L’Arabesque, the theme of this group show, is in homage to this exceptional moment of the opening of the New Tampa Museum of Art which will be an efficient tool of culture for our city; and to their first exhibition dedicated to the prints and drawings of the French artist, Henri Matisse whose use of the arabesque was monumental and important within the history of art. Matisse was one of the last Modern artists to become a master of graphic writing. So important that contemporary artists are still thinking Matisse within the context of their thought and process.
L’Arabesque is a high expression of elegance. There cannot be arabesque without visual grace and refinement. Elegance is transversal in its nature and in the nature of culture and can be descriptive of fashion, architecture, visual art, performance, music and movement. One of the most difficult positions in ballet is the Arabesque. The arabesque entered into art as floral and geometric patterns in architecture. Very present in Arab mosques, Islam prohibited the representation of the figure. Arabesque becomes the visual replacement of the human being with environmental imagery.
The artists chosen for this show have something in common that has to do with different forms and visions of elegance. Linear elegance, the propulsion of the line in space is the propulsion of an idea in space. The line carries the thinking and can transform it visually into form, color and narrative.
Pierre Mabille, Philippe Richard and Fréderique Lucien are mid-career French artists, who work within a complex reductive abstraction of their environment heavily dependent on color. Mabille has reduced his formal world to one universal shape that he pushes to infinite possibilities reconstructing the compositions through scale and color. Lucien abstracts organic forms working largely within the tension and balance of positive and negative space. She injects emotion with color or the absence thereof. Richard’s work is based on point, line and color. The structure of his space is what informs his work; often questioning the support and its surface. Humor and narrative are what drives Hervé DiRosa’s work. His spontaneous style is similar to that of tribal storytellers.
Peter Soriano is a sculptor. His conceptual work is structured on memory, time and space and how the factors of time reposition this memory and how this can be translated into image. The watercolors have this cross reference within them; part portrait of an object or being we are sure we have seen, part fantasy of something we are not sure we have ever seen. Dominique Labauvie’s sculpture is about the elegance of drawing. His sculpture, often referred to as drawing in space, carries this spatial refinement as part of its territory. This refinement is transversal in the drawings.
Elisabeth Condon’s recent paintings offer us gesture as landscape and with it the mixture of Chinese multiple perspectives and Western traditions of space into a vision of a cultural wanderer. Investing her time between east and west informs her narrative rich in color and image. Michelle Weinberg’s work invests a narrative space more in the here and now. Working between her urban narrative and its immediate environment, she constructs a contemporary folklore using a wealth of form and color. Neil Bender is also a story teller but using an historical approach to and knowledge of process to narrate contemporary culture in the making. His vivid collages depict tales of gender and existence.
Robyn Voshardt and Sven Humphrey are collaborative artists whose recent work is within video and the photographic image. Earlier in their career they worked on marking as image and their repetitive vocabulary and systems research in drawing is often rediscovered in their moving images.
This is the first presentation by Bleu Acier of the work of artists Michelle Weinberg of Miami and Philippe Richard of Paris France.
BLEU ACIER INC. is an active fine art print publisher, print atelier, gallery and live-in loft that functions at the intersection of private and public space where art and the city keep company. Bleu Acier exhibits works in all disciplines by emerging, mid-career and established artists from the U.S. and Europe.