By Michael Bishop
Gérard Garouste, Colette Deblé, Georges Rousse, Geneviève Asse, Martial Raysse, Christian Jaccard, Joël Kermarrec, Danièle Perronne, Daniel Dezeuze, Philippe Favier, Daniel Nadaud: after the 11 essays of Contemporary French artwork 1, dedicated to significant artists from Ben Vautier and Niki de Saint Phalle to Annette Messager and Gérard Titus-Carmel, the current quantity pursues its interrogations of the what, the how and the why of modern plastic construction of a few of France's best practitioners. If, as ever, such creation can show parts of an interweaving of individualized preoccupations and modes, unending specificities demarcate and confirm originalities that natural concept and its leveling anonymity may well vague. therefore is it that Gérard Garouste is by myself in that obsession with 'indianness' and 'classicalness'; that Colette Deblé's gesture is drawn implacably to the unseenness of girl illustration; that Georges Rousse plunges images into the area of matter's poetic sacredness; that Geneviève Asse traverses a natural seemingness of abstraction to realize to an intimacy of silence; that Martial Raysse's 'hygiene of imaginative and prescient' may perhaps ceaselessly renew and hybridize itself. Christian Jaccard, too, will discover with specialty an paintings of materiality on the frontier of metaphysics; Joël Kermarrec will supply us the inimitable beautiful strains of surging hope and deception; Danièle Perronne's packing containers and stringings, her work and her sheetings will spread a psychic infinity on the middle of shape. And, if Daniel Dezeuze seeks namelessness and natural structuration, the latter but surge forth through works that relentlessly establish a gesture so far away, we might believe, from the instantaneously sobering and ceremonial microproliferations of a Philippe Favier or the annoying yet genial articulations of Daniel Nadaud's sculptural mind's eye.
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Additional resources for Contemporary French Art: 2
In Lumière de l’air Colette Deblé calls to our attention the most curious paradox of giving oneself over to an activity that, taking the vastness of one’s experience of reality, yet metamorphoses such immensity into ‘a few bits of colour’. In conclusion of this study of an oeuvre spanning some thirty-five years I should like to offer a few compact observations on this paradox, its improbable sense, the fundamental logic behind Deblé’s art that allows such seeming reductiveness to swell with pertinence.
Even, surely, an early (1976) boîte-fenêtre-dessin such as that accompanying Goux`s fine essay of 2006, and despite its seemingly utterly un-remadeness – surely even such a creation subtly hints at the profound enigma lying beneath thick layerings that mask the deep, as yet undiscovered, other realness that is this, and perhaps somewhere, every woman’s. 36 Contemporary French Art 2 That Colette Deblé’s oeuvre, despite its ‘disappearance’ into its own strict plastic interiority, rides on a myriad of issues of selfidentity and autobiographical pertinence – autobiography: the graphic display of the body, the bios, of the self – is disputed neither by the artist herself nor by her major commentator, Jean-Joseph Goux.
It is easy to sense the impact such equations may have upon Deblé’s conception of woman, the complexities it may generate and that bury themselves not just, moreover, in the work on the ‘representations of woman [in art], the various postures, situations, stagings’ that are (not truly) hers, but, too, in Deblé’s portrayal of flowers understood to be the plant’s sexual organs, in her Fougères and other acrylics where self-portraiture is at stake, and, of course, in 34 Contemporary French Art 2 those neither erotic nor pornographic, she argues, ‘non-drawings’ that yet remain so striking and which we are offered in Mille fois dedans.