Richard Fauguet — Selon Arrivage

Exhibition

Mixed media

Richard Fauguet
Selon Arrivage

Past: November 19, 2011 → January 7, 2012

Fauguet grid Richard Fauguet — Selon arrivage Richard Fauguet est drôle. Les œuvres de Richard Fauguet sont drôles. L’œuvre de Richard Fauguet, elle, est grande. Les prémisses n... 2 - Bien Critique

Selon Arrivage1 is Richard Fauguet’s fourth personal exhibition at Art : Concept. On this occasion he will present a serie of portraits and a group of anthropomorphic sculptures. In the second room, tapestries will be submitted to the silent observation of a clay portrait of him that he has recently been offered.

Thus described, this exhibition could almost be perceived as a rather classical proposal in terms of iconography, medium and genre. However, the materials that go to the making of his pieces transform the whole lot into something else: Incongruous gatherings of objects that summon both grand masters of art and amateurish practices. Richard Fauguet navigates between wedding-cake architecture, painting, pottery, plumbing, crafts and ready-mades. For over two decades he has carried out his experiments and let himself be guided by intuitive creative processes that have nourished his own personal logic with richly referenced forms and images. Between amateurism and serious ravings, taking long ramblings into the heart of ordinariness and into the stuff that makes all that is terribly banal, because obsolete or almost unnoticed, Richard Fauguet light-handedly matches objects of decoration and vernacular artifacts with domestic and hardware-furnishings.

Each of the portraits is directly inspired by one of Picasso’s wives or muses. They are neither oil portraits nor acrylic paintings, but colored plasticine-models that the artist has kneaded, worked and then heated-up. The model melts, offering new patterns and volumes to the surface of the canvas.

“Picasso’s women have melted for me”, explains the artist. Which is a play on words2 but also a literal approach of Picasso’s work and of Cubism in particular. Fauguet handles the subject of bi-dimensionality in painting “au pied de la lettre” (literal-minded). He literally grapples with it. He pulls down volumes and crushes them onto the canvas’s surface, smoldering the third dimension on the pictorial surface with the help of chemistry and in a sort of alchemy. Heat-induced distortion therefore introduces a new form of representation by the creation and destruction of patterns and volumes. Duration (a 4th dimension often evoked by Cubism) is perceivable, but in bemused and simplified way.

Unlike some of Picasso’s paintings that Fauguet uses as reference, here the subject is inextricably bound to the material that composes the portraits, and the thickness of materials employed stands out from the background in all its aesthetic singularity. These feminine portraits re-enact — not without a good deal of humor — the fundamental ambiguity that exists between physical space (the canvas), and mental representation space.

On yet another research or variation on the theme of human figure and its depiction, Fauguet’s anthropomorphic sculptures combine standardized objects (sink-pedestals) with manufactured ones (potteries from Vallauris, also made of originally malleable material). Finally, in the continuation of the legendary stance of “the artist surrounded by his wives and muses” Fauguet places his own portrait in front of two tapestries: one representing a pin-up, and the other one the reproduction of a Vermeer painting. He puts himself in the show in an almost solemn way, with eyes closed. Here he describes himself as “in the middle of a dream or having a vision”. But his portrait is nevertheless well rooted in reality, and connected to the wall with a basin plug! What is the meaning of the choice of this plumbing and somewhat trivial element, whose basic function is, apart from being removable, both to contain and let things drain away? Could the flight of this dream-moment be imminent? Selon Arrivage remains suspended, forever on the point of swinging over to either one of these sides between celebration of creative genius or its parody.

1 Selon arrivage : « Subject to availability »

2 In french, this sentence implies a loss of emotional control (melting with love)…

Caroline Soyez-Petithomme, traduction by Frieda Schumann
  • Opening Saturday, November 19, 2011 6 PM → 9 PM
Art : Concept Gallery Gallery
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