Celestial undulations by Fabienne Verdier
About the exhibition "Alchemy of a stained glass window" which runs until 26 September at the Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine.
There is something cosmic and magical in the contemporary painting of Fabienne Verdier, to whom Nogent-sur-Seine is devoting an exhibition in its Camille Claudel Museum after having entrusted her with the stained glass windows of the choir of its 15th century church. It is not surprising that the painter born in 1962 feels so close to the sculptor born in 1864: the living forces of the material permeate all their work. For Fabienne Verdier, trained in painting by the Chinese masters of the 1980s, reinvents abstraction by transcending the ancestral technique of sixteenth-century Champagne stained glass. By freeing the famous "silver yellow" from its glass gangue. By adapting the "grisaille" to a contemporary aesthetic. By making his stained glass windows true contemporary works of art.
From arabesques to circumnavigations, the artist uses her whole body to make a giant brush move, directed by bicycle handlebars. She makes her tools to measure. Her pictorial language is vibration, energy. Here everything undulates. And everything rises towards the sky. Like true alchemists, the master glass artist Flavie Serrière Vincent-Petit and her team have found a way to bring light out of the earth through fire. How to make the sun dance. Abstraction becomes a dream in symbiosis with the universe. And Julie Chaizemartin in the contemporary art magazine Art Press talks about "a painting of the elements". A line becomes "an incandescent, active, medium wave". There is something of Camille Claudel's "Wave" in Fabienne Verdier's "Forces tourbillonnaires". The story of an impossible love too. This infinite stained glass window now extends the museum room that houses the "Valse": no, vibrant beauty is not about to leave the ball...
In the same vein, Fabienne Verdier and Flavie Serrière-Vindent-Petit have also created a series of diptychs on glass, exhibited for the first time, as well as an original version of the stained glass windows in the Saint-Laurent church. A group of paintings by Fabienne Verdier completes the display, showing the bridges that exist between the artist's pictorial practice and the reflection carried out since the Nogent-sur-Seine commission.
After "Alchimie d'un vitrail", the exhibition held in Champagne until 26 September, Fabienne Verdier's work will be exhibited in Alsace at the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar from 1 October 2022 to 28 March 2023, in the "Chant des étoiles". Are we not talking about celestial painting? Inspired by the famous Issenheim altarpiece, by the ascending drapery of Grünewald's Christ and the halos of light shrouding his face, the painter also makes an ecstatic painting. His "Vortex" becomes a veritable contemporary altarpiece in the vast nave imagined by Herzog & de Meudon as a chapel at the time of the museum's extension.
As with the Dijon artist Yan Pei Ming, who was invited to the Musée Unterlinden last year, the parallel between the current pandemic and the one caused by ergot in the 16th century did not escape Fabienne Verdier. The sick of the Middle Ages came to seek comfort in front of the Issenheim altarpiece. The artist also confides to her Vortex all her pain since the death of her friend Alain Rey during the Covid-19 epidemic...