Jean François Maurige — Pourquoi le rouge
Jean François Maurige
Pourquoi le rouge
Past: April 25 → June 15, 2013
Galerie Jean Fournier is delighted to be presenting three groups of works by Jean François Maurige — paintings on canvas, paintings on paper, ceramics — in an exhibition allowing for comparison and association of these different media.
Maurige’s practice is rooted in a determination to confront the issue of the picture by using deliberately chosen constraints to establish a painterly economy. The picture is the site for the self-generation of what it is going to offer the eye: the construction of a space of freedom, a referential space to be created and appropriated. This appropriation is given concrete form via the gradual instituting of a protocol.
Since the 1980s Maurige has been producing his pictures according to a well established, evolving set of rules. Opting for a red fabric rather than the traditional linen, he staples his canvas to the wall, then primes it with very dilute, vertically brushed white acrylic. Once ready the canvas is laid on the floor and by frottage the artist introduces a broad vertical strip of black. Now comes red paint, in tones varying from orange to purple, out of which emerge the shapes he calls ’figures’. As one of the essential components of his work, the constant presence of red as colour and texture is sometimes conceptualised as non-colour. Maurige’s fondness for red springs from his appreciation of both its graphic and chromatic effectiveness.
In the first group of pictures in the exhibition the red shapes seem — in continuity with their predecessors — to be moving, as if trying to break out. However, the black mark still visible in the preceding works has now vanished from the protocol. This out-of-field notion is even more pronounced in the series of paintings on Canson paper. Slanting black lines intersect with a line of red or blue which throws the whole work off-centre. Both sides of the paper are coated with paint, as if the artist were trying to unite the two areas of solid colour separated by the thickness of the sheet.
“While this interweaving of strips produces a highly structured effect that can seem the opposite of what is to be seen in the works on canvas, it obeys a similar principle of adjustment of the picture plane to spatial reality.”
Patrick Javault in Jean François Maurige: tableaux 1982-1984 tableaux 2007-2010, 2011, p.132.
The third and last group comprises a series of ceramics made in the Maine region, and in Betschdorf and Quimper. Here the artist addresses such traditional techniques as the use of blue in the pottery of Alsace. Once again the use of repetitive motifs — which already proliferate in his sketchbooks — is another way for the artist to express the infinite space of the red canvas he paints on.
For Jean François Maurige the picture is the most relevant possible response to the issue of the visible; and it is activated as much through the practice of his paintings as of that of his paintings on paper and his ceramics. Each of these practices is a link in a chain that moves into the field of the picture, enabling interruptions, fresh starts, reprises and the summoning up of different forms.
Opening Thursday, April 25, 2013 6 PM → 8:30 PM