Galerie Jean Fournier, 22 rue du Bac, 75007, Paris, Tel 00 33 (0)142974400
January 10 - February 23, 2013

Claire-Jeanne Jézéquel       Recent Work

For Claire-Jeanne Jézéquel’s first solo exhibition at Galerie Jean Fournier we are delighted to be presenting a group of recent sculptures titled Sketches. This exhibition comes in the wake of the autumn-winter 2012 show in the Stables at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec, featuring works from the same series.

The Sketches are assemblages of plasterboard cut up and glued to metal rails. The plasterboard is covered with color—black, blue, red—that thins out as it spreads across the surface.

These works are simultaneously spatial constructions and drawings in space. The choice of the English word Sketches as a title signals this French artist’s intentions: for her « a sketch is a draft, a quick drawing; but it is also a playlet, a short theatrical form. I play geometry off against the elusive form of the runs of ink, drawing against sculpture, the rawness of the material against the effusiveness of the color. »[1]

One of the works on display at Galerie Jean Fournier, Sketch (no. 13, grande esquisse rouge), runs along the gallery’s longest wall, beneath the succession of windows. This is a piece that combines verticality, articulation and horizontal thrust. Its red is brightly saturated and the sensation of rapidity often mentioned by the artist in connection with the latest developments in her work is strikingly present. This same rapidity is also to be found in Sketch (no. 6), but in this case more in relation to the execution. Of this work and another from the same sequence she has written, « I really did make them with this idea of rapidity in mind, of bringing energy to bear on very simple components, the way you do for a sketch. For me these are sketches of sculptures. And they are already sculptures. The meaning of the word sketch is maybe more important in that sense. »[2]

These recent works point up once more the artist’s fondness for adapting basic materials, often from the construction industry. As Catherine Millet has put it, Claire-Jeanne Jézéquel is always intent on having us « keep in mind the way the works are made, and sustained, just when their contemplation tends to make us forget these prosaic circumstances. »[3] The discrepancy between the austerity of the chosen material and the fluidity of the ink reminds us of the contrast to be found in her earlier Pseudo-casting series, in which the broken edges of pieces of chipboard are left unconcealed, while the upper surface is coated with smooth, inviting paint.

These newest works are marked by a distinctive, surprising use of color, which either fills the lacunars or spreads across the entire surface of the paper covering the plasterboard. In this case its covering power is considerable. Sprayed or thrown onto the plasterboard sheets, the color gives rise to a host of subtle nuances and intense chromatic variations.

It is above all color, not paint, that is involved here: a dyeing process, perhaps, as Karim Ghaddab suggests in his catalogue essay. Whatever the case, the artist’s most recent pieces offer the eye and the mind a singular commitment to speculation about sculpture via drawing, sketching and a deployment of color that conjures up the act of painting.

A catalogue containing a text by Karim Ghaddab has been published covering both this exhibition and the earlier one at the Domaine de Kerguéhennec.

[1] Claire-Jeanne Jézéquel, exhibition catalogue l’art dans les chapelles, 2011, p.74

[2] Claire-Jeanne Jézéquel, exhibition catalogue dé-composition, Les Tanneries d’Amilly, Galerie l’Agart, 2012, p.22

[3] Catherine Millet, « Claire-Jeanne Jézéquel, La dialectique du contreplaqué », Art Press no. 303, July-August, 2004, p.44

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