Collège des Bernardins, Rue de Poissy, Paris
After a gallery blitz yesterday, my last but favourite encounter was with this exhibition in the Cistercian University, curated by Eric de Chassey. Housing works by Marthe Wéry, Callum Innes, Georges Tony Stoll, Emmanuel Van der Meulen and Emanuele Becheri, the curator explored the ongoing dialogue between the abstract and the spiritual. Not a new concept by any means, but here the key achievement lay in the very nature of the foundation: non-profit making and aiming as much as to avoid elitism, it liberated de Chassey from the demands of creating an allure for the Parisian public. Thus whilst the abstract paintings and constructions are demanding, the meditative application of paint does not alienate the audience. Instead the viewer must reckon with the contemplative nature of the setting, using the works at hand as a point of departure. Each artist engages individually with the materials, yet because their response are not pre-determined the product is elementary, personal yet equally accessible. Callum Innes treats his monochromatic canvases with turpentine, creating an image just outside the realm of total control. My favourite piece is his Untitled 35, where the monochromatic sections isolate a trace of red paint, creating a repose between the extremities. The balance between the weight of reality’s pressures (gravity) and the fragility underlining the constructions (grace) is remarkable.
If anything, visit this exhibition for the space alone.