In this article, Pauline Bazignan, a luminous artist, tells me about her career, her re- search, and news about her life…
A quick bio…her career
Her career is a simple story at first, she began her studies of graphics working at a job that proved to very quickly insufficient. It lacked an essential thing: a pencil, and the ability for her to draw. Without hesitation she shortly left her job, and she was accepted by the workshops of La Glacière, then she was admitted by the School of Fine Arts, she met with Dominique Gauthier and began abstract painting.
In 1997, when she went to the Jeu de Paume Museum to see Emil Schumacher’s exhi- bition, she was shocked by Lee Ufan who also had an exhibition in the same place and has since remained there, she was very inspired by the Korean painter. Like him, her paintings and sculptures are expressed with a gesture, a repetitive brush stroke for Lee Ufan, and that of a central point with a repetition of circles for Pauline
What is Pauline looking for? Between sculpture and painting, she evolves in her own world, with inspiration that appears to her as and when she sculpts her oranges, first earthenware then porcelain which gives a finer finish. It takes a lot of patience to create an orange, she stars by emptying it and pouring the porcelain inside there and getting the “sharpened » look. She continues by cooking it at low temperature, the skin of the orange burns and that gives sometimes to the ceramics an aspect of smoke, it can add pigments of colors.
Ancestral Japanese Technique « Kintsugi »
She patiently explains to me the Japanese technique of « Kintsugi » which consists of restoring porcelains by gluing them together with a resin which is in turn covered with a gold leaf. The object that was lost becomes a unique artistic piece. Pauline is currently preparing a collection of porcelain oranges which will then be decorated with the help of Myriam Greff.
Water, the colors
The flowing water is always present in her works, whether it is in the preparation of his porcelain oranges with a dosage of water or the water is flowing on his paintings cov- ered with patterns in paint.
« In slippers like those of a dancer, the ballerina paints. She wields her brushes in a choreography of all possibilities – two-handed, by the armful, circling, scissoring, spraying. To paint is normally to accept two dimensions, to be « flat »; but one day, Pauline Bazignan saw paint running down one of her canvases, and this little disas-ter of gravity became her force. She made it her stalk (…) MARIE DARRIEUSSECQ (EXCERPT FROM THE CATALOG OF THE MEMORY EXHIBITION FORT SAINT ANDRÉ JUNE 15 / SEPTEMBER 22, 2019)
Initially, she takes a white canvas and with her brush, she affixes a central point and flows a line of paint from it. Always from this point, with her brush she creates circular patterns that make me think of the bark of the orange that peeled around, more of this famous citrus! Once the pattern is painted, it projects water, like she is washing the can- vas until the flowing water becomes clear and is no longer mixed with paint. The trace of this of this style of painting remains on the canvas.
And so, she connects porcelains and paintings, sometimes adorned with a single or multiple motif.
But this story…
Some time ago, her white card at Fort Saint André in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, titled Of memory, was completed.
Although unfortunately I was not able to see this exhibition, I am charmed and it is the right word for the intention that the artist imagined. She knew how to recreate the story of the sleeping fort by appropriating space with her paintings and white forms.
Pauline Bazignan is very attentive to what these stones reveal, graffiti, traces of paint … the passage of time.
In the chapel, perpendicular to a fresco depicting a Christ on the cross, the artist has hung a painting where the theme of motherhood is evident, our eyes are drawn to the Virgin and the Child. This is strange because her paintings are willing to take in the his- tory of these walls. When we stop and observe these movements, the image comes alive and gives us its secrets
Pauline Bazignan is a magician
Pauline Bazignan is an elusive artist who must be caught flying, her paintings are enig- mas, and the viewer is free to discover the meaning or let their imagination go wild. And then magically everything lights up! In this virtual visit, I find myself in the hall of masks, it is about a fantastic universe reconstituted “mascio » (witch in Provençal). The masks of the witches appear on the square canvases hanging on the walls of their prison, in the same tower where they found themselves locked up for the crime of witchcraft.
In another room small white spheres are placed on the ground illuminating the slabs engraved with graffiti, which was offered to the prisoners, to show that not so long ago the fort was a jail.
The secrets of the studio
What I like from what I have
had the chance to share with the artist in her studio, apart from the pleasure of seeing all these paintings stacked against the walls, is the genesis of her work. There are sheets of papers, sketches after a historical painting of the Louvre that of Paolo Uccello The Battle of San Romano. Pauline Bazignan reinterprets the masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance and her contemporary vision is exposed in the fort of Saint Andrew, a for- mer fortress of the late fourteenth century. The artist used a black background for this large canvas more than 3 meters wide. It is a thoughtful and studied work that seems yet completely instinctive, the spears of the riders take possession of the canvas. Lyrical abstraction grapples with the painting, and the viewer can not help but think of Georges Mathieu and his series of battles, that of Hastings or the « Victory of Denain » wall mural exposed at the Maison de la Radio. This painting was chosen by Isabelle de Maison Rouge and Ingrid Pux curators of the exhibition Jardinons les possibles in Pantin.
Pauline Bazignan is an artist who hides her game well, an apparent fragility, a delicate and poetic work in appearance that opens on a perspective imbued with symbols and great energy.
Florence Briat Soulié
Translated by Joshua Lacoste , Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris Fall 2019
Fort Saint André De mémoire Villeneuve-Lez-Avignon
Grandes Serres de Pantin Jardinons les possibles
Carreau du Temple – Galéristes – chez Marie-Victoire Poliakoff / Galerie Pixi
KINTSUGI – Exposition / collaboration Pauline Bazignan / Myriam Gref – 6 au 20 décembre 2019. 5 rue Jacques Callot .