Photo Feature: Agathe De Bailliencourt’s Temporal Paintings At Blain|Southern London

Artlyst has attended Blain|Southern London, which is currently presenting new paintings by French artist Agathe de Bailliencourt in her first UK solo exhibition. The exhibition is comprised of eight works from the artist’s Couleurs du temps series, created from a a three month residency in Marfa, Texas in 2014.

Marfa’s extraordinary landscape and desert environment had a profound impact on the artist’s notion of time, space and horizon. The new paintings produced in Berlin continue her reflections on these concepts, with Bailliencourt questioning ‘what does it mean to paint a landscape today?’

Image: Agathe de Bailliencourt, Couleur du temps, detail, 2013, Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

The paintings are characterised by their subtle colour gradations. Swathes of blue pigment develop from watery washes into saturated bands of vibrant azure, tinged in places with pale, luminous pink. Each canvas is prepared by dousing the raw linen surface with large amounts of water, after which the artist adds layer upon layer of diluted colour. The untreated fibres react to the paint in unpredictable ways, each stroke drying at its own pace, forcing the artist to step back to let the colour of each striation develop before deciding upon another layer. The resulting works become temporal in nature while reflecting the sculptural nature of material and layering.

Image: Agathe de Bailliencourt, Couleur du temps, installation view, 2013, Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

The result is an abstraction reminiscent of a physical landscape; the slow sedimentation of colour recreating a sense of place as defined through shifting colour and light. Bailliencourt describes how ‘I’m interested in the interlaced relationship between artwork and landscape, on a both non-representational and concrete level’.

Image: Agathe de Bailliencourt, Couleur du temps, installation view, 2013, Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

The Couleurs du temps oeuvre of paintings seek to capture this sense of environs, weather, colour and landscape and present it as a confusion of inside and outside, time and place. The artist’s aim is to create a feeling of depth, three dimensions being recalled upon the materiality of a two dimensional surface which she terms ‘proposing an open perspective’.

Image: Agathe de Bailliencourt, Couleur du temps,detail, 2013, Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

About the artist:

Agathe de Bailliencourt (b. 1974 Paris, France) graduated from Ecole Boulle Paris in 1998. Since then, her work has been exhibited worldwide in galleries in Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Berlin, Yogyakarta, Hong Kong, Toronto, Mumbai, and New York amongst others.

Bailliencourt has two parallel artistic approaches – work in situ and work in the studio. In her studio, she works with canvas, paper or linen, while outdoors she works directly onto landscape, architecture and urban spaces. Embracing the limitations of working both inside and outside, patterns such as the straight line, which recur throughout her work, become focal points in the dynamics of space, time and place.

COULEURS DU TEMPS | AGATHE DE BAILLIENCOURT – Blain|Southern – 23 January 2016.

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