Armelle Benoît - Solo Show
October 11 2018 - October 20 2018
In October 12 to 20 2018, Mouvements Modernes will be back 29, rue de Seine with a solo show by Armelle Benoit.
« Meetings », this exhibition-event was born of the relationship between the artist and the wall as a symbol. Universal components of our history, walls shape our human landscapes. From Beijing to Jerusalem, they divide, support, link, protect, wrap, hide,… Men have built them, sometimes erected them, at other times forgotten them. Their surface can be the basis for all kind of stories, and their decay shows unexpected palimpsests. They have many different functions but they all ask the same enigma : « Given a wall, what is going on behind it ? * »
The reminiscences of the various impressions left in her imagination by these walls are at stake in the exhibition. The « Meetings » we’re invited to discover are the ones that occur between the different states of the clay Armelle Benoit works with : « Strength / lightness, erasure / emergence, abandonment / will, crop up / outcrop ». Among all these paradoxical qualities, Armelle Benoit has chosen three : lightness, relief, flight.
In a tension towards lightness, a mural. Here, the artist seeks to transmute the materiality of the wall and bring it to a state of abandonment, through a tense gesture in which the brush stretches up to exhaustion and erasure. This proposition tries to « open the wall to something different » : to contradict this wall which separates and draws frontiers, to empty its essence to give way to an interior landscape. To bring to its surface the infinity that is on the other side.
In front of the mural, « fragments », a bas-relief : the clay expands. It expresses its white and angular materiality, like an ordered chaos made of shades and lights.
In the center of the space, between the walls, a set of movable sculptures from which a slender form springs, laid in a subtle swing. The form is under tension and at the same time rests. It has something immaterial in its very materiality. It reflects the search for a fundamental form, between two states.
Born in Paris in 1957, painter and ceramist Armelle Benoit lives and works in Durtal. Shortly after training as a painter at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and then ceramics, at Bourges Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Jacqueline Lerat, Armelle Benoit has worked with contemporary artists and designers, such as Miquel Barcelo, then artist in residence, or Ettore Sottsass. She makes murals for painter Gérard Garouste and works regularly with architects Marie Christine Dorner and Pierre Yovanovitch.
These collaborative works of creation and interpretation, just as her « movable sculptures », question the boundaries between decoration, design, sculpture and architecture. The personal researches of the artist benefit from those collaborations and move towards « a personal writing which seeks the limits of expression ».
The relationship with Armelle Benoit began at Neotu Gallery, at the end of the 1980’s, thanks to the collaboration with designers Garouste & Bonetti. In 2005, the gallery exposed her personal work during the exhibitions Funky Zen, Chic Matière in 2014 or PAD Paris 2017, and in 2018 with the monograph event « Meetings ».
* Jean Tardieu