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Frédérique Lucien

Trames et variations
8 novembre - 21 décembre

      This is Frédérique Lucien's ninth solo exhibition at Galerie Jean Fournier and we are delighted to be presenting her Feuiller, a group of works on paper involving cutouts and coloured geometrical grids. "I don't draw on paper," she told us during the run-up to the exhibition. "I draw in paper". 
      Since the 1990s Lucien's work has been based on a vocabulary of forms and motifs rooted in the vegetal, the mineral, the organic and the human body, in series that address her themes in several media simultaneously: the body in drawing, sculpture and ceramics, and the vegetal mainly in drawing and paper cutouts. Each of these series reciprocally enriches the others.
      Lucien has been working on the Feuiller series since 2012. Invited to take part in the multi-museum Dessiner-Tracer project of autumn 2011–autumn 2012, she visited the Musée Matisse at Le Cateau-Cambrésis and the La Piscine museum in Roubaix. Her initial response took the form of notebook drawings and cutouts, some of which appeared in the journal Cursif, which accompanied the project. This series was inspired not only by Matisse's drawings and cutouts, but also by old fabrics the artist found in the Roubaix museum's textile department. The outcome is fruitful interplay between two notions of the decorative: we find Matisse's freedom in Lucien's vegetal and linear forms, as well as a particular attentiveness on her part to what the applied arts can offer.
      The French title carries overtones of "leaf" in the sense both of paper and plant. The Feuiller are a core part of an approach which unifies drawing and motif and uses observation of the vegetal as the premise for a move towards abstraction. The repertoire comprises cutout shapes in the form of individual or juxtaposed silhouettes and outlines: abstract variations on vegetal or organic originals which are then overlaid on grids; these latter can be regular, repetitive, geometrical or random.
     While Lucien's vocabulary remains immediately recognisable, these new works represent a radical shift in her relationship with colour over the last six years: a daring evolution towards a wedding of muted and bolder hues and increasingly intense contrasts. The grids are rendered more complex by a proliferation of lines and motifs reminiscent of the Art & Craft movement. Here we detect something more gestural – expressionistic, even – that is totally new in this artist's oeuvre.
      For this exhibition she has come up with a distinctive presentation on the wide wall below the skylight: a mingling of different formats like that in Matisse's studio, where the cutout compositions created an endlessly renewed environment. This underscores the notion of series and the passage from one work to the next, while also using the scale of the venue to situate Lucien's work spatially.
The exhibition is accompaneid by an artist's book in an edition of 300, 30 of which include an original work. 
(1): Cursif, le dessin dans tous ses états, vol.1, (Dijon, Les presses du Réel/ Analogues/ Association des Conservateurs des musées du Nord-Pas de Calais, 2011-2012).