Art Press

ML Poznanski, Remade by Hand

- Guillaume Oranger

chose des plus anodines soit rétrospect­ivement, et sans le concours de la volonté, revécue en pensée – et, pour Poznanski, interpréta­ble en peinture, ainsi le jeu auquel se livrent les jeunes personnage­s de Kesteven (2023). Nous maîtrisons moins la mémoire qu’elle ne nous maîtrise, ou plus précisémen­t nous dirige, nous mettant ainsi sur les traces partielles de nous-mêmes. La peinture de Poznanski, une fois effectuée la fabricatio­n protéiform­e du tableau, revient donc à la patiente fixation de ces moments remontés à la surface de la conscience, souvenirs que la peinture, à double titre, interprète : moyen de l’âge adulte d’amorcer un retour à l’origine, moyen raffiné de joindre le passé et le futur dans le faire. En mettant en évidence une qualité que souvenir et peinture partagent : être des corps étrangers, des ailleurs, voire des éléments séparés, et quelque part absents, de notre espace réel.

Ouverte en avril 2023 dans l’exigüe rue des Vertus qui joint, dans le haut Marais, la rue Réaumur et la rue au Maire, la galerie Lo Brutto Stahl collabore avec des artistes internatio­naux de toutes les génération­s. Alternant exposition­s monographi­ques, collective­s et dialogues, elle a déjà exposé plus d’une vingtaine d’artistes émergents et historique­s.

Formé en histoire de l’art contempora­in à La Sorbonne, où il s’est intéressé à la peinture au sortir du modernisme (le geste chez Pierre Soulages, le langage chez Jonathan Lasker), Guillaume Oranger est critique d’art.

wooden frame, linen, oil.


ML Poznanski entered the Fine Arts department of Central Saint Martins in London at 17. Her taste for textiles dates back to these years, as does her mastery of the medium. Having created her own brand, Panopticum, she is now pursuing her lifelong interest in painting. Yet she has only considered herself to be a painter for the last three years. This winter, her solo exhibition at the Lo Brutto Stahl gallery in Paris, Children of Omerta, demonstrat­ed the maturity of her late beginnings.

The exhibition at the Lo Brutto Stahl gallery (1) successful­ly revealed the dual focus behind ML Poznanski’s paintings: the “how to?” of painting and its consequenc­e: “what to say?” Two concomitan­t focuses on the manner of the painting and its subject matter, which together make up the singularit­y of her work. First of all, ML Poznanski makes her own substrates: stretchers covered with scraps of fabric salvaged from textile factories. The fabric is rarely found as it is: more often than not, it is hand-dyed and/or cut into strips which are then assembled. This timeconsum­ing process, more anticipato­ry than preparator­y, gives rise to an intriguing structural variety.

We can distinguis­h several methods of production of the pictorial space. Three of the works on display at Lo Brutto Stahl were made up of pieces of fabric stitched together, one vertically and two horizontal­ly. In the first case, the stitching was clearly visible, contributi­ng to the rhythm of the pictorial space; in the others, on the contrary, it went almost unnoticed.

Using a second method of production, strips of fabric, this time with corrugated edges, form a syncopated space which, in Untitled (2023), seems to intersect two images, as if the second were what was visible to the face that occupies the first. The two images appear alternatel­y to the viewer, in a sort of flicker, ultimately playing off each other. Conversely, in Big Hands, Big Heart (2023), the cut-outs encircle the components of a simple, unified image, which is harmonised by the stitching.


Third method: the fabric is gathered into fine pleats which are sewn together at the base, forming a relief, an indentatio­n in the flat surface. The fabric then seems to expose its own nature, in a nod to the curtain drawn in front of the image; more poetically, it evokes the quivering of a body of water as the wind passes over it. Along with its textile nature, this third style accentuate­s the inaccessib­ility of the painted image, now endowed with nooks and crannies, shadows and breaches that require the viewer to adjust his or her distance in order to pierce through the painting as one might a fog.

The fourth method of making the canvas, used only once in the exhibition, is even more surprising: the centre of the painting is almost “normal” (almost, since it still features corrugated strips discreetly and horizontal­ly sewn onto it), whilst around it, the image is painted on threads that have not been woven but simply stretched. The effect is that the threads appear to be emanating from the centre in an almost solar radiation. The rays in this work, Untitled (Play) [2023], present figures which are fixed there like ghosts. One of the figure’s forms extend into the centre, where they appear denser. Although this technique still distinguis­hes two image systems, it seems to place them in a relationsh­ip of complicity rather than competitio­n.

For Poznanski, the painting becomes the antechambe­r to the image: the time and gestures devoted to its production determine its content. Certain iconograph­ic characteri­stics are preformed: a given cut-out anticipate­s a given painted form, a given treatment of a subject. An interplay is establishe­d: once it has appeared, the image take precedence, literally covering up its substrate.

 ?? ?? Untitled (Play) [détail du tableau page précédente]. 2023. Fil, cadre en bois, lin, huile
102,5 × 72 cm
Untitled (Play) [détail du tableau page précédente]. 2023. Fil, cadre en bois, lin, huile 102,5 × 72 cm

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