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 artwork 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 show components of an interweaving of individualized preoccupations and modes, unending specificities demarcate and verify originalities that natural idea and its leveling anonymity could vague. therefore is it that Gérard Garouste is on my own in that obsession with 'indianness' and 'classicalness'; that Colette Deblé's gesture is drawn implacably to the unseenness of girl illustration; that Georges Rousse plunges images into the world 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 well perpetually renew and hybridize itself. Christian Jaccard, too, will discover with distinctiveness an paintings of materiality on the frontier of metaphysics; Joël Kermarrec will provide us the inimitable beautiful lines of surging hope and deception; Danièle Perronne's bins 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 believe, from the right now sobering and ceremonial microproliferations of a Philippe Favier or the demanding yet genial articulations of Daniel Nadaud's sculptural mind's eye.
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An art by design, by self-designation, brimming with a purpose it alone speaks, beyond words. 11 Perhaps at best the final product of art may lead to a certain satisfaction, but the relaunching of desire, predicated, as René Char and Pierre Reverdy have argued, on the return of felt lack, absence, emptiness, suggests that the happiness of fusion depends not upon ‘product’, the producedness of art, but rather upon process, continuity, the unfinishable theoria of poiein. THE LIGHT OF DEATH, A SACREDNESS OF DOING: GEORGES ROUSSE In 1981 Georges Rousse set up a pseudo-studio in an abandoned warehouse and proceeded to create a work of photographic traces called, with extreme unpretentiousness, Entrepôt Vichy.
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.
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.