Neil Bender, Elisabeth Condon, Hervé DiRosa,
Dominique Labauvie, Fréderique Lucien, Pierre Mabille,
Philippe Richard, Peter Soriano, Michelle Weinberg,
Robyn Voshardt & Sven Humphrey
Bleu Acier Gallery, Tampa FL
February 12 - March 27, 2010
Bleu Acier presents LʼArabesque, a group show in homage to this exceptional moment coinciding with the opening of the new Tampa Museum of Art and the museum's first major exhibition dedicated to the prints and drawings of French artist Henri Matisse, whose use of the arabesque was monumental within the history of art. Matisse was one of the last Modern artists to become a master of graphic writing, and remains so influential that contemporary artists still think of him within the context of their process.
L'Arabesque is a high expression of elegance, and cannot exist without visual grace and refinement. Elegance is transversal in its nature and in the nature of culture and can describe fashion, architecture, visual art, performance, music and movement.
Commonly known as one of the most difficult positions in ballet, the term "arabesque" also refers to floral and geometric patterns found in art and architecture. For example, such highly balanced, repetitive patterns are an essential formal element of Arab mosques, since Islam prohibited the direct representation of the figure. Arabesque therefore becomes the visual replacement of the human being, instead expressed through environmental imagery.
The artists chosen for this show all share a vision of elegance, primarily experienced through their formal work with line and color. This "linear elegance" - the propulsion of the line in space - can also be seen as the propulsion of an idea in space. The line carries the thinking and can transform it visually into form, color and narrative.
Pierre Mabille, Philippe Richard and Fréderique Lucien are mid-career French artists who work within a complex reductive abstraction of their environment heavily dependent on color.
PIERRE MABILLE has reduced his formal world to one universal shape that he pushes to infinite possibilities reconstructing the compositions through scale and color.
FREDERIQUE LUCIEN abstracts organic forms working largely within the tension and balance of positive and negative space. She injects emotion with color or the absence thereof.
PHILIPPE RICHARDʼs work is based on point, line and color. The structure of his space is what informs his work, often questioning the support and its surface.
Humor and narrative are what drives HERVE DIROSA's work. His spontaneous style is similar to that of tribal storytellers.
PETER SORIANO is a sculptor. His conceptual work is structured on memory, time and space and how the factors of time reposition this memory and how this can be translated into image. The watercolors have this cross-reference within them; part portrait of an object or being we are sure we have seen, part fantasy of something we are not sure we have ever seen.
DOMINIQUE LABAUVIE's sculpture is about the elegance of drawing. His sculpture, often referred to as drawing in space, carries this spatial refinement as part of its territory. This refinement is transversal in the drawings.
ELISABETH CONDONʼs recent paintings offer us gesture as landscape and with it the mixture of Chinese multiple perspectives and Western traditions of space into a vision of a cultural wanderer. Investing her time between east and west informs her narrative rich in color and image.
MICHELLE WEINBERGʼs work invests a narrative space more in the here and now. Working between her urban narrative and its immediate environment, she constructs a contemporary folklore using a wealth of form and color.
NEIL BENDER is also a storyteller but he uses an historical approach and knowledge of process to narrate contemporary culture in the making. His vivid collages depict tales of gender and existence.
ROBYN VOSHARDT & SVEN HUMPHREY are collaborative artists whose recent work is within video and the photographic image. Earlier in their career they worked on marking time through image and their repetitive vocabulary and systems research in drawing is often rediscovered in their moving images.
This is the first presentation by Bleu Acier of the work of artists Michelle Weinberg of Miami and Philippe Richard of Paris, France.
BLEU ACIER INC.
109 West Colombus Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602