By Jacqueline Knox
Fabienne Verdier is a French artist who is currently showing in London at the Waddington Custot Gallery, 11 Cork Street. The exhibition features her most recent large-scale abstract paintings that have been produced over the last year.
Following graduation from art school, Verdier chose to move to Sichuan in China, for a decade, to study painting under Chinese calligraphy masters. Thus, her work is underpinned by a depth of philosophy, spiritual meditation, preparatory sketches, reading and writing from an Eastern historical viewpoint. Following her time spent in China, Verdier studied the Flemish painters of the Renaissance with their influence of texture, structure and symbolism in painting. This texture is very evident in her work with the juxtaposition between the depth of the background with the thick, oily paint traversing the large-scale canvases.
The two bodies of work; ’Walking Paintings’ and Rhythms and Reflections’ reflect the time spent during 2014 as artist in residence at The Juilliard School of Performing Arts, New York. To really appreciate these works it is helpful to watch the accompanying film, which illustrates the physicality involved in the making of these large artworks. In the ‘Walking Paintings’ the paint is poured through a soft funnel onto the canvas suspended from above. Verdier moves across the canvas with this funnel of paint, akin to a walk across a landscape. The vertical painting technique allows Verdier a freedom of movement that is evident in the work.
The ‘Rhythms and Reflections’ works are created by working in harmony with various musicians and responding to their sound through the form of paint using large calligraphy brushes and other tools to express this sound onto canvas. These works are less about the physical act of painting and more about the consideration of rhythmic layering in response to this sound.
Please go to the gallery website for more information about this artist and to view the catalogue.
The film of Fabiene Verdier in residence at The Juilliard School of Performing Arts, New York is really worth watching. It is fascinating to see her methods behind her work and the thinking that underpins it. The film will be shown at the Institut Français, Kensington, London. Saturday 14th January 2017 at 16.30 pm. Please see link below for tickets: