Page 7 - Claire-de-Chavagnac-Brugnon
P. 7

The artist in her own words
My work is inspired by the way I relate to the world . . . My concern is to find a sensory pattern within shifting memories, to capture fragments of time, remain conscious of their passing, travel though the spaces left by memory; then transcribe all this using simple but vibrant abstract signs.
Claude Lagoutte’s work was a discovery, his connection to landscape, his vision of travel as an apprenticeship echoed my own concerns and personal research.
I need to remember, then sort through, organize and, finally, transcend my material.
I need to find the framework, the energy pattern by quickly jotting things down in a notebook, like playing scales on an instrument, after taking the time to think about a canvas. Sustaining the memory of a place to which I have been particularly sensitive often requires a lot of research and a period of slow maturation, before I am ready to start working on the canvas by means of simple movements of the hand.
I owe so much to people like Simon Hantaï and Pierre Soulages for the sobriety of their art, to Agnès Martin for her sensitive yet rigorous discretion, to Robert Motherwell of the 70s, Mark Rothko and Peter Zumthor’s photographic work, Sam Francis for the approach to space on the approach to space and emptiness in his vivid watercolours.
My need for fresh discovery and my wanderings have gradually taken me to wide open spaces, the freedom of the desert, the breathing space and sound of the Brittany coastline. I have simplified my use of signs; my brushstrokes have become more economical though as ample as before, my colours more sober. Jean Degottex, whose restrained yet powerful late work on “poor” material I admire, says: “From the sign, I went on to writing, from there to the written line and then on to the simple straight line.” Over the past few years something similar has occurred in my own work, the sign often being reduced to a straight line or a series of vertical strokes, in order to transmit an increasingly distilled sense of time.
Eliminating superfluous information, I seek out life through a discreet medium which resonates with my experience. While painting, a vibration generated between the elements of my construction, in a fault-line or simple irregularity of a surface, will modify an entire piece and give it life. On my return from Australia, the “White Deserts”, “Red Lands” and “Salt Lakes” of Walpiri County opened up new avenues by which to transcribe the light emerging from the immensity of space, disturbed only by a few red rocks on the horizon, sunlight skimming over a carpet of tall grass that stretched as far as the eye could see, or the depth of canyons. Nothing reveals better than a series of marks, spaces between lines and alternating colours, the immensity of a practically naked space, the slight vibration of the sun.

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