As a basis for an artistic work, with a view to making a painting, or a specific space for experimentation, as well as of the artist’s intimate expressivity, drawing has benefited, for the past few years, from a renewal of unexpected attention on behalf of institutions and of collectors.
That renewed interest is the likely consequence of the damage caused by the historical avant-gardes of the 20th century, by the hierarchies imposed between various practices. For the moment, drawing is at the very heart of theoretical preoccupations.
The gallery Malingue is happy to contribute, for the first time, to this enthusiastic renewal, with an exhibition entitled Perspectives Atmosphériques.
The chosen works provide a panorama of some graphic visions as expressed by the greatest artists of the 20th century. They appear as so many varieties of the various registers and gestures in drawing. They span a period going from Picabia’s working drawings to the liquid expanses by Nolde or Sam Francis, by way of the obsessive punctuations, repetitive gestures or Michaux or Ernst’s automatic processes.
An observation led us to their selection : for an artist, to draw often means embodying inner visions, so that, within the space of a sheet of paper, they become, by the act of drawing, a fully fledged universe.
In some works, an obvious iconography recalls that link with the universal dimension. Using a graphic range in which the stroke tends to outline the elements it describes, Calder, Matta or Arp drew maps of the skies, traced the outlines of the various materials that inhabit it and the outlines of the forces that set it in motion.
Other works, modern Nympheas, gouaches or watercolors, are universal or atmospheric thanks to the link interwoven by means of color, landscape and a feeling of immensity, fluid outlines and a dissolution within the liquid element that makes them up.
Between the stroke and the expanse, the map and the territory, the works by Michaux, Boetti or Ernst open up doors towards other universal perceptions. Their automatic processes, strategically aimed at losing one’s bearings, at limiting the artist’s half godlike power of decision-making, produce works whose swarming summon up other worlds.
From the infinitely large to the infinitely small, from the universe to microbes, these works appear like the varied expressions of a "universal dynamism", to take up an expression used by the Futurists. Between those two dimensions, the implicit question is also that of a to-ing and fro-ing between figuration and abstraction, or that of the point of view. In other words: the same thing, whether it is looked at close up or far away, is transformed, becomes illegible, or reveals another reality. From these relativities of vision, there emerge expressions of a Great Whole, that will always be transmitted by means of drawing.
List of Artists:
Hans ARP (1886-1966)
Alighiero BOETTI (1940-1994)
Pierre BONNARD (1867-1947)
Alexander CALDER (1898-1976)
Jean DUBUFFET (1901-1985)
Max ERNST (1891-1976)
Lucio FONTANA (1899-1968)
Sam FRANCIS (1923-1994)
Wassily KANDINSKY (1866-1944)
Henri MICHAUX (1899-1984)
Joan MITCHELL (1925-1992)
Emil NOLDE (1867-1956)
Francis PICABIA (1879-1953)
Yves TANGUY (1900-1955)
Cy TWOMBLY (1928-2011)
ZAO Wou-Ki (born in 1920)