March 09, 2019
9 March – 8 September 2019
Opening view saturday 9 March 2019 at 11am
Galerie des Ponchettes – MAMAC Hors les murs
77 quai des Etats-unis 06300 Nice
Curated by Hélène Guenin, director of MAMAC
Putting time and nature to work... Seeing painting like an odyssey through the materials’ various states and art like an alchemical adventure; these are the concepts that drive Adrien Vescovi’s approach. The artist produces his own colours from plant or mineral decoctions, creating ‘landscape essences’ that reflect the different geographic locations in which he works (Haute-Savoie, Roussillon and the Marseille region) or which he explores (Morocco, Mexico and Brazil). Processes, controlled or ‘tamed’ chance as Vescovi likes to call it, metamorphosis and manipulations are central to his method. His ongoing quest to interact with the elements and bad weather, plant, geological and organic matter demonstrates a fascination for ‘forces at work’ and the physical aspects of painting, as well as a desire to capture the transient nature of all forms and materials. By exposing his canvases to the wind, moonshine, sunshine and oxidation phenomena, primitive forms or shades arise, inhabited by the memory of their various states of existence. Going beyond aesthetic concerns, this atmospheric transformation of artwork and its porosity to environmental and climatic factors resonate with the issues of today.
Invited by MAMAC to take over the Galerie des Ponchettes, Vescovi has created an almost sensual sensory walk through his pictorial experimentation. In response to the gallery’s angular design, paintings suspended at varying heights punctuate the spaces, playing on parallels and perpendiculars, for visitors to walk around. The geometric layout contrasts with the flexibility of the free-hanging paintings and the constantly changing colour experience. These colours, extracted by the artist from warm Roussillon ochres and Moroccan soils, infused canvases that he then exposed to cool light and bad weather in a park in Holland for a few months, playing on those north-south movements that left their mark on the history of painting. In the gallery, ropes plaited and dyed by the artist draw wild curves between paintings, intertwining and rising up between the arches like vines snaking across the ground. They subvert the paintings’ lines and planes and make them look wild. Immersed in pots of strange decoctions, they progressively become infused with the material / colours created by Vescovi. With this series, summoning popular ancestral techniques and evoking Viallat’s work with knots and rope splicing or Valensi’s plaiting and knotting, Vescovi further develops an arts-and-crafts feel that has featured in his work for a few years now.
Responding to this indoor walk are the paintings on the great arches outside. Facing the sea and subject to sun, wind and rain, for the duration of the exhibition the canvases will be charged with the memory of meteors.