Mihai Nicodim Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition and U.S. debut of British artist Raymonde Beraud.
Beraud approaches painting with a litigious methodology. Embracing a process which is as reductive as it is additive, she speaks of her work as fulfilling an inward desire for ‘collectiveness’. Exploring variations on an established set of actions, her practice deconstructs only to rebuild. Her paintings’ patterned surfaces are excavated through both brush and the use of handmade clay tools which work to deepen and stain her opaque visual fields.
Individually, the works quietly radiate an embattled veneer, the result of scraping, sanding and shining through multiple layers of a previous self. Small and seductive, each work possesses the quality of a crudely shined gem whose totality may be admired both for its visibly organic beginnings and polished newness. However, any decided ‘beauty’ in Beraud’s work is knowing. Attempting to democratise surface, her gestured hand consistently intersects the works’ polished overlay with a thud. There is definite rhythm in this heavy patterning, an interest in mark-making which is kept decidedly acute throughout the stripping and processing of each work.
These painterly rhythms seem to both demarcate and fetishize Beraud’s planes in equal measure. The cadence of her strokes seem to strive for a tonal balance that is essentially unattainable. It’s within this awkward juncture of natural and mechanical that Beraud’s work seems to oscillate with a distinct sense of humanism as she openly exhibits the restrictions of her chosen medium.
The paintings’ surfaces, shined to near mirror, reflect the inwardness of Beraud’s practice. In a way the paintings seem to begin and end with themselves, boldly acquiescing to the condition of their planes. What are you left with when abstract language holds little to no currency as a kind of descriptive device? When there’s perhaps no longer a space for metaphysical discovery or change within the picture plane, Beraud conversely looks to surface for pathos and play. It’s in such measure that her paintings maintain a convincing currency, one which hums in contemporary meditation upon the notion that the limitations of surface are indeed unendingly expansive.
Raymonde Beraud (b.1989, Cyprus) lives and works in London. She is currently a student at the Royal College of Art, earning her Masters Degree in May of this year. Recent exhibitions include Timber Tracks, Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art, London (2012) and the Santorini Biennale of Arts, Santorini (2012).