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Contemporary art

Benoît Maire. Miss Rankin

45 min visit

Paris
Galerie Obadia Paris
4 Sep → 2 Oct 2020
From Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on Sunday.

« Sculptures, collages and paintings intermingle in an ambiguous atmosphere. »

It is around a set of paintings from the series Paintings of Clouds that the exhibition is articulated: large canvases where clouds unfold on a pastel-colored landscape. So far, rather classical. To make the delicate Chinese landscapes pale! But bits of sentences keep coming back: "light rains tonight (...) tomorrow cloudy followed by clearing, cooler than today" or "CONGRESS VOTES WAR". This is the title of the cover of the New York World Telegram: "1500 DEAD IN HAWAII CONGRESS VOTES WAR", preceded by the weather forecast announced above. The paintings with a dreamlike aspect fall into a brutal reality, that of the entry into the war of the United States of America during the Second World War. These inscriptions are as violent in their content as they are in their arrangement on the canvases. But the softness of the clouds is recalled by the figure of Miss Rankin -- Jeanette Rankin being the only parliamentarian to seek a peaceful outcome to this conflict. Naïve cloud painting becomes history painting! What is interesting here is the mixture of the academism of painting with contemporary events. Because "cloud" in English, it is the cloud but it is also the set of big datas that records information about our personal lives. Also, the cloud has all its importance the discovery of atmospheric perspective in the Renaissance. This hybridization can also be felt in the technique used: traditional chromatic fade to oil paint, stencils, aerosol cans ... It is with a subtle emotion that Benoît Maire creates a bridge between substance and form, concept and history where enigmas remain. Each element is here in its place, each work contributes to a general harmony full of meaning.

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