SAM FRANCIS & VICTOR VASARELY, MA GALERIE- SAMUEL LE PAIRE
11/02/2016 - 09/04/2016
“Order is the pleasure of reason, but disorder is the delight of the imagination”
Paul Claudel, The Satin Slipper
Ma Galerie is offering an antagonistic exhibition by choosing to show together two artists who are total opposites: Victor Vasarely and Sam Francis. “Order and Disorder” is a phrase that condenses an apparently unsolvable contradiction between the orthonormed on the one hand and the indeterminate on the other.
Two conceptions, two “visions” that are the opposite of each other: each of the two artists has a heritage sourced from two different cultures. Vasarely, trained by followers of the Bauhaus, maintained a programmatic rigor even in the wavelike deformations of his reticular systems. Conversely, Sam France practiced “suggestive colour”. The random was his only system. Where Victor Vasarely sought to apply to a painting the laws of optical science, Sam Francis abstracted himself from the rules by throwing pure colour onto an infinitely white space.
Vasarely trained in advertising graphic design during the 1930s and thrived on the lessons of the Bauhaus through the intermediary of Sandor Bortnyick; minimalism and geometry were the two cardinal virtues that he chose to guide his work during the following decades. Sam Francis, a generation later, also wanted to develop a new conception of the canvas, but through a gesture that goes beyond the frame through automatic writing, whose essence is almost shamanic, that indicates the way to smudges of colours. Trained by Clifford still, he remained within the lyricism of American abstraction of Pollock, Rothko, Kline and participated largely in a new expressionism.
Each artist represents one of the two faces of post-war art; each stands at one of the two extremities of the large pendulum that perpetually oscillates between the Apollonian and the Dionysian, between the chthonic and the aerial, between the system and the random. Vasarely followed a path that guided him inevitably towards art and science. For Sam Francis, his entry into painting happened like a revelation; illness was his Road to Damascus and in his entire oeuvre there remains a mystical character. “The artist is the eye of God, he or she illuminates the unconscious”: this phrase from Sam Francis himself summarises by itself the route he made for himself.
Vasarely’s art is a combinatory art, an assembly of codified and programmed elements that create order from a finished world. The creator is down here and is embodied in the human will. Sam Francis’s coloured flocculations, on the other hand do not respond to any system; they clump together according to the idea of an unstable world, continually worked by centrifugal forces that lean towards immeasurable space. This is the disorder of light particles, the unpredictable force of a cosmos beyond that projects colours randomly onto the canvas.
Ma Galerie proposes the complementarity of opposites to show how these two integral universes can constitute a whole; two universes that, gathered together, form an absolute unity between the proportion of the normal and its corollary, the excessiveness of disorder.
Mathias CHIVOT, Historian of art
Ma Galerie propose une exposition antagonique en choisissant de réunir dans un même accrochage deux artistes que tout oppose : Victor Vasarely et Sam Francis. « Ordre et désordre » est une formule qui condense bien cette contradiction a priori irrésolvable entre l’orthonormé d’un côté et l’indéterminé de l’autre.
Infos pratiques :
Remerciements à Andy Emler, auteur-compositeur, pour la musique
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