Exotic arty discover in the Espace de l’Art Concret.
Northern wind blowing on the French Riviera. Well sea, luxe and VIP partying is not the prerogative of Mouans-Sartoux and the Pre-Alps villages prefer healthy local food, handicraft and culture. An alternative vision far from bling-bling cliché. A Black Yellow Red philosophy with a strong vapour of hops, very strong at the preview where the three-color flag was not an traveling excuse but a historical view of the 20th century as a tribute for our neighbor friend.
But start the trip in the time lapse castle means maybe taking the train but jumping the resonant marbre stairs. Spiral swirls, as Belgian artists stirred, digested and cooped with 20th-century modern art movements at the same time, in the twenties. And zooming on the creations of the first artists, it seems that the flat country is not dull at all. These pioneers escaped from evolution and fauvism to cubism to explore pure geometric abstraction. What? Well, Geometric Abstraction. The art movement which seduced early creators in a research of shape and colors, even master Magritte for a while. But for each revolution Rome was not built in a day, neither Brussels and Bruges. And step by step to the revolution. From figurative art to realism, the gap was not hiant.
Bright colors catch the eye, especially on the carpet designed by Marcel-Louis Baugniet but they also shake vision, move viewpoint, question volume to access to a fictional 3 Dimension. Too abstract? Not sure. With great humour lot, the dadaist fan, George Vantongerloo plays over this sweet border in a rather educational manner with an architect’s artistic plan to house. Yes, the new home of these creators was pure form. But the plan to escape has not cut corners. But the first King of the time was a Queen, a curious mysterious lady caving canvas a « La Tour Donas » with her blush, a androgyne nickname that stands for Marthe Donas. Paintings where the first female artist could explore pure plastic art with a deep sticking effect. Well, the sticky label effect jibed with reality after First World War. The questioning feeling came with a rationalism of minds and aesthetic maybe more rational but also with a wish to follow social progress. Victor Servranckx showed line of mechanical objects like a steam boat in the beginning of massive factories but his Parisian meeting with Fernand Léger, famous neighbor might be not stranger of aerodynamic shapes. But the growing movement step down in 1929 in a Belgian country fascinated by surrealism and frozen by World War Two. We’ll have to wait until the fifties and the archeologist search by Jo Delahaut to dig out pure abstract art.
The young painter refreshed in the 50s artistic creativity. This Art History PhD wakes up pioneers as a Belgian Honegger waving abstract art like peaceful contemplation and a complete opposition with private expressionism. The philosophic side shines in dark stained glasses geometric paintings like if the form flied on serial works, moving on the flat surface. What a bright foretaste of the 60s full of simple shape totally influenced by US minimanism!
But this feeling of exiting easel gets more and more offensive decades by decades. Visitors are no longer passive guests facing Pol Bury’s creation. The motor and noise of Black and White machines increase silence among viewers but also looks and perspectives.
How could they be in front of Francis Dusépulchre work? The Blue tiny surprising sweet LED bulb in the large plexiglass bulging case is quite nothing compared with Walter Leblanc creations. Leblanc (literally The White) plays with the White pattern in contortionist sculptors with twisting Black strips and twined cables disturbing volumes in a huge optical illusion.
But to put technicolor and modernity, have a look to Jean Pierre Maury with his fiendish cross digital patterns and geometric and Leon Wuidar and his geometrical 45° turning squares. The august artist revealed in the night previews appending strips of colors on a not perfect White adding touchy sensibility in a mathematical project. Psychedelic vision is still on at Honegger contemporary section. The Donation Albers-Honegger displays his shares of crowd-watching creations.
Visitors spin around Ann Veronica Janssens vinyle as hypnotic as a minimalist DJ set while arty animals lean towards inside indoor little swimming pool, a rainbow cocktail, nice paraffin oil demineralized water mix. Final peaceful touch to a celebration time. Pieter Vermeersch brings his whole universe of shaded off painting and opalescent window light in a whole pop up construction. An empty room full of refreshing arty codes crystallizing social fights and aesthetic wish of a century, a simple time of daily art and real commitment.
Exhibition L’abstraction géométrique belge until the 29th of November 2015 at Espace de l’Art Concret– Mouans-Sartoux (06)
Let’s hang out together !