Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Artistic inspiration from the ‘living’ force

Here is an artist who seeks inspiration from the living – the movement of life forces through stone and soil. Encapsulating the transience of things, the forms are restrained yet spontaneous. French artist Fabienne Verdier had the inaugural solo exhibition in Southeast Asia at Art Plural Gallery, Singapore.

As the only French artist who has ever mastered traditional ink painting, Verdier has dedicated almost a decade to spending her life in China for an apprenticeship with master calligraphers in the 1980’s, as related in her bestselling novel Passagère du Silence. More than honing her craft, she had left with a heart of asceticism and a profound understanding that beneath the trajectory of a brush stroke lies the spirit of life.

Fabienne Verdier transcends borders, bridging Asian philosophy with Western minimal abstraction which she had later revisited.  Paying homage to early Flemish masters of the 15th Century, she transcribes the essence of her being onto the canvas with bright flashes of colours. Ultimately, the seeds that she had sowed had bloomed into her own artistic language.

To the artist, each new painting is an experiment of the moment as a way to encapsulate the intensity and the reflection of a precise instant. Placing herself at the centre rather than the edge of the canvas, Verdier identifies herself with the painting, an embodiment of a synthesis between the body and the flux that surrounds it. Fabienne Verdier paints in repose, a pure reflection of the maelstrom of life.

The exhibition featured her latest drawings and large-scale paintings that explored the theme of abstract landscapes inspired by her journey by the coastline of Norway. She stated: “Most recently, I have been impelled to explore the genesis of living matter, the spontaneous emergence of structures, movements, folds, the natural dynamics of the birth of land forms. With my brush as my companion the flow of matter becomes a landscape, the canvas a physical map, a kind of geography of the spirit which brings us to perceive the hidden framework of the world.”

Fabienne Verdier shared her work and philosophy in an invite-only private tour as well. A comprehensive, fully-illustrated art book was also published on this occasion.

(Information courtesy:  Art Plural Gallery, Singapore)

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