The second part of a reflection on painting organised at the Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2022, this round table explores the practice of painting today through a dialogue with major painters of the French pictorial scene: Romain Bernini, Ymane Chabi-Gara, Dora Jeridi and Bruno Perramant.
Primitive masks, abundant exotic plants, twilight mountain landscapes, intriguing body poses, one-eyed faces, collapsed dolmens, everything seems to come from elsewhere in Romain Bernini's work. But from a nearby elsewhere, already immediately present. Always a little familiar and always distant, the figures seem to float on the backgrounds washed out by a rain, both thick and vaporous, oily that the light pierces in coloured zones of blue, green, orange or yellow. An indeterminate zone, a pictorial space that puts the viewer on hold.
Isolation, solitude, the body in relation to the world and to the condition of being social are the central subjects of Ymane Chabi-Gara's paintings. They represent individuals, alone or in small groups, in universes and situations that mirror their interiority. Domestic spaces and industrial wastelands serve as a support for the narrative, guided by formal and colourful impressions. Ymane Chabi-Gara determines the structure of the composition through a meticulously detailed drawing. From these frames, the experience of painting for its own sake opens up sensitive possibilities. The body serves as a point of convergence towards which all experience tends and finds meaning. The body of others but also, recently, her own body. This staging of herself addresses both the singularity of the intimate and the solitude as an archaic and universal feeling.
Dora Jeridi's painting is intense, energetic and expressive. She bears witness to a strong desire for the material and a greedy, sometimes voracious, relationship to painting. By representing situations where an enigmatic narrative often appears, the artist aims to show a state of crisis that cannot be expressed, a world that is unspoken and silent, yet eager to be expressed. Sometimes dreamlike, sometimes nightmarish, sometimes violent, his work manifests an irreducible tension between chaotic outbursts and the quest for grace.
Bruno Perramant on his painting: "One must never forget to what extent I am confronted every day with one and the same task. Painting pictures. The permanent confrontation with the material takes away the mystical experience. But you are right on one point, the paintings must be meditated upon, lived, their visibility is not always immediate. I don't refute this approach, I was recently in Cortona to see Angelico's Annunciation, and as always, it is a masterly dazzle. Fra Angelico's ambition is off the charts and he always succeeds, both in the individual frescoes in the monastic rooms of San Marco and in the large oil paintings. The mystic is unmediated in his access to the divine, there is a burning purity of mystical experience that I cannot claim, see Rothko, it seems that is what he goes for, it is sometimes sublime or sad to death, purity without substance and form, and it ends badly, I am a bastard compared to that, but a living bastard."
Penser le Présent is produced with the support of Société Générale.
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