Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
Past: May 13 → July 25, 2015
In this famous song written in 1969, George Harrison draws the metaphor of the return of the sun after a long winter to better express the relief and the sweet euphoria at the end of a somber period… This exhibition intends to be an exploration of, in the literal sense this time — the sun, which rays lighten and transform in a few instants, the sun that makes us exist, and exist differently. Here comes the sun brings six artists together and three ways to work light: Nicolai Howalt and Salla Pesonen print it on a sensitive matter through photography; Maibritt Ulvedal Bjelke, Madhat Kakei and Catherine Maria Chapel materialize it through painting; Yoon Ji-Eun traces her drawings on the paper’s luminosity.
Catherine Maria Chapel
The inks and pastels of Catherine Maria Chapel (born in 1968, lives in France) dance in the last fires of day. Her works recall summer, the light playing in ultramarine waves, the transparency of the water in mountain streams and seashore evenings with a neon blue sky. If her work seems so aquatic, it’s because she makes her inks follow the water paths she creates on the paper. She lets them glide and form intense and dark coloured lakes. She works intuitively and empirically, juxtaposes non-miscible matters and watches colours and lights intertwine without mixing, letting the paper absorb the ink, load itself with matter until sometimes rupturing. A few pastel lines can appear to highlight and illuminate the shapes in this work where everything is light and movement. What Catherine Maria Chapel paints seems to be the matter of summer memories itself, happy and delicately melancholic.
Presented for the first time at the Galerie Maria Lund, the work of Danish photographer Nicolai Howalt (born in 1970, lives in Denmark) has been largely exhibited in Scandinavia and has been rewarded by numerous prestigious institutions (Hasselblad Foundation, Danish Arts Foundation etc.). In France, the Maison du Danemark hosted a first exhibition in 2012; his photographs entered the collections of Hermès and the Maison Européenne de la Photo. The artist’s approach is at the frontier between the documentary and the visual arts. The works from his last series, Light Break- Photography/Light Therapy reveal in appearance an abstract, minimal and contemplative photography. The sun is at the same time the tool, the matter and the motif. This ensemble was born from the artist’s interest for medical research and Nobel Prize Niels Ryberg Finsen (1860-1904), who had during his time established an ensemble of lenses capable of isolating the ultraviolet and infrared rays from the rest of the solar light spectrum. The exposure to radiances from these filters enabled the treatment of certain skin diseases, notably cutaneous tuberculosis. With Light Break, Nicolai Howalt used this scientific method on the one side for his own research on photographic technology and the work on light, but also to better express his fascination for the immediate curative aspect of light. He borrowed lenses from the Medicine Museum of Copenhagen that Finsen used and combined them with contemporary filters in order to divide the sunlight his way. He then let the rays directly “work” on a photosensitive paper placed inside a camera obscura. The result is an ensemble of unique impressions of the sun. These rough prints of light, which colours covers the entire visible spectrum — from violet to the brightest reds through emerald green and electric blue — can be as soft and serene as violent and blinding. They fascinate not only because light is at the very core of photography, but because light is a fundamental of life.
For a long time Madhat Kakei (born in 1954 in Iraq, lives between Iraq, Sweden and France) painted the tragic history of the Kurdish people before slowly covering the motif with dozens of thick layers of knife-spread paint. This approach resembles a form of curative meditation: One colour stratum on another to create some light over a dark reality — one moment recovers another, and so forth. On the surface of the artist’s monochromes, one delights in the raw matter, the light reflections, traces of the process left in the coloured paste, depths and transparencies. These areas of pure colour are surrounded by a multicoloured “band”, created by dozens of layers of paint that the artist lets blithely overflow on the edges of the canvas. This vibrant “frame” contrasts with the calm surface and tells the story of the work’s advent.
The Finnish artist Salla Pesonen (born in 1984, lives in France) develops a photographic and video work on the subject of obsolescence. After questioning the everyday life materials and objects, she came to question her practice as such: Constantly fed with new images as a photographer and a user of social networks, she ended up seeing the contemporary life as an immense machine creating obsolete images, which — as beautiful and moving as they are — disappear almost instantly from the “timeline”. Through her work, Salla Pesonen tries to counter this tendency of the ephemeral. For this reason, she chose the most instantly obsolete, parasitic and harmful material: used plastic. She sets it in the studio, studies the light passing through it, and captures an image. But this being said, the plastic matter isn’t the subject of her photographs; and she doesn’t hesitate to modify her visuals’ colours and textures with the help of retouching programs. What she tries to obtain, by starting though with the most antagonistic object to her approach, are images that are neither places nor times that want to be disincarnated from a reality bound to disappear. It is solely about light, colours and shapes — the purest abstraction.
Maibritt Ulvedal Bjelke.
The recent work of Maibritt Ulvedal Bjelke (born in 1967 in Denmark, lives in England) results from an alliance in principal contradictory: That of a free gesture and a systematic approach in her exploration of the pictorial surface. She provokes matter movements — hundreds of drippings of juxtaposed colours — that she then cuts out and organizes in geometric compositions. Her approach consists in fact in structuring the chaos of her drippings, that she only masters until a certain point and that she lets merge and create accidents. The vivacious and euphoric freedom of her work with the luminous matter that is paint superimposes itself with the rigor of her cut-out compositions, organized in such a way as to create a triple movement — circular, beaming and going back and forth. The gravity that acted in the dripping of the paint transmits a powerful energy to her works. A solar vibration emanates from this meeting between an order of shapes and intoxicating colours.
It is a story between naïve realism, wonder and cosmic worlds that Yoon Ji-Eun suggests in her new pieces. In these drawings she describes the cyclic existence of human beings under the sun. The artist (born in 1982 in Korea, lives in France) worked from photos of school fairs and children’s performances. By transferring her figures into a fluctuant universe made of aquarelle splashes and intertwining geometric shapes, she creates strange scenes as if out of a dream of which one doesn’t quite grasp. Maybe it is the world of childhood: The world of never ending days, where one can waltz in a puddle of water tainted pink by the sun, waiting for the inevitable sunset, that always arrives too soon… Or maybe it is these moments where one believes that one is witnessing the landing of a flying saucer behind the big shining rock… Yoon Ji-Eun works the paper with delicacy: she paints and draws, but also treats the matter itself, “digging” into it, engraving it, making holes in it… She juxtaposes numerous registers; naturalist representations, photographic references and abstract flights intertwine. As a fine observer, Yoon Ji-Eun makes visible and carries us away by “bringing to light” in a most personal and poetic manner.
Opening Wednesday, May 13, 2015 6 PM → 9 PM
Here comes the sun — summernight — nocturne à la galerie Event Thursday, July 2, 2015 6 PM → 9:30 PM
48, rue de Turenne
T. 01 42 76 00 33 — F. 01 42 76 00 10
Tuesday – Saturday, noon – 7 PM
Other times by appointment