Pierre Antonelli’s works are presented as abstract compositions in which geometric forms intertwine to form a complex whole, unified by the artist’s repetitive gestures. The ensembles thus constructed are both strange and familiar, proceeding from a repertoire of known forms that nevertheless mobilise the viewer’s consciousness and imagination. Antonelli’s choice of abstraction is not insignificant, and the painter considers that no work is free of interpretation. He explains that “you can’t help but interpret, whether it is to justify a practice or to merge it. How many seek to see what is not shown by the drawings?
The real subject of his paintings is finally the act of painting itself, by exposing to us to forms and spaces which possess their own functionality and thus allow us to avoid the almost automatic phenomenon of recognition. This mechanics of gesture evokes that of Judit Reigl, an artist of gestural abstraction whose paintings are the materialization of the process employed, notably in her Déroulés in the mid-1970s.
In a similar manner, Angélique Chesnesec’s delicate sculptures explore the possibilities of the material and form used to question the methods of production and the relationship of the work to its medium. The two artists use repeated and meticulous gestures, recalling ancestral savoir-faire. The result is a language of forms that appears indecipherable, yet universally understandable. It is up to each of us to experience their rhythm, the sequence of geometric and linear configurations, or the interplay with space. Liberated from any naturalistic figuration or reproduction of the recognizable, the works thus become the basis of the spectator’s intimate and personal reflection. Free to interpret and envision the observed image, the viewer is the key to the creation of the work, whose final state takes shape in his or her mind through the personal mobilization of his or her memories and experiences, allowing for a singular appropriation.
While Pierre Antonelli’s gesture is measured and constructed, Angélique Chesnesec’s is much more autonomous and independent, and the artist willingly accepts the vagaries and unforeseen events of the material in the manner of Eva Hesse, a minimalist artist who considered the accident as a constituent element of the final work.
The result is delicate and sensitive, and her creations unfold with striking simplicity in the exhibition space.
The same meticulousness and technical mastery demonstrated by the two artists allow us to test our traditional repertoire of forms by offering an original language composed of dots, lines, and circles arranged in such a way as to constitute coherent and tangible spaces.
The complexity of the artistic processes employed by Angélique Chesnesec and Pierre Antonelli ultimately invites us to rethink our relationship with contemporary industrialized systems, as well as with a society of overconsumption that advocates serialization, the new and the fast. The sculptor works with waste material – steel, iron, linen – as a sacred and fragile material, and the complex entanglement of the painter’s forms reflects the meticulousness of the technique used.
Angélique Chesnesec and Pierre Antonelli offer us two visions of line and space. The former offers us a three-dimensional work that plays with its relationship to the exhibition surface, while the latter’s abstract drawings invite us to reflect on the act of painting and its creative gesture.
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