“Art consists in making others feel what we feel, in freeing them from themselves, by proposing our personality as a particular liberation” wrote Fernando Pessoa.
For this new exhibition, the sobering gallery invites you to travel through the personalities of the artists presented. Through a myriad of proposals, the viewer is invited to rethink interiority, intimacy, and the notion of home, both celebrated and challenged. The diversity of styles and mediums used reflects the variety of temperaments and sensations expressed. The pictorial genre of the interior scene, appreciated by the Dutch painters of the Golden Age, was brought back into fashion at the end of the 19th century by the so-called “intimist” painting of Hammershoi, Fantin-Latour and Vuillard. Intimism is a reflection of the interiority of the painter as well as the viewer and tends to capture the fleeting and instantaneous.
This quest for the ephemeral is found in the delicate rays of light of Thomas Andréa Barbey as well as in the drawings of Jean Bosphore in which the characters seem to be captured on the spot. The warm and comforting interiors of Ivan Arlaud are opposed to the frozen and unreal spaces of Brice Blanqué. Finally, Andréa Breinbauer’s reconstructed universes where the images fit together form a visual echo to Adrien Fricheteau’s framed windows. These few selected comparisons thus participate in a formal and visual comparison between the works in order to propose a non-exhaustive study of the interior scene.
By exploring a common theme, the different artists on display offer an ambivalent and contrasted vision, where intimacy contradicts the bizarre when it does not lead to it. The pictorial research allows a varied work around painting and drawing as pictorial means, treated in all possible ways. Oil paint, acrylic, tempera, pencil meet in a colorful symphony where the drawing occupies a place of first choice. Indeed, if the artists presented all use different mediums, a common attention is however brought to the realism and the strength of the composition.
Through different points of view, the viewer is encouraged to reconsider what he takes for granted. The eye is in turn deceived by Thomas André Barbey’s pointillism, reassured by Ivan Arlaud’s warmth, intrigued by Andréa Breinbauer’s complex setting in abime, disconcerted by Brice Blanqué’s juxtaposition of foreign spaces, captivated by Jean Bosphore’s unreal and distant spaces, or surprised by Adrien Fricheteau’s original framing of vedute. Perceptions are shaken up and the viewer can give free rein to his or her imagination in order to propose his or her own narrative to the scenes presented: where does the interior – the “home” – end, and where does the exterior, the other, begin? What story is the artist trying to express? Are we witnessing the artist’s experience or are we confronted with our own memories? These questions left voluntarily unanswered commit us to fully immerse ourselves in the work and to interact with it, and why not to see beyond our fixed horizons by throwing an eye through the window of art. The window is omnipresent, and reminds us of this motif that has become canonical in the History of Art, since the Renaissance when Leonardo da Vinci already recommended that the painter make his painting “an opening to the world”. The hidden references are numerous, and the classical literature, the cinematographic scenes or the pictorial references are mixed in a harmonious agreement.