AURÉLIE GRAVAS – ART MAKES MY NEST
“Painting, for me? The desire to create a space in front of which I can stay until the end of the world.”
Plenitude and mystery, in these unqualified places, compete for the space of the canvases, a space that the artist does not occupy all over, often left blank, under the kind of ample reserves. The result, which tends towards Miro, Morandi, Calder, Paul Klee, the Picasso of La joie de vivre (1947), Yves Tanguy, catches the eye and rests it, in the same dynamic and posed movement. Some rare portraits emerge in this little humanized set. They are not exactlly definable, and rath- er archetypical. Let us note, between these, that of a green frog or the colorful silhouette of a woman treated in Sonia Delaunay style.
When she paints, Aurélie Gravas proceeds not with great final gestures but, on the contrary, by the accumulation of gestures different from each other, singularized. This artist, always, cerebralizes her words and her gesture. She only undertook her paintings with caution, and by her own admission, after a long period of reflection. First moment: Aurélie Gravas arranges on the canvas, before sticking them, some pre-cut shapes in paper, a technique used in his time by the last Matisse with his Gouaches. These cut shapes, which may have been painted separately, are then accompanied by lines made this time directly on the canvas, in a non-homogeneous way. Some of these lines are spray-painted but others are in oil, others are drawn in charcoal. Fragmentation of the executed gestures, division of the various elements coming to combine in the canvas: this factory is assimilated to a groping creation, to a construction coming from the arrangement if not from the game of patience. Just as one would open a path or, as the wording Tipees calls it, as one would build a house but a non-prefabricated house, brick to brick, without any assembly plan.
Aurélie Gravas uses art as a strategy for life and survival. To create, in his specific case – without the slightest desire to demonstrate something, or to teach – is to build a place of protection, a haven against everything that threatens life. The studio, a cloistered environment and apart from the world that she greatly appreciates, where she spends long days, sometimes just contemplat- ing her paintings, is a shelter. The bunker of protected, preserved individuality.
140 x 115 cm, pastel et fusain
Courtesy of Alice Gallery