Laurent Petit: Conveying Oblivion is on view at Galerie de l’Ancienne Poste, France
September 5 – November 5, 2020
Coinciding with the display of his works at La Piscine Museum, Laurent Petit’s second solo show at the gallery reveals some fifteen recent sculptures. The ceramic artist reconnects to a somewhat narrative mode through a reappropriation of myths and battles specific to Mediterranean culture.
Laurent Petit has said before that the work he creates is both pictorial and sculptural. The high importance he imparts to white may evoke the very open projection space of the viewer facing a painting. According to the artist, “It also confers a different, stronger value, to what comes to challenge white, namely the concretions of matter and next, the traces of colour. Everything I lay as an addition to white transcends it and allows me to seek an enigmatic minerality.” He recalls that white imposed itself from the start, under the influence of sculptor Gordon Baldwin as well as painter Joan Mitchell and, obviously, Cy Twombly. “I think white allows me to carry a form of neutrality and calmness as a counterpoint to very colourful areas, especially when I think back to my first ceramics which had more matter, more grain. Cy Twombly once declared that the white areas of his paintings could be considered as neo-romantic areas of remembrance. This definition suits me perfectly, since I consider my sculptures as commemorative spaces on which I spread out traces.” On Laurent Petit’s latest works, the white areas thus seem even more essential to him. He turns them into a metaphor of fragile recollection, created by fine engobes receiving, in contrast, glossy areas that reflect an active memento. “In life, he concludes, those two notions always cohabit, combining fleeting recollections with a vivid memory, all the more revived by what we see…”
Text by Marie Maertens, Curator and art critic. Extract from the exhibition catalogue.
Laurent Petit was born in 1962 in Bourges (Cher – France). A graduate from École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and Maison de la Céramique in Mulhouse, he has been using ceramics as his form of expression since 1996. He was featured in 2019 among the finalists of the 25th edition of the International Biennale of Contemporary Ceramics in Vallauris.
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