Collisions — Exposition collective proposée par Amélie Adamo


Drawing, print

Exposition collective proposée par Amélie Adamo

Past: September 19 → October 27, 2017

In the era of multimedia and the continuous flow of images, contemporary art has spontaneously become hybrid, blending, borrowing, and freely transforming the many facets of a pluralistic culture. The works in the Galerie Catherine Putman play on the collision of motifs from various sources and bring together diverse formal styles. Combining the work of the gallery’s artists and that of invited artists, and comparing the artistic approaches the generations of artists, the exhibition creates some extraordinary echoes between the works, enabling visitors to discover young artists and view the work of historical figures—some of whose aspects have seldom been highlighted—from a different perspective. Embracing the diversity of the numerous approaches, the exhibition’s itinerary takes the visitor through three distinct areas in the gallery: Madness, Fantasy, and Enchantment.

In the dark realm of Thanatos are grouped representations in which the presence of war and body parts takes on hybrid forms and draw on multiple sources. With his ‘severed heads’, Arnaud Rochard combines various sources of inspiration (from Hokusai’s yokai (evil spirits) and Otto Dix’s soldiers to the mask in the horror film Scream) in ink-wash works in which prevails the ambivalence of a ghostly and indeterminate atmosphere reminiscent of Chinese works. Cristine Guinamand has produced a free reinterpretation of The Suicide by Otto Dix, and the motifs of the dances of death and grotesques, combining plants and birds with skulls and skeletons. The technique is governed by ambiguity: sometimes, attractive colours are used to convey the disturbing nature of the theme, and sometimes the realism and the incisive details of the strokes contrast with the abstraction and translucent nature of the flat areas.

Arnaud%20rochard medium
Arnaud Rochard, Têtes coupées, 2017 China ink on paper — 30 × 40 cm De l’artiste

The same ‘collision’ is found in Marko Velk’s work: the series ‘Something in the air’ combines representations of death (in some works the skull motif, and in another a reinterpretation of Manet’s dead man) with the presence of the living (organic, vegetal, and animal), while in a formal manner, the white in the unworked areas contrasts with the black, in the same way that the hyperrealistic details are combined with the schematic drawing and erased areas. War is ultimately also very much present in the work of the older generation, such as in that of Max Ernst, Pierre Buraglio, and Antonio Saura. In a series of lithographs, Max Ernst illustrated The Soldier’s Ballad (written by Georges Ribemont Dessaignes), by creating ‘collisions’ of motifs with a caustic sense of humour, which denounce the violence and stupidity of war and patriotism. Pierre Buraglio based his work on the recuperation and reassembly of diverse elements—a combination of major and minor themes, tradition, and popular culture—, as in Le Chemin des Dames, a painting on cloth, which contains echoes of the ‘têtes cassées’, the film Birdy, and the jazz musician Charlie Parker, called ‘Bird’. In Antonio Saura’s ‘Moi’ (‘Self-portraits’) series, produced by manipulating photographs of the artist’s contorted face, the fragmented and monstrous reconstitution of the head may echo the disfigurement of the ‘gueules cassées’, and, more generally, the violence of war and illness, which marked the life of the Spanish painter.

The second part brings together, within the scope of Eros, fantastical visions in which the theme of the nude is reinvented, mixing playfulness and ambiguity. The erotic engravings by Georg Baselitz, who represented Marcel Duchamp in compromising positions with his chambermaid, humorously overturns Duchamp’s conceptual rigour with a joyful subjectivity and the pleasure of a free facture that strikes a balance between figuration and abstraction (through the inversion and simplification of the motif). Combining the traditional and modern, major and minor themes, Pat Andrea’s world is based on a pluralistic culture that questions the archetypal and is like a small theatre of human relationships. Borrowing freely from the masters—in one work from Mondrian’s geometric grid compositions, in another from Pollaiolo’s portraits, and in yet another from Balthus’s nudes—, his drawings have reinvented a unique war of the sexes, combining poetry and triviality, playfulness, and humour. There is still humour in the work of Álvaro Oyarzún, whose Rotring ink drawings, which combine figures and texts on brightly coloured supports, create unique ‘collisions’, such as the association of a complex intellectual discourse with the stereotype of the ‘bimbo’.

Frédéric Poincelet’s work is characterised by the unusual and the strange. Combining things observed with borrowed images, the artist recomposes his motifs to create incongruous or disturbing scenes, such as his nudes, which are sometimes absurdly associated with banal places and actions. The same sense of strangeness is present in the work of Abel Pradalié, whose engravings combine fragments of nudes (borrowed from great paintings or photographs) with the figures of animals (such as wolves or wild boars), in surrealistic and dreamlike visions. And in Nazanin Pouyandeh’s work, creolization and hybridity are predominant, combining animal and human figures, reality and myth, tradition and popular culture, and the West and the East. She has reinterpreted the representation of an Indian goddess, an archaic image of nudity and alterity that reawakens our primal instincts, torn between attraction and revulsion.

The third part ‘Fantasy’, placed in the realm of Hypnos, brings together dreamlike and strange representations characterised by mythological or fantastic motifs. In Sarah Jérôme’s drawings, the figure represented (a posture or a face borrowed from great classical paintings) is fragmented, dissolved, stained, and worked using the effects of oil on tracing paper, lying somewhere between realism and gestural abstraction. A fantastical world emerges, comprising fragments and associations, as though in a dream. In Frédéric Malette’s drawings, a similar approach has been adopted, involving the displacement of past forms into the present, revealing—through a combination of echoes and effacement—the dynamism of human passions. In direct filiation with the Renaissance and its humanist philosophy, his ghostly portraits—which resemble survivors—raise the question of alterity and the sublime nature of the human condition, caught between fragility and contradictions. Transforming all sorts of documents, using collage and drawing with gouache or pencil, Karine Rougier grafts a dreamlike world with a magical force onto the real world, which is filled with fantastical fauna and flora, reinterpreted mythological figures, costumed processions, stars, and levitating stones. In Agathe May’s works, the myth of origins is explored in a unique way. In “La boîte de Pandore — Nous chantions et bien dansons maintenant”, the naked female figure, reproduced from a previous work, is holding a bin bag from which garbage spills, as though representing the ills of the contemporary world. Playing on the collision between the trivial and the heritage of great paintings, her works evoke the myth of Eve forced to leave Paradise: a fable about human life that invites the viewer to find meaning and introduce dreams into our disembodied lives. Inspired by Uccello’s Deluge, Anya Belyat Giunta’s drawings use precise lines and minuscule details, and more abstract and diluted flat areas. Her strange and ambiguous universe explores the enigma of the world and the notions of catastrophe and renaissance, order and chaos, body and landscape, blackness, and flesh pink. On the ‘canivets’ (pious images), to which she adds collages, acrylic paint, and drawings in graphite pencil, Maël Nozahic transforms the religious images: a Saint, Christ, a mother and child, and doves are reinvented, with a certain humour, via the collision of the senses and plays on words, using surrealistic and remarkable collages. Ayako David-Kawauchi’s drawing invokes Barbara’s song, “L’Aigle Noir”, representing a female figure holding a dark-feathered bird to her stomach. Playing on the contrast between black and white, realism and unreal intrusions (such as the bubbles floating in space and the additional hand), the work echoes the ambivalent force of the original text, lying somewhere between tenderness and harshness, the beauty of the present moment, and nostalgia for the past. The work also has more troubling aspects, with its disconcerting eroticism, symbolism, and the identity of the ambiguous figure, which generally characterise the artist’s work. And Marcella Barcelo, unusually, uses a whole host of references: her recent dances and processions of female or animal forms are inspired by various mythological and fantastical creatures (Unicorn and winged figures, yokai, and Japanese demons, etc.), and sometimes represent possessed young women leaving horror films, and the themes of witchcraft and hysteria. She has created a monstrous form of beauty, whose more sombre side is always made up and masked by bright colours, carried away in a festive and joyful dance.

Amélie Adamo
  • Opening Saturday, September 16, 2017 5 PM → 9 PM
04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

40, rue Quincampoix

75004 Paris

T. 01 45 55 23 06 — F. 01 47 05 61 43


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The artists

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