Anne Neukamp “Gamberge” and Nicolas Moulin “Albedo” at Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris
Anne Neukamp “Gamberge”
Anne Neukamp’s painting is structured around different planes that reveal both a play of motifs and a unique pictorial process. So the temptation arises to conduct a cross-sectional analysis like a geologist, to record the successive strata, or reveal the artist’s various approaches and influences.
In the decryption game, the rendering of the foreground motif evokes the engraving technique, while the second level approaches hyperrealism, and the third seems to borrow the characteristics of a fresco. Through this know-how and these references, the artist situates her pictorial story within the history of art, while creating her own history: none of the planes is secondary, a mere pretext for highlighting others. Here, there is no background in the service a figurative motif. On the contrary, every part of the composition plays an essential, fully-fledged role.
And yet the motif raises questions. Appropriating logos, objects and letters, it establishes a grammar from sources that are difficult to pinpoint.
In this play of motifs, forms and techniques, the subtlety and singularity of Anne Neukamp’s work can be perceived: a plane-by-plane rendering that models the beginnings of a 3D image. It is work that well and truly belongs to its time, with that reference to the codes and signs of web culture, a convoluted subject, “painting 2.0”, as Colby Chamberlain defined it in Artforum when writing about Anne Neukamp’s work.
In his time, Magritte did the same. As a witness and messenger of a world newly ruled by objects, the surrealist artist revealed the advertising world to the collective consciousness of the 20th century. Anne Neukamp acknowledges Magritte’s influence. Some of the paintings presented in this exhibition, or in the previous ones, testify to this inspiration. But this reference can only be taken so far. The “abstraction through hybridisation” in these compositions is endlessly surprising.
Anne Neukamp’s pictorial language is situated outside the realm of the purely contemplative. Based on this motif, the artist begins a process of transformation that leads her towards a process of abstraction. In fact, through these works, Anne Neukapmp invites the viewer to explore and question the meaning of the symbols of our time
Nicolas Moulin “Albedo”
These 12 drawings are the beginning of an inventory of those bodies of the Solar System known as “asteroids”, made of ice and rock. Some of them are found in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, while others orbit planets (Mars, Saturn) and still others are “Earth-crossing”, that is to say they have an oblique, autonomous orbit. NASA missions have photographed them close-up or far away, with high precision or less precision, as they have passed close by, or while these missions were using them to “bounce” during longer journeys.
The act of drawing them brings in the idea of perceiving them, beyond seeing them. An archaic act for archaic bodies. It is as if lifting a pencil to represent them had become a ritual, an animistic form of worship. Drawing possesses that almost mystical characteristic of trying to capture the shape and light of things, and I am interested by the paradox that consists in using a 19th-century technique of drawing to reproduce images created by the highest technology. This paradox introduces the idea of time, and intensifies the faraway, inaccessible feeling, because every image, no matter how well-photographed, remains a total abstraction insofar as no human has been able to contemplate, with the naked eye, that which it represents.
at Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris
until 21 July 2018