Sarkis — Aura d’après Vaudou

Exhibition

Mixed media

Sarkis
Aura d’après Vaudou

Past: September 13 → October 13, 2012

Galerie Nathalie Obadia is delighted to accompany Sarkis for his second exhibition at the Parisian gallery. The artist will be showing for the first time a set of thirteen works in oil on paper inspired by the exhibition Les trésors du Vaudou held at the Fondation Cartier pour lʼArt Contemporain in 2011.

Continuing his reflections on the inherent creative possibilities of given mediums — notably in his experiments with watercolour and water —, here Sarkis plays on the physical properties of oil paint. He starts by outlining a shape of pure colour on the paper, skilfully and without corrections. He then leaves the oil paint to spread freely, randomly over the sheet. By edging the figure with the yellow of the oil, the paint breaks out of the limits of its defined spaces, refusing to be fixed, vitally overflowing the overly narrow spatiality assigned by Sarkis. The liquid is sovereign, affirming its autonomy by going beyond the frontiers of its solid, stable corpulence.

What interests the artist here are precisely the different time-frames in which this independent material takes form. Sarkis begins the work by providing the initial impetus, while respectfully accepting the spatial limits of his action. Standing back, he can observe the physical transformation of the freely spreading ink as it administers its own frontiers. The two stages of this process can easily be identified in the space of the painting by the viewer, and this sensorial impression is heightened by the tactile dimension of the paint matter set in motion by the painterʼs action, and the brutality of his rapid execution.

Where Marcel Duchamp evoked the possibility of a passage — a notion close to Sarkisʼs heart — from the second to the third dimension by defining the infra-thin, here the artist offers the reverse procedure: a translation of volume into flatness by the absence of colour which creates the aura of the figures. At once simple and complex, the thirteen Aura dʼaprès Vaudou works require real responsiveness from the viewer in order to be formally and conceptually appreciated. These understated marks, in the margins of Sarkisʼs actions, gain in presence from the painterʼs decision to let the oil paint find its own fulfilment.

Nathalie Obadia Gallery Gallery
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The artist

  • Sarkis