Dermes, duo show: Javier Carro Temboury & Pauline d'Andigné
20 rue Royale, 75008 Paris, France
Nov 30 - Dec 22, 2023
Mon - Fri; 11am - 6pm
by Colin Lemoine
It would be necessary to be able to pluck the world, lift the veil, and tear the curtain. Tear the envelope. When the surfaces give way, the appearances fall. When the varnish cracks, the paint speaks. And the mystery with it. Beneath the facade effects lies a violent truth, which is not always good to tell, nor beautiful to see. Invited to the Gismondi gallery by Darmo, Pauline d’Andigné and Javier Carro Temboury, both born in the mid-1990s, shake the kingdom of textures, wound the surfaces and semblances, all the external display. Through pastel, bleach, terracotta, or concrete, indifferent to prettiness or softness, the two artists explore the skin and examine the dermis, that deep layer where secrets and beauty sediment – naked. There, in the intimidating solemnity of the gallery, not far from splendid hard stones, lapidary musings, retinal enchantments, the Frenchwoman, and the Spaniard systematically thwart the order of the visible. Stratifying materials and amalgamating substances, they remind us that the dermis is like reality: a wonderful coagulation.
Seeing is an experience. It presupposes an eye, even two, of sensation, and sometimes of thought. Seeing is therefore an optical and psychic experience: the artwork imprints signs in me - signifiers and signifieds, words and things. Pauline d’Andigné’s work maneuvers precisely with impressions, in every sense of the term.
Literally, first: on a colorful upholstery canvas, the artist pours bleach, which, infusing the cotton, generates random shapes, similar to large Rorschach tests. Then, on the dry canvas, she applies a silkscreen pattern reminiscent of industrial packaging or the tiles depicting emptiness in Photoshop. This careful work of canvas and patterns, surfaces and textures, reminiscent of Supports/Surfaces, especially Claude Viallat’s iterative variations, makes room for painting, diligently applied with a stencil to release clearer motifs. On the obtuse, the obvious. On the blurred, the clear. On the impure, the pure. On the smooth, roughness, sometimes lumpy. This realm of opposites creates a «floating world,» as the Japanese call it, an uncertain space receiving clear forms that, soft and organic, are sometimes shaded by the passage of the airbrush, this machine that thickens, gives substance.
Poetically, then: these impressions, which one would like to scale off like skins, leave on the retina and in the heart a feeling of hubris when impulse meets pulsation, when beauty is insulted, when brilliance is indifferent to measure, to optical seduction, as if cruelty and evanescence coexisted, gesture and wandering, a drunken boat and a
throw of the dice, violence and boredom, momentum and pop, Hans Hartung and Roy Lichtenstein. As if. Because Pauline d’Andigné’s impressions are the indissoluble keys to «as if,» to semblance, contiguity, evocation, memory, and remembrance, the uneasy echo that makes the cord of mystery resonate within us. Seeing is never at rest. You must peel the world to access the real, which is an endless evasion. And all means are good: add, subtract, bleach, Photoshop, screen print, paint, staple, brutalize, lacerate, prepare, hazard, flay, batter, work, in the drunken boat, with all the means at hand. And here, Pauline d’Andigné rejoices. Moreover, the artist’s wall reliefs say nothingelse. Behind the kitsch, despite the trash, and beyond the surfaces, there is a sovereign poetry. Under the visible dermis, the truth - impure. Under the vinyl, the beach - naked.
Javier Carro Temboury
In November 2023, Javier Carro Temboury established a rigorous protocol at the Palais d’Iéna - a rationalist daydream in pink concrete. Gathering assorted cups on a table, the artist asked visitors to choose one and, after enjoying a coffee, place it on a nearby table, initially blank, gradually filling up during the performance. «Vases communicants,» as André Breton might have said: reality and dream touch and penetrate each other. They fertilize each other. The second table, randomly composed in this way, is then flooded with concrete, drowning the cups in a soon-solid, alchemical bath. The artist extracts bricks and slices that, resembling large pieces of cake, reveal residues of cups trapped in this sumptuously heterogeneous material. Cutting (through) the thickness of reality: Gordon Matta-Clark is not far.
The containers - made of terracotta - find themselves contained by concrete, in a reversal of values. They float in impure matter, much like the casts of Pompeii floated in the earth, buried but preserved. The concrete resembles permafrost, that dense layer which, on our planet, freezes the living and preserves it. There is a geological and archaeological quality in these cross-sections imagined by Javier Carro Temboury: he seems to mechanically accelerate a natural process, solidifying and enclosing reality through a skilled process of concretion. «Crystallization,» as Stendhal might have said. Immobilized in concrete and then cut, the cups are reduced to a profile, to a simple sign that brings them closer to hieroglyphs, ideograms, or cuneiform writing, perhaps even to concrete poetry, populated with «u» and «v.» Accordingly, one would like to be able to read, and even pronounce, these slices that present themselves like pages, like marvelous portions challenging the utility value of the world, as seen in the work of the fierce accumulator Subodh Gupta.
Javier Carro Temboury incorporates and amalgamates. Weaves and interweaves. This is evident in his Intercontainers, which embed weathered ceramics - plates and dishes - through an unyielding system of slots measuring 3.8 by 6 centimeters, so that halves of pieces never match around a central axis. This poetry of displacement and diversion, reaching its peak with the grand Terrazzo modules, a sublime screen, evokes the analytical cubism of Juan Gris or the sculpted hybridizations of Julio González. There is a voluptuousness at play, a smoothness and precision in a single gesture, a splendor and melancholy in a single movement. In this brutalist softness, there is virtuosity and grace. Poetry and enchantment. A «humble elegy,» as Federico García Lorca might have said.