This is 5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in Under the Radar, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from Anne Sophie Lorange.
What are you trying to communicate?
I communicate the importance of human openness, which I find closely linked to the beauty of existence, through exploring the aesthetics of emptiness, silence and in-between spaces. A painting is not an absolute answer. Rather, it reaches out to viewers and invites them to take part. The traces are a silent world of one’s own existence, and meaning lies beyond the visible, beyond observation. We have to reach into ourselves, into the unseen where both absence and presence reside. The process of creating leads me into an opening, where I can identify with the sense of being in-between. It is a questioning, more than an answering, revealing light on one’s own existence, of the in-between nature of human identity as both present and fragile, but also timeless and sublime. Uncertainty—what’s unseen—creates a sense of wonder and being in the moment.
Untitled (intermittences of being), 2018, Acrylic on linen
My artwork is therefore a result of an existential meandering. I question regularity and chaos through compositional structures, patterns and forms combined with intuitive line drawings. I can feel the essence of fragility and vulnerability in the line itself, a visual sign of the transiency of life. A space implies time, but through these spaces, I am able to see and understand something further than the visible aspects of humanity. Time becomes irrelevant, and the emptiness of the space itself becomes a connection to the beauty of the moment and a connection to others’ identities.
Painting a form, and placing it “on the edge” of the canvas, makes it exist as a structure. I use elements of color to soften the form or to some degree hide it, suggesting an empty space within the form itself, in between presence and absence. The vulnerability of emptiness transports us into a meditative state beyond language and time, into a borderless intangible existence of belonging to something, like an expansion beyond ourselves. Susan Sontag has said “silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.” The artwork becomes a visible language within the invisible, untranslatable, a pattern of an incomprehensible language encompassing the presence of the moment.
Untitled (lost without you), Acrylic & ink on wood panel
What is an artist’s responsibility?
I believe the artist’s primary responsibility is to connect. Everyone’s uniqueness shines through inevitably and perpetually—like a baby learning to speak a language from within, where the alphabet doesn’t start with the letter A. Every artist has something to tell, something that is entirely unique for them as an individual, and this uniqueness connects us to one another.
Therefore one can also say an artist’s responsibility is to connect with others, but this is almost unnecessary to say—it’s a natural consequence of being an artist. I love that about art, like the feeling of confetti in the air—it’s intense. Self identity is the ultimate connection to others, floating in ones’ own space, forming new realities, like an unstable, labyrinthine constellation. Exploding stars rearrange, and we can emotionally unite.
Believing it’s true, 2018, Acrylic on linen
Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?
My kids which are by far the greatest work of art.
Tell us about a work you want to make but never will.
Painting the sea, the totality of it, beyond dimensions. The challenges are obviously too immense. I might actually drown in the process.
Who are three artists we should know but probably don’t?
Cookie Mueller, Ewa Partum and AK Dolven
—The ArtSlant Team
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(Image at top: Everywhere and nowhere I, 2015, Acrylic, pencil on wood panel. Photo of painting by: Ansgar Valbø)