By Michael Bishop
Gérard Garouste, Colette Deblé, Georges Rousse, Geneviève Asse, Martial Raysse, Christian Jaccard, Joël Kermarrec, Danièle Perronne, Daniel Dezeuze, Philippe Favier, Daniel Nadaud: after the 11 essays of Contemporary French paintings 1, dedicated to significant artists from Ben Vautier and Niki de Saint Phalle to Annette Messager and Gérard Titus-Carmel, the current quantity pursues its interrogations of the what, the how and the why of modern plastic creation of a few of France's best practitioners. If, as ever, such construction can demonstrate parts of an interweaving of individualized preoccupations and modes, never-ending specificities demarcate and verify originalities that natural concept and its leveling anonymity may perhaps vague. hence is it that Gérard Garouste is by myself in that obsession with 'indianness' and 'classicalness'; that Colette Deblé's gesture is drawn implacably to the unseenness of woman illustration; that Georges Rousse plunges images into the area of matter's poetic sacredness; that Geneviève Asse traverses a natural seemingness of abstraction to achieve to an intimacy of silence; that Martial Raysse's 'hygiene of imaginative and prescient' may possibly ceaselessly renew and hybridize itself. Christian Jaccard, too, will discover with forte an artwork of materiality on the frontier of metaphysics; Joël Kermarrec will supply us the inimitable beautiful lines of surging hope and deception; Danièle Perronne's containers and stringings, her work and her sheetings will spread a psychic infinity on the center of shape. And, if Daniel Dezeuze seeks namelessness and natural structuration, the latter but surge forth through works that relentlessly establish a gesture so far away, we may possibly think, from the right now sobering and ceremonial microproliferations of a Philippe Favier or the annoying yet genial articulations of Daniel Nadaud's sculptural mind's eye.
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Additional info for Contemporary French Art: 2
And at all moments there remains in her consciousness – her conscience, too, to the extent that an ethics may be said to merge with/emerge from her aesthetics – that at once troubling yet, at moments, exhilarating equation: seeing = seeing self. Seeing her own mother’s exposed sex, however, sends the childartist scurrying off to draw in the sand so as to bury the image, as Deblé tells us in all simplicity in Lumière de l’air. And if the sexual organs of the many women she depicts/remakes, from the early boîtesfenêtres to works such as Camille Claudel: La Vague or Anonyme: Néréide, Égypte, VIe, or even, Egon Schiele: Femme blonde couchée (1914), lose their physiological blatancy in a larger meditative embrace of the presence and the body of woman – ‘I draw the women of my intimate heaven’, she can tell us –, yet can she see herself, she maintains, like those women portrayed by Otto Dix.
Claude and Françoise Lelièvre have seen in Deblé’s work on the representation of women a vast ‘political allegory’, and it is not difficult to adhere to such thinking, although Deblé herself wonders to what extent ‘women can remain an allegory when a woman is the painter: when it is a woman painter who is re-drawing [woman] and re-designating her’. Chalumeau terms Colette Deblé’s art a maieutic art, a subtle Socratic art, we may see it as, ever questioning so as to give birth in the other to his or her unconscious, to date veiled and buried, thinking – with respect to women, that is.
42 Contemporary French Art 2 organs (usually the penis) or limbs, hands, feet, hair. Drawings/nondrawings produced in a matter of a few days and, perhaps tellingly, almost never in the two interviews with Bernard Noël, occasioning discussion of the strictly material, plastic dimension of their fabrication and reality. The boîtes-fenêtres-dessins, begun a couple of years later, and bearing no distinguishing (sub-)titles, do, however, draw some consideration. Jean-Luc Chalumeau is particularly taken with the intricacy both of such work as work and of its conceptualisation.