Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The work by Emmanuelle Renard is very modern but in temperament, classically Greek and strikingly beautiful. Her show, at Alliance Francaise until April 20, is called Erosions, and quite fittingly. There is something undeniably erosive about it, cutting as it does through time as well as all the cliches about abstraction.
It can leave you mysteriously in tears from its Attic potency, which is yet a potency resolved in calm. For some reason I thought of Gabriel Fauré, probably the most elegant of French composers and one who sums up the maxim of calme, luxe et volupté. Another name that might come to your head is Jean Dubuffet, though this work is unique. Renard is, incidentally, French, and now lives in Vancouver.
Even pulled up from her website, on a medium notorious for flattening images and reducing their tactical detail (another erosion), Renard's work is stunning. But this view is only an approximation of what it is to see it live.
A brief statement about her work on the website has two particularly apt words. One is Ovid, and the sometimes bipartite images do suggest elegiac couplets. The other word is "paroxysmic", which could help explain the urge for your eyes to well up with purely aesthetic emotion. Only look at Vache. It could come from a paleolithic cave wall at Lascaux, or it could be an image from Greek myth. Yet it has a perfect bovine quiddity.
The work, with its palette of mostly organic colours which are restrained, yet exquisite, is a testament to quiet resolved passion. There is a feeling of sadness here but it is well submerged, perhaps sublimated. As the Arab proverb says, "Sad are only those who understand."
— Lloyd Dykk
April 3-20 2009
Alliance Française de Vancouver
6161 Cambie Street
Opening Night April 3
from 6 to 9 pm
Meet the artist April 4
from 2 to 6 pm
Posted by lee bacchus at 3:37 PM