Adrien Vescovi. MNEMOSYNE

9 March – 8 September 2019
Opening view saturday 9 March 2019 at 11am

Galerie des Ponchettes – MAMAC Hors les murs
77 quai des Etats-unis 06300 Nice / 04 93 62 31 24
each day except monday 11am-18pm

Adrien Vescovi, 41 cours Lieutaud, Marseille, décembre 2018, © Adrien Vescovi et galerie Ceysson & Bénétière.

Putting time and nature to work... Seeing painting like an odyssey through the materials’ various states and art like an alchemical adventure; these are the concepts that drive Adrien Vescovi’s approach. The artist produces his own colours from plant or mineral decoctions, creating ‘landscape essences’ that reflect the different geographic locations in which he works (Haute-Savoie, Roussillon and the Marseille region) or which he explores (Morocco, Mexico and Brazil). Processes, controlled or ‘tamed’ chance as Vescovi likes to call it, metamorphosis and manipulations are central to his method. His ongoing quest to interact with the elements and bad weather, plant, geological and organic matter demonstrates a fascination for ‘forces at work’ and the physical aspects of painting, as well as a desire to capture the transient nature of all forms and materials. By exposing his canvases to the wind, moonshine, sunshine and oxidation phenomena, primitive forms or shades arise, inhabited by the memory of their various states of existence. Going beyond aesthetic concerns, this atmospheric transformation of artwork and its porosity to environmental and climatic factors resonate with the issues of today.

Invited by MAMAC to take over the Galerie des Ponchettes, Vescovi has created an almost sensual sensory walk through his pictorial experimentation. In response to the gallery’s angular design, paintings suspended at varying heights punctuate the spaces, playing on parallels and perpendiculars, for visitors to walk around. The geometric layout contrasts with the flexibility of the free-hanging paintings and the constantly changing colour experience. These colours, extracted by the artist from warm Roussillon ochres and Moroccan soils, infused canvases that he then exposed to cool light and bad weather in a park in Holland for a few months, playing on those north-south movements that left their mark on the history of painting. In the gallery, ropes plaited and dyed by the artist draw wild curves between paintings, intertwining and rising up between the arches like vines snaking across the ground. They subvert the paintings’ lines and planes and make them look wild. Immersed in pots of strange decoctions, they progressively become infused with the material / colours created by Vescovi. With this series, summoning popular ancestral techniques and evoking Viallat’s work with knots and rope splicing or Valensi’s plaiting and knotting, Vescovi further develops an arts-and-crafts feel that has featured in his work for a few years now.

Responding to this indoor walk are the paintings on the great arches outside. Facing the sea and subject to sun, wind and rain, for the duration of the exhibition the canvases will be charged with the memory of meteors.

Les Ponchettes – MAMAC Hors les murs
As part of its programme offering a fresh look at the historical issues of practices employed across the region through contemporary eyes, MAMAC asked Adrien Vescovi to create an in situ installation that would transform the space of the Galerie des Ponchettes. The artist came up with a project designed with the site’s history in mind (a history of painting with installations from Matisse to Noël Dolla and Yves Klein; and a sociological and material history, as it was formerly used as a market for fishermen) as well as its spatial configuration.

Biography Born in 1981 and a graduate of the École Supérieure d'Art de l'Agglomération d'Annecy, Adrien Vescovi has been living and working in Marseille for a few years now, before which he was based in the Haute-Savoie. The artist revisits the idea of the free canvas and painting considered on an architectural or natural scale, in the vein of artists of the Supports/Surfaces movement experimenting in the late 1960s, but from a contemporary perspective. The artist also employs an in situ method that involves careful consideration of the history and architectural features of his exhibition venues and a spatial organisation of his installation to resonate with the context of the places he is invited.
His work has been exhibited in Belgium, Denmark and Mexico. In 2017, he had an exhibition as artist-in-residence at Le Cyclop in Milly-en-Forêt. In summer 2019, his work will be exhibited at Villa Noailles then the departmental contemporary art museum in Rochechouart. His works can be found in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes’ collections and the PACA regional contemporary art collections (FRAC) amongst others. He is represented by the Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière.

Commissariat : Hélène Guenin, director of MAMAC

> Exhibition's booklet