Nicolas Guiet — jfnvjqevemv
Past: March 13 → April 30, 2015
Nicolas Guiet’s works extend the concept of the painting to that of volume in space. With the aid of canvas and a wooden stretcher Guiet creates abstract forms whose vivid colours are “borrowed from everyday objects most of us know, but without necessarily recognising them.” 1 These volumes adhere to walls, floors and ceilings in the form of abstract geometrical shapes not lending themselves to identification, and yet their bright, bold hues immediately trigger an urge to interpret. For this exhibition the artist has opted for a group of works varying from the small to the frankly very large: experiments with interplay of scale and the occupation of space.
As a way of accentuating this visual uncertainty and its potential for interpretation, the works have been given utterly enigmatic titles. Guiet did this by having someone strike a computer keyboard without looking, thus deliberately distancing us from what we thought we saw at first glance.
Specially for the exhibition, he has created a large work the length of the gallery, running along the floor and wall and leading the visitor to the area under the skylight. Here we see him honing the sense of the monumental and the concern with space already applied to such public venues as the Domaine de Kerguéhennec in 2012, and the Tour St Aubin in Angers in 2014. Beneath the skylight a second work of monumental proportions invokes contrasts of colour and form, together with concepts that contradict each other.
The exhibition also offers a series of smaller works which “record a renewed interest in plane surfaces. This does not mean, however, that his painting is capitulating to two dimensionality, whence the interest of the paradox: he engages with the issue of flatness in works that remain intrinsically volumetric.” 2
And so we find him testing out new volumes that more closely resemble paintings. Some of the works, like eudekf, zzzgtuyu and aeei, include a background and a foreground, an effect accentuated by a change of colour on the front surface, with the white section merging into the wall.
The Guiet oeuvre is situated — and situates the viewer — in a mentally and visually surprising space: a subtle intermingling of soft and hard, dynamic and static, convex and concave, equilibrium and instability.
This fourth exhibition demonstrates the artist’s capacity not only to dialogue with space, but also to address more painterly issues in a flirtation with the notions of object and pictorial autonomy.
1 Mycoplasma laboratorium ou la peinture synthétique, Karim Ghaddab, in Nicolas Guiet otrtreotrpoto, Editions Liénart and Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, 2010, p.14
2 Le plan, mais son contraire, Marion Delage de Luget, text for the exhibition invitation, 2015
Opening Friday, March 13, 2015 6 PM → 8:30 PM