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Energy Fields: New exhibition of Fabienne Verdier's works opens at Galerie Jaeger Bucher
Méandres. La pensée labyrinthique I, 2011, ink, pigments and glazing on canvas, 198 x 402 cm© Fabienne Verdier. Courtesy Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris. Photo : Inès Dieleman.

PARIS.- Galerie Jaeger Bucher announces a new exhibition of Fabienne Verdier’s works entitled Energy Fields which will take place from 21st September to 2nd November in their Marais spaces Rive Droite and their space in St Germain, Rive Gauche. This exhibition follows an earlier exhibition of her works at the Groeninge Museum in Bruges and the St Jean Hospital / Memling Museum as well as an exhibition at the Erasmus House in Brussels as a tribute to the Flemish masters Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, Marmion, Memling and Van der Goes. The curator of both exhibitions is Daniel Abadie.

The Spirit of Painting - Tribute to Flemish Masters
Having immersed herself for ten years in another culture and learned the importance of intuition in artistic creativity, Fabienne Verdier re-discovered western painting after returning to France. She was especially drawn to the graceful, abstract forms of the great 15th century Flemish Masters. Close study of their works has shaped her own way of seeing, yet her paintings are original creations where she conveys the sacrality of the real in its most infinite movements and its incandescence. They reveal in the flow of ink aspects of the real which animate our universe and the freedom necessary to perceive its vital motions. In the draping of the Virgin she discerns natural arborescent forms; in the Canon of Paele by Van der Weyden, the form of a monolithic rock. From the circular figures against a blue sky in the stained glass window of the Virgin she transposes into a masterful polyphony of twelve circles, a plenitude of furrowing waves. The headdress in Van Eyck’s portrait of his wife Margareta is transformed into a graphic labyrinth of bee-hives--- interpreting her soul or perhaps corresponding to the meanderings of the earth’s great rivers.

Each of Fabienne Verdier’s paintings is a full experience lived out on a canvas that connects us to our inner nature. This exhibition Energy Fields is a double presentation in the spaces of the Gallery and will be on view from 21st September to 2nd November 2013.

Labyrinthine Thoughts - Meanders
Marais Space, Rive Droite

One of the two spaces in the rue de Saintonge will be dedicated to a meticulous study of the headdress in Van Eyck’s portrait of his wife Margareta, one of the earliest European artworks to portray an artist’s wife. This portrait, which occupies an important place in Fabienne’s notebooks, inspired her to create a whole constellation of paintings called La Pensée Labyrinthique (Labyrinthine Thought) or Méandres (Meanders) in thick pastels or in ink on paper and canvas. A symbol of the stream of consciousness and the flow of thought, the labyrinth evokes a spiritual topography, the movement of thought from the visible to the invisible. The intricate meanders of Margareta’s veil crown her sinuous headdress, a fashionable head piece worn by high-ranking women in the 15th century. Van Eyck seems to be contemplating the mystery of the human soul, what is both universally human and unique to Margareta. A maze of thought, similar to the honeycomb of a bee-hive, Margareta’s thought opens onto the unknown, onto the “esse in anima,” the inner realm where the will to live, the breath of life, resides. In her notebooks the artist reminds us that the word for soul in French (âme) comes from the Latin anima, meaning Breath. In following the meanders of Margareta’s thought in its infinite interpretations, Fabienne Verdier encourages us to delve into our own souls in search of this vital inner core. The labyrinth is both an image of natural forms (honeycombs, corals and fossils) and of human anatomy (brain, viscera). In this maxim written down in her notebooks the artist reveals to us the precept that grounds her belief: “Plunge into the heart of mutations Do not fear to face the unknown”

The magic of the paintings presented in this exhibition lies in their evocation of the correspondences between natural and spiritual labyrinths.

To give birth to these Meanders Fabienne Verdier does not hesitate to shorten her paintbrush and graft a bicycle handlebar onto it so as to acquire greater speed in the conquest of space. The use of white ink happens for the first time, which she obtains by mixing titanium white, a very hydrophilic substance found everywhere in the earth’s crust. It spreads easily, she says, and has a physical density and hardness as well as a luminescent quality due to a high refraction index. A quotation from the Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti sheds light on her use of this substance.

“The pinnacle of art is to know how to use white and black.”

Walking-Paintings - Recent works
Marais Space, Rive Droite and Seine, Rive Gauche

The Marais space as well as 53 rue de Seine will both be devoted to a vast installation of innovative works by Fabienne Verdier: The Walking-Paintings

With this series of works in black and white, the artist abandons her usual paintbrush composed of several horse tails for a funnel she fills with ink to create an effect similar to what is normally obtained with a paintbrush. Walking rapidly over sheets of paper layed out over the floor, while guiding the funnel that blotts large quantities of ink, she draws lines that criss-cross and ramify in all directions. By experimenting with different heights, walking at different speeds and pouring different densities of ink, these Walking-Paintings are a kind of stroll of the artist through a landscape created by her body mouvement, a landscape in total unison with the universe’s fundamental electro-magnetic and gravitational forces so that Painting can translate the Invisible. The wave-like lines generated by the splattering of ink allow one to discover a density similar to the complexity of reality (billowing clouds, swarming insects, creeping plants, swirling liquids). It is as if we were lying on the floor and discovering all the life teeming beneath our feet or observing the motions of waves spreading out over the surface of water.

Tirelessly in search of the vital spirit as well as the creative energy of matter, this new series of works entitled Walking-Paintings, as well as Meanders and Labyrinthine Thought, captures of the characteristic “trait” of Fabienne Verdier (in French a “trait” is a line drawn): influx, vehicle, revelation. They embody to the primeval rhythms and forms of nature, capturing in ink all the various forms of life. By working on different layers of complexity and focusing her attention on the fundamental structures of reality, Fabienne Verdier comes ever closer to the inner life of matter, to the melody that binds matter and mind. She teaches us to see the world anew in the labyrinth of its forms, in the complex mazes of its whirling and swirling motions. For it is precisely in the heart of this world in eternal flux that the work of Fabienne Verdier reveals its richness. This new exhibition can thus be seen as a continuation of earlier series Ligne-Espace-Temps (Line-Space-Time), Arborescences and Incandescences on display at the autumn 2009 show at the gallery.

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