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Silvère Jarrosson’s in situ artwork on display during this group exhibition at Galerie Mansart was unprecedented insofar as it was produced directly on the wall of the exhibition space—i.e., for the first time ever vertically. While his work consists in structuring the paint as it spreads (lines, curves, spots, borders and filaments) on a medium that I generally horizontal, in this instance the actual framework of his approach has changed, being made vertical. This brought him to design a new construction, subjected to major tropism: gravity. Like a vaulted ceiling, it is conceived to resist it. Verticality induces a fresh constraint, in turn providing an opening towards fresh liberty.
Silvère Jarrosson, who resided for three months at Giverny, was keen to give meaning to the somewhat porous divide between figuration and abstraction, which Claude Monet was one the first to explore.
While in his Nymphéas, Monet pushed his study of nature to the limit of abstraction, Silvère Jarrosson was engaged in the reverse process: starting off from abstraction, he gradually moved closer to a figuration of natural shapes. The living world is constantly evolving and ceaselessly pushing the limits of reality, giving genuine existence to abstract or unknown shapes. By travelling in the opposing direction to the master, one is able to paint a place so far removed from representation, an impression of nature that is potentially figurative despite being far from reality.
Rather than considering the natural world as a set of recognisable shapes and colours, a choice was made here to consider it as a phenomenon by which nature takes life, which the painter seeks to reproduce in order to represent nature. This is, admittedly, a very different approach from that of the Impressionists, yet it is essentially similar , since precise representation is neglected in favour of the phenomenon (optical with the Impressionists, biological for Silvère Jarrosson).
This residence coincided with ‘The Water Lilies. The American Abstract Art and the Last Monet’, an exhibition that took place at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. It provided an opportunity to study how the last ten years of Monet’s work witnessed the beginning of a fresh representation of nature—not yet fully explored.
The career of artists such as Fabienne Verdier illustrate the extent to which Chinese art in general, and especially calligraphy, can provide a path to abstraction for Western artists. With that in mind, Silvère Jarrosson decided to spend a month in residence in China. He notably worked on the notion of figural design and possible reading of his work as abstract landscapes.
Villa Jean-Denis Attiret in Canton / Guangzhou to host him, together with other—mostly local—artists, with the stay made possible by Vanities Gallery.
The work produced during the residence was on display at the Guangzhou Sixth Contemporary Art Triennale at the Guangzhou Museum of Art, in December 2018.