Group Show
French Touch

2024/01/13 - 2024/03/02
Bldg 105, 199 Hengshan Road 200031 Shanghai China
Dumonteil is delighted to present "French Touch", a double entendre that celebrates the gallery’s French heritage and gives special attention to the emerging generation of artists based in Paris. The exhibition features works by seven talented artists, including Abed Al Kadiri, Tamaris Borrelly, Hugo Deverchère, Charles Hascoët, Yanis Khannoussi, Sequoia Scavullo, and Ugo Schildge.

As the term ''touch" implies, the exhibition prompts a re-examination of the dimensional framework used to perceive the world, prioritizing our senses and emotions over reason and established cognitions. In this exhibition, the space is transformed into a receptacle for intriguing stories about nature, our surroundings, and personal encounters.

Some works in this show demonstrate that dreams, fantasies, and realities share a more common ground than we might initially perceive. This is particularly evident in the works of Sequoia Scavullo (b.1995, U.S.), which are presented for the first time at Dumonteil. Constantly inspired by her personal history and dreams, the artist explores the emotional level of non-verbal communication through painterly expressions dominated by color and texture, along with a style of representation on the verge of abstraction. For example, ''How did you do it, Persephone?" invites us to delve inside the body through red-pink sensations, transforming enigmatic symbols into lines of subtle emotions.

Charles Hascoët (b.1985, France) is another artist who has always followed his intuition in the creation of his paintings, allowing his work to reveal something about himself in a manner closer to fiction than a diary. Like ''Lady into Fox III" in the exhibition, the artist shares his unusual encounter with a fox in an interior setting, making one wonder if this is ''a dream's reminiscence or the precision of a vivid memory'' . A deep and gentle tone runs through the work as the artist reaches towards a representation of love and companionship with his personal style of color and strokes.

Also highly autobiographical in nature but from a social perspective, the work of Abed Al Kadiri (b.1984, Lebanon) stems from a need to translate violence and investigate repressed personal and collective traumatic experiences. ''If the world is a dark place, Lebanon is its epicentre", He once stated. These family photos are neither a literal reaction to the prevailing gloom, nor some flourish of introspection; they ask us to confront and reflect the ongoing economic and political situation in Lebanon, while the trees in the background stand as witnesses and narrators of a society in perpetual collapse.

Ugo Schildge (b.1987, France) explores the problematic aspects of intimate relationships with ''Le déjeuner sur l'herbe" (Lunch on the Grass). The scattered feathers and grey silhouettes allude to a dwelling of the past, while this voyeuristic perspective makes the viewer inevitably a witness to this unremitting rumination. Using natural pastels, wood, plaster, and concrete as his primary materials, Ugo Schildge's unique approach blurs the boundaries between painting and sculpture, canvas and medium, control and freedom, while giving the works an unparalleled texture and dynamism.

The unfolding of moments is also prominent in the watercolor creations of Tamaris Borrelly (b.1987, France), which center around the living world, its metamorphoses, fragility, and durability. She explores the relationships between species and biological links through her quest for the fusion of matter, a theme notably apparent in works such as ''Dew" and ''Nyama, Appearances Evolution", both featured in the exhibition. Much like a scientist contributing to universal knowledge, she aims to create a space that opens onto another world through her kaleidoscopic watercolor labyrinths.

Equally captivated by the universe, the work of Hugo Deverchère (b.1988, France) delves into the multiple physical and symbolic dimensions of the landscape. The ''Exotime" series immerses us in the microscopic scale of a geological phenomenon that can take millions of years to develop, while the ''Field" series presents fragments of varied rocky terrains with a sharpness surpassing our own acuity. The gentle sheen against the dark surface—achieved through photo etching plates and a mix of carbon and minerals—transcends these landscapes into a uchronic fantasy of a cosmic elsewhere.

Yanis Khannoussi (b.1996, France) is also fascinated by notions beyond our perception, such as the ''horizon". A line, endless, that can be found at any moment, always exists only from a given subjective position. The artist endeavors to translate this imagined concept into color through the use of a gradient, initiating a continuous development and transition. By employing a pneumatic gun, the artist intentionally mimics the finishing standards found in industrial bodywork, thus de-materializing the gestures and any distinctive ''imprint" of the artist.

In "French Touch", each artist contributes to a collective narrative that challenges conventional notions and invites the viewer to plunge into the mystery of the artwork on a sensual level. The exhibition is a tapestry of diverse forms of expression, offering a glimpse into interconnected worlds of personal dreams, memories, expansive environments, and social reflections.