Françoise Ley

 ( 1979, Luxembourg)

"Painting is another way of thinking"
Gerhard Richter
My work is a narrative work, which invites the observer to look really close, and to dive into the different layers and stories of the paintings.

I often juxtapose contrasting – or even contradictory - elements and techniques in one painting. There are components of great strength and energy, alongside very sensitive ones. Imaginary elements that lead us back to our childhood dreams are found next to gestural elements, as well as geometric forms and graphic. I like to “overthrow the anticipated associations” (Michèle Destarac). This mirrors the intricacy of the world around us.

Literature, especially poetry, but also any kind of written or spoken word, highly influence my work.
Even if my work is abstract, what really interests me most, is man and his story, his emotions and his dreams, his spirituality, ...
To whom it may concern

The commitment and work of the artist Françoise Ley

At Art2Cure 2017, in the exhibition presented at the BIL, Françoise Ley exhibited a series of small paintings that caught my attention for their singularity. Remarkably put together thanks to the use of various combinations of techniques and themes blending painting, lead pencil, photographic collages with “figurative” motifs of a quasi-academic realism or similar to the hasty traces of graffiti, these little pictures left a presentiment of larger formats.

A visit to her studio at the 1535° Differdange was more than interesting in this regard. I was able to talk with Françoise Ley, question her about her current work, her training, and also see older works than those shown at the BIL. I was positively surprised by her progress, the development, the tenacity of her “manner” which in the larger and more recent formats testified to the fact that she had attained a point of maturity coming close to the affirmation of a “style” which it is not enough simply to exploit. Like all talented artists, with conviction and assurance, which does not exclude doubt or uncertainties, Françoise Ley manages to impose the evidence of her knowledge and her style, immediately identifiable by the viewer, but she begins also to call into question, to raise uncertainties, formal questionings, spatial redefinitions, bearing witness to the fact that she is not satisfied to rest with what she has acquired thus far. Her work is a kind of quest, not of an impossible absolute, but of a formal configuration in which shapes and colours are played out with a complex spatial sense dovetailing depths and flat planes, always reduced to the established flatness of the support.

Her recent works have confirmed to me what I gleaned from the felicitous premises of the little pictures I saw with such pleasure at the BIL, namely that this deliberately abstract art is not a process following in the wake of a defunct abstraction. A whole broad section of contemporary art, especially in Europe, has been celebrating its funeral with jubilation for more than twenty years. But this contemporary art, which is no longer abstract or is so only for its own ends, is already out of breath, is becoming bogged down, without recourse and stubborn in its gloomy abyss in which a number of talents are being wrecked. The German art scene, of which a daring Luxembourgish artist – Michel Majerus – was one of the major protagonists at the beginning of this century, long ago reforged its links to painting as has the American scene, animated today by “feminist” artists such as Mary Heilmann, Suzan Frecon, Amy Sillman, etc. Although neglected since the 1970s, over the last ten years they have become the established “stars” of international art. In Asia, in South America, in the United States, of course, we can no longer speak of a return to painting, but more surely of a painting of renewal in which the forms and the topics of the imaginary museum dreamt of by Malraux and accomplished by the Internet can crystallise. There is no longer, today, an avant-garde building ideal cities, but, much more fruitfully, the creation of personal worlds and the pursuit of unusual adventures that help us live the present and hope for the future. And that do so far better than the avant-garde movements of the twentieth century. The work of Françoise Ley participates in these resolutely international aspirations. She contributes to this creation of new worlds and new spaces. She accepts the associated risks. Françoise Ley deserves our attention and support. She works as a true professional with the same energy as the artists cited and the same fervour as evidenced by Sadie Laska, Katherine Bernhardt, Carie Moyer or Katharina Grosse.
- Françoise Ley, Interlude, Ceysson & Bénétière, Wandhaff, Luxembourg (L)
-Schwaarzt Haus, Temporary Art Gallery, Luxembourg (L)
-Art2Cure, BIL, Luxembourg (L)

-Luxembourg Art Week (L)
- Exposition des artistes résidents, Galerie H2O, Obercorn (L)
-Art2Cure, BIL, Luxembourg (L)​
- Beyond the Fire
"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire." Charles Bukowski )
Cercle Munster, Luxembourg (L) (solo show)

-HouseMix, House 17, Luxembourg-City (L)
- Centre Boyu Culture, Shanghai (China)
- Exposition des artistes résidents, Galerie H2O Obercorn (L)
-Museum of Tiananmen Square, Peking (China)
-Songzhuang Art Gallery, Bejijing, (China)

-Art Nordic, Copenhagen (DK)
-Biennale d'Art contemporain de la commune de Strassen (L)
-Exposition "La liberté d'expressions" organized by Cercle Artistique du Luxembourg at Musée de la Résistance, Esch-sur-Alzette (L)
-Salon International de la Madeleine, Paris (F)
-Exposition des artistes résidents de Differdange, Galerie H2O Obercorn (L)
-Salon d'Automne d'Aulnay-sous-Bois (F)
-EuropArtFair, Rotterdam (NL)

Ralph Weis, Luxembourg (L) (solo show)