• gerard van weyenbergh

New treds: Alchemists of the line

We can see nothing in these murky-looking paintings, if not stains inscribed on a surface as washed and exhausted by so many hasty gestures and superimposed layers of paint, sliding over each other without holding the tide. It seems that painters devote everything they write to the surface of the canvas to disintegrate, deform, and dissolve. Genieve Figgis paints genre scenes, sumptuous sets, or aristocratic portraits by afflicting his subjects with an inability to keep in shape or the ropes. The characters' features, swollen and fat, melt as if under the weight of an excess of makeup. The walls are dripping as if weighed down by an excess of pageantry. German Michaela Eichwald applies lacquers, acrylics, and oil paints to leather, then scribbling on these puddles of brown colors erasures with a ballpoint pen. A mish-mash abstraction which is nevertheless articulated as a form of writing since the whole seems to follow a direction of reading, a determined graphic movement. We think of Cy Twombly and his way of tracing mythological heroes' narrative path (that of the god Ra, for example, in the Coronation of Sesostris cycle ). Telling stories in a tangle of narrative lines, and therefore by a painting that pulls a thread, then another, until the canvas is overloaded with windows and competing balls: this is also what the Portuguese Jorge Queiroz does or the American Lesley Vance, in a more fluid fashion, by tracing and interweaving rounded, colored and liquid shapes comparable to those that Marielle Paul confers on her watercolor landscapes. All make of the paint a fermentation space and a fleshy and fatty substance, which does not harden, does not dry, does not freeze. It can represent something that relates to the order of softness, viscosity, and the mutability of things—a painting of the living. © Beaux Arts