Geneviève Capitanio, June Papineau, Axelle Snakkers
13th April - 8th May
When Geneviève Capitanio painted Aux Limites – Hockney versus Photoshop - on the floor of a swimming pool for a joint exhibition at Monthey, she initiated the idea of image distortion which she has since applied to various scenes from nature. At first sight, her oil paintings resemble photos adjusted electronically to achieve a distortion like water refraction. Her favourite subjects, birds, flowers, landscape elements, are over-stretched and become imprisoned in anarchic spirals. This process questions what is a realistic representation of a subject, distorts volumes to the point of rendering them immaterial, and restores the paintings’ original colour-mix as it might be on a palette or in a container.
Axelle Snakkers uses oil paint on aluminium sheets and she uses a sander as often as a paintbrush. She begins by superimposing different colours on the metal sheet, then delicately sands them to reveal the buried shades and give them the shapes she wants. Abstract in appearance, her compositions gradually reveal their resemblance to sky or clouds seen over fields. Our gaze loses itself through round or square shapes and through layers of colour until the metal finally reappears in greys of different opacity. The original subject of her work, nature, alluded to in the title of the series, Paysages imparfaits (Imperfect Landscapes), is confronted with man-made material and becomes a miniature universe which reflects an integrated and newly restored image.
Nature also accompanies the work and life of June Papineau, principally an installation artist. Her work begins with literal immersion in nature through direct contact with plants, in particular trees. She patiently covers tree trunks with layers of clay, glues and pieces of gauze to make a cast which reproduces their texture. Unrolled and hung, these artificial envelopes become a sketch, the ghost, of the tree, its history captured in a timeless present. She has discovered weakened trunks lying on the banks of rivers because beavers have gnawed them. They nevertheless regrow through the discarded pieces on the damaged places. These observations inspired a fibre-optic installation in which the life essence, so strong in vegetation, is conveyed by light which spreads along the junctions of the branches and seems to grow forever, defying destruction. /NK