Art Press : 2020-04-20

DOSSIER : 57 : 57


Seductive and disturbing, Gaëlle Chotard’s organic forms unfold through space in ink on paper and in metal. Her works are presented by galerie Papillon (Paris). the words “delicate”, “fine” or “precise” stop being laudatory to become vaguely disdainful, we shall not necessaril­y refrain from using them to describe her work. Let us resume: Gaëlle Chotard draws in space by crocheting stainless steel and tinplated copper wires just like others prefer arc welding. This technique gives her plenty of leeway and she allows herself to let her pieces fray like vine on the walls, halfway between great density and looser meshing. Even if these seem to fit Georges Bataille’s definition of the shapeless, one should not be fooled by their arachnidan nature: the material’s malleabili­ty gives rise to structures whose apparent limpness is just a subterfuge. In addition to these three-dimensiona­l drawings, Gaëlle Chotard has been working for some time on paper, using coloured ink for the first time. Each drawing always contains a darker core of green, red, brown or blue tones, from which emanate light floating tentacles. Describing them is not easy: they evoke, indiscrimi­nately, the graceful undulation­s of aquarium plants or of jellyfish filaments, or juniper branches. But they also call to mind hair from a plug, a stretch of grass caressed by a slight breeze. At times, on the surface, the matter cracks like a net- Ci-dessus/ above: « Sans titre ». 2019. Encres et aquarelle. 23 x 31 cm. À gauche/ Inks and watercolou­r left: « Sans titre ». 2019. Encres, pyrogravur­e. 39 x 22 cm. Inks and pyrography ——— The first time I saw Gaëlle Chotard’s work at galerie Papillon, I had to lift up my head a bit to discover the piece, lit by a small lamp and hung up high. A placard mentioned that the piece, made of wire and cotton, also included another very surprising material: its shadow, considered to be an integral part of it. Nearly fifteen years after this collective exhibition titled (2006), the artist still harbours a taste for the mysterious, but her shapes have mutated. The definition might surprise those who know her oeuvre, but truth be told, Gaëlle Chotard does sculpt metal. Admittedly, we are a long way from the great names of the past century that immediatel­y come to mind when this material is mentioned – Reinhoud, Tinguely or César, for example. Perhaps is it still necessary to point out: just because a sculptural work deliberate­ly refuses monumental­ity does not mean it should be considered a mere pretty, decorative object. At the same time, since it is hard to tell when ting. In these different pieces, Gaëlle Chotard works by superimpos­ition and successive dispersion­s, looking for saturation as well as gaps. Although the organic forms may seem attractive, they also create a certain uneasiness. They can seem to show gashes, chasms, swellings or haemorrhag­es. Destructio­n is never too far way, and neither is the point of no return. Translatio­n: Jessica Shapiro Une Autre Histoire Gaëlle Chotard Née en/ born 1973 à / in Montpellie­r Vit et travaille à / lives in Paris Exposition­s récentes / Recent shows: 2006 Trouble, Espace Art Contempora­in, La Rochelle 2007 Au fond, galerie Claudine Papillon, Paris Infinit landscape, e-raum, Cologne Particules, galerie Pascale Guillon, Tavel À travers, galerie Claudine Papillon, Paris 2009 2011

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