> Chantal Carrel, Ariane Monod

23rd February - 24th march 2013

The panoramic paintings and charcoal drawings of Ariane Monod unfold along the wall like souvenirs that the artist may have collected during her travels.  The images, which fluctuate continuously, have a fleeting quality as a result of their horizontal form and sequence of spontaneous tints, like the memory of a dream or of a film which is being made in front of our eyes.  In perfect control of technique the artist juxtaposes and superposes pigments on metal sheets creating a horizon of an infinite variety of blues and ochres several metres long.  There is something playful in the harmonious tones which twine around each other like shimmering silk and which convey the idea of aquatic or aerial environments rather than landscapes.  The latter are more concretely represented in her “panoramic narratives” drawn with charcoal on metal sheets, where plant or urban elements, shown realistically, alternate with more abstract segments.  This constant coming and going between the spontaneous and the real is nearly cinematographic.  The fleeting elusive quality of dream literally appears in the sketch which the artist produced on one of the walls of the gallery.  A temporary line of movement in charcoal briefly materialises and transforms into a landscape, which will disappear at the end of the exhibition. 

The sculptures of Chantal Carrel counter the blue hues of Ariane Monod’s paintings with exotic tones which are released from their geometric solidity by playing on transparency and reflection.  The triangular or rectangular forms of coloured bio-resin sheets assembled together, trap the light and redistribute it around themselves, defragmenting the surrounding space.  The artist thus reformulates the relation between empty and full, between volumes and what surrounds them, through colours overflowing as a result of their reflection on the surfaces where they stand.  

The boundaries between real and unreal scatter in luminous shards while the shapes, often equipped with wheels, reinforce the impression of lightness given by their translucence, and suggest potential movement.  In her most recent series of pieces made from fine bars of Plexiglas, Chantal Carrel emphasises virtual volumes by a tangle of intersecting lines.  She creates ovoid forms or kinds of container which trap the light in their complex network of filaments, a kind of rigid web or anarchic crystalline structure.  These works are close to sketches; they call up elusive volumes whose transparence magnifies their fleeting beauty and fragile equilibrium. /NK

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