aims to pry open the viewer’s senses. Barcilon’s works fill us with sensations of touch: that of rough skin, of scars and burns, but also of silken skin, caresses, the softness of colors. But they also produce sounds, noises, music. The eye touches and listens as much as it sees.
The space of the surface also harbors vanities: disturbances, skeletons, skulls, the fragrance of newspaper clippings. The artist layers news articles and photographs into the process. Reminder upon reminder of death, of bondage, of violence. In addition to the painter’s support — a body against a body — we discover a deluge of suffering bodies from all around the world. Emmanuel Barcilon interrogates representations of death, the memento mori of our time: every weapon, every abuse, every frustration, every scream. Where, amidst this backdrop of disaster, can we locate light and beauty? How do we recover our breath, our ability to love? Perhaps trough the eyes of the child, who encounters the world as a room full of toys, mastering his anxieties through play.
Opening Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 6 PM