Sylvie Mermoud, Pierre Bonard / Pas de Deux

29 April - 28 May 2017

Sylvie Mermoud's strange delicately chiselled microcosms waver between mineral, vegetable and animal.  They hint equally at invisible particles as much as entire universes of lunar landscapes.  They are suspended, autonomous, a logical consequence of their centripetal structures whose slight asymmetry suggests the possibility of expansion.    

Several themes recur in these works:  the embryonic cocoon made with transparent membranes through which we glimpse a growing seed; the tentacular and labyrinthine form which leads the eye indefinitely like an Escher trompe-l'oeil; the organic shape crossed by a network of veins which it struggles to contain, and the mountain silhouettes creating a chain of relief which seems to duplicate itself as on a reflecting surface.  The venomous aesthetic of Sylvie Mermoud fascinates and chills at the same time.  The shimmering colours and harmonious contours seduce our vision which may then become trapped in unending circumvolutions. 

Pierre Bonard's drawings could be characterised as mysterious proverbs which the artist presents to us as riddles.  With some very simple elements - stones, pieces of wood, fur - he composes virtual installations which are isolated on white paper and thus freed of any context.  The artist constructs and decomposes matter through delicacy of line, offering robust beams and transparent rock.

In this latest series of drawings, two themes, the cross, and the game "stone, paper, scissors" which could be replaced here by "stone, wood, fur", join and overlie each other in surprising inflections.  Like an alchemist, Pierre Bonard juggles with the materials and the ambiguity of drawing.  Green and blue colours transform the rock into ice or even into water in suspension, while the fur mutates into a grassy carpet.  He plays with our senses including that of humour which may sometimes be harsh.  Although his drawings have an attractive simplicity they are nevertheless complex because we are offered little help in understanding them.  The observer's imagination is stimulated and is free to appropriate the works.     

We are invited to a question and answer game by Sylvie Mermoud and Pierre Bonard in their art duet series.  The rules allow only one intervention in each drawing of the other.  Surprising works are the result.  The two languages balance each other.  Far from cancelling each other out they strengthen, amplify and complete creating enigmatic drawings like precious messages which reveal the mutual understanding of the two artists.