Dolby Chadwick Gallery is pleased to announce Sous le Ciel, an exhibition of new oil paintings and pastel drawings by the French-born artist Edwige Fouvry, on view March 6–29, 2014. French for “Under the Sky,” Sous le Ciel fittingly focuses on landscape. Fouvry’s scenes, however, are not the vast vistas of the Dutch Golden Age or 19th-century Romanticism, but rather up-close glimpses of intricate thickets and inexplicable woodland clearings. One of her motivating interests as an artist, she explains, is to find order and structure in chaos. Line, form, color, and texture converge in unique, unexpected ways as she creates experimental systems of space across her canvases, themselves often left bare in certain areas.
Ultimately, Fouvry’s landscapes are born of a desire to locate patterns and coherence in the world—to bring sense and form to the random and idiosyncratic. By indexing psychological spaces in the manner of Les Nabis, the Symbolists, or even Gerhard Richter [as in the case of Fagnes 03 (2013), the paintings also speak to a desire to organize intellectual chaos and explore existential questions about self and personhood.
Figures frequently appear within the landscapes, set against branches and foliage rendered in exuberant, hyper-realistic colors. Naked and exposed, the figures underscore human fragility and loneliness while simultaneously manifesting mythical, even monumental qualities. Nymphe (2013), for example, presents a solidly bold, modern interpretation of the ethereal beauty assigned to Greek mythology’s chorus of minor female deities. And although the spirit-like figure in La Traversee (2012)—or The Traveler—moves in and out of the landscape before our eyes, the very fact that the land is constitutive of his form lends him an unexpected strength and vigor. These paintings, as with all of Fouvry’s works, lie at this nexus of the solid and the ephemeral, the physical and the psychic, and figuration and abstraction.
Fouvry challenges us to pay closer attention during the looking process. Although she uses photographs—such as old snapshots of family members, profile pictures from dating websites, and photographs taken while exploring the countryside—the works themselves are based on her memory of the photographs, rather than the photographs themselves. By foregrounding the lens of her imagination, the final paintings reveal subjects and scenes both entirely familiar and paradoxically foreign.
Edwige Fouvry was born in Nantes, France, in 1970, and currently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She received her Masters degree from École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre in Brussels in1996. She has exhibiting widely across Europe and North America and participated in the 2011 group exhibition HEADS, curated by Peter Selz, at the Dolby Chadwick Gallery in March 2011. Her work has been reviewed in Art Ltd. and The San Francisco Chronicle. This will be her second solo exhibition at the gallery.