Katrin Bremermann Art Press 09/2014

September 10, 2014

Katrin Bremermann s’est toujours efforcée de dépasser les limites structurelles de la toile en tant que cadre, support et surface. Ses peintures proposent un parcours aux récits variés, ou chaque oeuvre semble répondre à une autre, mais où chaque composition sur laquelle se pose le regard se propose un discours émotionnel nouveau. Sa recherche de transgression des bornes classiques du châssis, de la toile tendue et de la ligne, associée à l’épuration de la couleur et de la forme, signent un sensation nouvelle à chaque confrontation. Tout part de la ligne droite et de la courbe qui travaillées avec la couleur pure, engagent un équilibre nouveau. Car ce qui anime son travail reste la possibilité d’un nouveau langage répondant à une pluralité d’affects immédiats cette recherche de langage s’incarne dans l’importance du rythme donné à la toile par la transformation du châssis, qui renvoie à l’union entre ligne travaillée et à un coloris presque palpable.

Le désir,  au châssis asymétrique, illustre parfaitement ce travail d’expressions de la ligne par la marque du tracé, par le modelé de l’huile, formant un carré rouge parfait à l’angle inférieur courbé par la tension de la toile comme la tente d’un chapiteau. L’oeil  s’amuse de trouver de la mollesse dans la ligne  solide, de l’instable dans la forme droite. C’est à un jeu visuel et émotif que souhaite nous inviter Katrin Bremermann, fondé sur le maniement itératif et la réaction des attributs les plus élémentaires de la la peinture.

Texte : Alban Benoit-Hambourg

Critique télérama 9/04/2014

April 11, 2014

Lance Letscher

The Dream of Flight

Il n’y a pas que du pétrole au Texas, mais aussi des piles et des piles de livres scolaires, des catalogues de vente des années 50 ou encore des vieux bouquins de science fiction que l’artiste Lance Letscher, vivant à Austin, adore chiner et accumuler pour les découper, à l’aide d’un scalpel, pendant des heures, et en assembler les sujets avec une précision et une patience rares.

On verra sa récente moisson, avec ses nouveaux collages, où planent partout des avions et des petites planètes … Recycleur acharné et impromptu, l’artiste américain perpétue la tradition du collage Dada ou pop avec une attention presque baroque.

 

English version

There isn’t only oil in Texas but piles and piles of textbooks, catalogs from the 50’s or old science fiction books that the artist Lance Letscher, who lives in Austin, loves antiquing and accumulating to cut them out, with the help of a scalpel, for hours on end and assemble the subjects with a rare precision and patience.

We will see his new crop, with his new collages in which hover a multitude of planes and small planets…  A diligent and impromptu recycler, this American artist perpetrates the tradition of Dada or pop collage with and almost baroque attention.

Laurent Boudier

Max Neumann dans la Gazette de Drouot

March 07, 2014

Œuvres récentes

Des peintures monumentales, dont le mystère renvoie à la présence forte. Des figures se découpent sur un fond évoquant un décor rationnel. Pas de signes distinctifs, regard et bouche absents, aucun pathos, mais la certitude d’être face à une entité picturale.

Max Neumann, né en 1949 à Sarrebruck, gomme tout ce qui pourrait distraire notre perception de ces grandes formes plastiques simplifiées, schématisées, optant pour un anonymat qui recourt à l’essentiel. Des contrastes puissants évocateurs des fresquistes ou des affichistes, un art de la synthèse plastique servi par une économie de couleurs. Deux plans, trois parfois, écrivent le dédoublement de la figure, son aspiration par le fond ou son resurgissement à travers des éléments de décor communs. En regard, les dessins prolongent cette énigme visuelle avec la prolifération de formes, d’objets dont l’assemblage débouche sur une sorte de rébus. Leur aspect soyeux vient d’une nouvelle approche du papier, huilé et ciré, odorant. La lumière uniforme circule dans un espace voilé sur lequel l’imaginaire délivre une inventivité impromptue.

« Dessiner et peindre sont des temps différents », confie l’artiste. Le dessin dispense un mystère bruissant de la légèreté des touches posées sur des feuilles de registre, de journaux. La peinture revendique une solennité par la rigueur du dessin dont les territoires s’imbriquent dans un hiératisme formel. Eclatante, la couleur – bleu, vert, rouge, noir, blanc – hante longtemps notre mémoire.

Lydia Harambourg

Recent works

Monumental paintings whose mysteries echo a strong presence. Figures cut out of a backdrop that suggests rational spaces. No distinctive signs, absent eyes or mouths, no pathos, but the certainty to be in front of a pictorial entity. Max Neumann born in 1949 in Sarrebruck, erases anything that could distract our perception of these plasticized and simplified great shapes, that are schematic and that opt for an anonymity that goes straight to the point. Strong contrasts that recall the work of frescos and printing, an art of plastic synthesis served by an economy of color. Two layouts, sometimes three, tell us about the duplication of the figure, it’s aspiration by the backdrop or it’s resurgence thru different elements of common surroundings.

While looking at them, the drawings continue this visual enigma with the proliferation of shapes, objects that if you link create a certain puzzle. Their silky aspect comes from a new approach to paper, oiled and waxed, but also fragrant. The uniform light circulates in a veiled space upon which our imagination immediately set free an impromptu inventiveness.

“To draw and to paint are different moments” reveals the artist.

Drawing provides a mystery in the rustling of touches of paint on the sheets of registrars or newspapers. Painting claims a solemnity by the rigor of the drawing of which the territories overlap in a hieratic formality. Dazzling, the color – blue, green, red, black, white, haunts our mind for a long time.

Lydia Harambourg

Gazette de Drouot

Max Neumann dans Telerama

February 21, 2014

Il est libre Max, comme dans la chanson, et c’est une surprise de le retrouver à la Galerie Vidal-Saint Phalle de nouvelles œuvres peintures et dessins qui changent de ce que nous gardions en mémoire. Né en Allemagne en 1949, et vivant à Berlin, Max Neumann nous avait habitués à des œuvres marquées par un jeu graphique de contrastes forts. Là nous découvrons une suite de dessins d’une rare tendresse : gouaches ou aquarelles, portraits d’hommes anonymes, sans qualité définie, aux yeux parfois occultés. Mais aussi des peintures de personnages plus énigmatiques, où il ose les aplats du noir mat, de bleu intense ou de vert envahissant la composition.

« Max is free », just like the title of the French song and it is a surprise do rediscover him at the Vidal-Saint Phalle gallery, new works, paintings and drawings, that show change to what we had kept in mind.
Born in 1949 in Germany and living in Berlin, Max Neumann got us use to works marked by a graphic play of strong contrasts. Here, we discover a series of drawings of rare tenderness: gouaches or watercolors, portraits of anonymous men , not properly defined and with sometimes hidden eyes. But also paintings of enigmatic characters, where he dares solids of matt black, intense blue or green overrunning the composition.

Eleanor Moreton

October 16, 2013

Eleanor Moreton: “I See the Bones in the River”

Yvette Greslé talks to Eleanor Moreton about her paintings and her influences.

Yvette Gresté (YG): Painting is a medium so burdened by history. What does painting mean to you? What do you think are the possibilities of painting today?

Eleanor Moreton (EM): In some ways the huge burden of painting, its historical baggage, has been part of its attraction for me. Maybe that’s not a good thing – a bit like being trapped in an obsessive, over-analytic relationship. It seems to be difficult to speak beyond that history. From talking to other artists; there are some who can’t stand the weight of painting’s history and turn to other, fresher ways of making art. I’ve incorporated painting’s history into my subject matter and the way I work for a long time. But at the moment I’m wondering how heavily or how lightly this should be carried. Physically, painting is an extremely simple idea, but conceptually it is not. At its heart is the mystery of depiction. I am interested in the significance of pictures and the way we relate to the painted picture (as opposed to the moving picture or the photographic picture). I deliberately use “picture” here as opposed to image, which is the more contemporary word.

YG: What interests you about the process of applying paint to a surface?

EM: This process has, essentially, a visceral pleasure for me. More than that: it’s a sort of need. The process is very similar to dancing and when things are going well it’s intuitive. Beyond that, I think for a long time I was preoccupied by a curiosity about how you can extend your language or your steps and I was often exploring things that felt very un-natural. Which is useful I think, but can lead away from something potentially more important. Although I’m not sure yet what that is.

YG: Do you draw on particular histories of painting?

EM: I make allusions all the time to other paintings. When I was growing up, looking at paintings and reproductions of paintings was so pleasurable; it was unlike all the other hard things we had to do. It’s always extremely difficult for me to break through an existing painting and find something of mine in it. I have to trust that there is some value in that endeavour, even when I don’t make much headway. I think I’m as interested in why I fail to break away from a source as I am in succeeding. I recognised some time back that my attempts to impose myself on a pre-existing image is part of an on-going struggle to find a wider personal autonomy.

YG: What kinds of painterly mediums and surfaces interest you?

EM: I’m not interested in pursuing technological developments or material experiments for their own sake, although that is a way to move painting into another place, make them look different. I’m not exploring the object nature of painting. In some ways I like to see how far I can go with very little variety. I have always enjoyed using oil paints because of their luxurious, sensuous quality. I like using watercolours, although they take some getting used to. They don’t forgive like oil paints do and quickly become distressed. They need a sort of bravado confidence that I’m always surprised by.

I like a smooth surface and use as smooth a canvas as I can. I love working on board and have worked on card intermittently. I’m really enjoying the current cardboard pieces. I think I must really love that brown cardboard. I love the colour and feel quite excited when I find a box at work and bring it home.

YG: What role does colour play in your work?

EM: Colour is hugely important. About 8 years ago it came to me that I really didn’t know what I was doing when it came to colour. I was astonished that I’d never learned anything about it in all my formal studying. I actually think the English don’t register colour as important in painting. We understand the value of drawing. But only drawing as a way of understanding space. Working with colour requires something else – a huge conceptual adjustment that you can see in Matisse. It’s a subtle but seismic shift. I don’t go there, but I know where it is. Just the decision to start considering colour as of primary importance, and practical measures, like mixing paints very consciously, has led me to a better understanding and wider options.

YG: You work with so many different kinds of sources: from personal memory to media text. What happens creatively and conceptually in the space between source and finished work?

EM: Well, good point! I can’t pretend that my sources are not important. They are hugely important, though not in a didactic way. They drive my painting and maybe more than that. Maybe I even want to put questions into the public realm. How do you let the painting have its head, as well as keeping in touch with your source? For me each piece negotiates that afresh and at different times in our lives we favour a different emphasis. It isn’t a process which quietly unfolds (like a thought which becomes a series of ever developing drawings, concluding in a painting). It’s more scattered and sparky, with conceptual connections popping up at odd times and paintings that make themselves and then reveal themselves (some time later to have meaning). Sometimes it feels like I’m in that chariot race in Ben Hur.

One way I think about it is that there are a number of formal things I want to find out about and there are a number of external sources that I want to talk about. And I try and bring those together in a way which deals with both, rather than neither.

YG: How do you use your medium to speak about contemporary issues? Is there a politics to the process of painting?

EM: I think it’s very hard. The rhetoric around abstraction, probably traceable to Clement Greenberg or earlier to Roger Fry and Clive Bell, has lingered on to become the rhetoric surrounding all painting, figurative or non-figurative. Content has become the thing nobody wants to own. And it’s difficult to know whether we can make good, interesting paintings that are not simply talking about themselves. It’s certainly very risky to try to speak beyond the materiality of the painting, because usually when we try to do that, what we say or make ends up looking banal. It’s something I’m thinking about a lot at the moment.

YG: To what extent is your relationship to painting influenced by the geographical space you occupy? I’m interested in histories of painting from around the world. And also in the extent to which the medium exists not only in relation to history but also to geography (or perhaps more specifically to place).

EM: My initial thought is that it’s part of being a studio painter that you engage with the world in a mediated way. So geography exists primarily in my imagination, in the same way that history does. But then I realise that there is a two-way relationship: I dream about place, then I visit it, then I return and the dreams I have next find their way into paintings. But I think the whole process is usually initiated by something fictional.

Words like Baltic and Hanseatic trigger reveries. There is a cluster of locations, mostly Northern and Central European, Germanic, Nordic or Slavic that started in my imagination, fuelled by reading, listening to the radio and films, and became real by visiting them.

I did many Hapsburg paintings. I think the first one may have been called Hapsburg Hat and it started from a short visit to Madrid. It was really hot and I spent my daytimes in the Prado. I came across a Velazquez painting of Philip IV and he was wearing a little hunting-type hat. There was also a beautiful dog in the painting. I suppose it may be something to do with the scale of Velazquez’s paintings, but wandering about in those windowless rooms amongst larger than life characters, after a while you are transported.

When I was a schoolchild the first schools’ television programme I ever saw was called “People from Many Lands”. The first episode was about Gozo. When I saw the television programme I felt very excited. How amazing that being at school could be so interesting, but also how amazing that the world contained places like Gozo. I visited Gozo by chance 30 years later. I was actually marooned there. But when I visited it I felt as though I’d come to a magical place because it was the place of my childhood dream.

 

Eleanor Moreton,The Lady of Shalott, 2010, Oil on canvas, 35 x 45 cm

Eleanor Moreton,The Lady of Shalott, 2010, Oil on canvas, 35 x 45 cm