In 2019, after developing over several years, my work no longer consists in perpetuating what abstract expressionism made emerge in the second hald of the twentieth century—leaving part of the determinism traditionally entrusted to the artist to chance. The current trend is seeing artists regaining control—albeit only in part—of areas which had previously been shifting between them and chance, those very same same areas Jackson Pollock, and his successors, had embarked on liberating. In my view, regaining a measure of control and reaffirming artist control, should not occur in the historic field of artistic work (composition, resemblance with reality, etc.), because, in those areas, I have chosen to leave chance in command—but rather in conquering new fields of action. These consist in erecting structures (lines, halos, fractals, clear demarcations, etc.) by setting the medium in motion.
In my case, the aim is reverting to a form of composition, after my initial years of all-over work. Structure, in reality, imposes a composition by taking a place in the canvas’s structure.
The movements breathed into the painting become morphogenetic, creating a shape (just like organic tissue, on which scientific study of morphogenesis is based). The painter’s gestures are neither gratuitous, nor there to serve personal expression, but rather to reveal expressivity that—through what it produces—is intrinsical to painting.
When confronted by the foretold death of painting, one must overcome the historical dichotomy between figurative and abstract painting. With Vincent Bioulès, for example, abstraction is prolonged in the concept of landscape, surfing over the figurative/abstract uncertainty that it allows. In my case, studying and setting up structuring movements is an attempt to respond to this need for something more. By displaying a process similar to what the living world actually shows, my work breaks free from the abstraction within which it had initially—and rightly—been confined. This enables it to stimulate our imagination, remininding us constantly of what we know.
This plethora of gesturesopens upabstract painting to images, and thus to the world, reflecting a determination to move beyond the abstract/figurative divide on which modernism was founded.
Construction of a biological structure is not creation but a revelation, said Jacques Monod. My approach is inspired by the same process of revealing matter—pictorially in this instance. To achieve this, I set the paint in motion: the process of fluidifying, mixing and spreading it will bring to light its behaviour, which actually mimicks that of body tissues. One next witnesses the growth, development and movements of a quixotic embryo made of viscous paint with features strikingly close to those of the living world
The evolution of the living world continues to push the limits of reality, giving new abstract or unknown forms a very real existence. My paintings are an extension of this logic by which new structures appear (process of appearance that I studied at the Museum of Natural History of Paris; research report available here). Randomness, so indispensable in the evolution of the biosphere, is here materialised by the random movements of liquid acrylic. This randomness emerges from minute variations, which are then added to a programme (genetic or gestural).
The recent advances in development sciences provide precisely their share of strange images, new forms and embryos that seem to us to be abstract despite their very real existence. The spectator is then plunged into an unsuspected reality.
In abstract form, my painting develops a representation of the biosphere—and more specifically, of its constantly diversifying shapes. Thus, by calling imagination into action, the exhibition project provides a novel means of supporting the environment. Because abstract art can also display commitment, these artworks were made to heighten the public’s awareness of the vulnerability of biodiversity and of the urgency of protecting it.
I am at present experimenting with the integration and employment of rhythm within the painterly gesture, transforming the painter into a dancer. Although tempo might not be visible within the timeless space of the canvas, the forms generated by my movements are the tangible manifestation of tempo. Through the vigorous projection of paint I superimpose and mingle different layers of liquid. One line of paint slips under another and this is sufficient to make something emanate out of nothing.
And suddenly in this arduous nowhere, the unutterable place, where the pure too-little incomprehensibly mutates, throws itself into that empty too-much.
The mechanical interactions of liquids vary according to the rhythm to which they are subjected. Up to a certain point of tension, the paint resists and stretches. Beyond this point, it breaks is submerged by another layer. From this pictorial subduction emanates a fringe that intercedes – and sometimes ruptures – in the midst of the void. Like a black hole, the space of my canvas creases and hollows. It becomes disturbing How is it possible to animate the paint without inhibiting its progression? I initiate the inception of phenomena by pouring paint, stretching it or splattering it and I want the beholder to be immersed in the manifestations of its evolution.
Abstract canvases foreground a method: not to have a subject, not to calculate but to develop, to generate.
Left to itself, matter is an irrefutable witness: this is what paint is, this is how it moves and reacts when animated by a phenomenon. Of what does it speak? Maybe of nothing more than of paint itself. My work is not the abstract representation of something material, of an emotion or of anything that is familiar. It makes no reference to anything identifiable. It is barely evocative. It speaks, rather, of an elsewhere. It then requires of the beholder to actually create a world that does not exist.
My dancing years at the National Paris Opera undergo a true revival all through my paintings. With an approach resembling action-painting, I seek to instill a movement to my artworks. Fundamentally, my approach is the same, whether in dance or panting.
I am convinced of the many synergies that exist between Science and Arts. For this particular reason, I deliberately chose to conduct research projects in Biology and a career as a Painter simultaneously. On the whole, these works lead me to consider the frontier between life and inertia as tenuous and porous, still relatively unexplored but at the same time holding one of the greatest expressive potential.
I believe in spontaneous appearance, whether environmental or on a canvas, of aesthetic and evocative forms. I seek to produce this phenomenon. Acrylics, when diversely liquefied, can adopt attitudes close to these of organic or geological tissues.
In its own way, could Art be bringing an answer to the enigma of the emergence of life on Earth?
My work offers an exploration of this birth process and a research on the way matter (hence, pictorial) is liable to come alive in evocative attitudes. As a spontaneous expression of an intimate energy, dance can become an echo of the movements that life creates. When dancing, I see life arise again in each of my paintings. There is a link between dance and biology, between danced movement and physiological movement, that artists, with Wayne McGregor perhaps being the first, express in choreography. This is what I would like to express through painting.
My work is intended to be a pictorial representation of the world as a whole, in different forms and on different scales (microscopic as well as spatial). The world moves in a hazardous and disorganized way, giving it, for me, its beauty and eloquence. Its way of shaping and moving is irregular and unpredictable, so evocative.
I am exploring the expressive possibilities of acrylic set in motion on a flat surface (canvas). The processes in action on my canvas are the reproduction of those of the universe: rotation of stars and planets, formation of river beds, erosion of mountains, waves breaking, wind blowing, living cells growing, etc. My method approximates action painting and gestual abstraction, being quite similar to Pollock-style dripping. It is therefore a tribute to the randomness of spontaneous motion, and to what it generates. I submit acrylic to disorderly forces that agitate the world, build it and destroy it. Everyone is invited to recognize in my work the world that surrrounds us.
As a former ballet dancer, I feel that the interest of the movement is in its expressiveness, and especially subtle shades that give it its living character. My current work explores the potential of expressive movements formed by mixtures of colours, curves and inflections, sagging, twisting slides and smears. Thanks to an essential physical contact with the paint, they acquire an organic feature driven by human anatomy, desire and physical spontaneity. With the impulse as central engine, my work becomes
sensational, in the sense intended by Jean François Lyotard.
The concept is paramount, but aesthetic remains first. The concept is paramount, but aesthetic remains first. I alternate between its artificial and natural forms, leaving the beautiful dawn of hazards while calculating a retinal pleasure,
jouissance picturale that neurology theorizes and optical art explores. An artistic process is at the border of chance and calculation.