Salomé de Fontainieu was born in 1973 in Paris. In 1997, she trained at the CEMR (European Centre for Restoration Crafts) in Venice, where she conducted experiments on the colouring of concrete.
Self-taught, passionate and versatile, she expresses herself as well through collage, ink, oil, sculpture and furniture. Her pictorial work is thus articulated around several formal axes.
For Inks, the artist uses a metal pen fixed on a long stick to draw vertical lines at a distance on paper. These parallel lines and the random spaces that separate them, give rhythm and musicality to all the paintings. There are also drips, stains and other “accidents” that animate these landscapes as well as the movements of an ongoing thought. Thus, a linear space develops before our eyes, punctuated by solid and empty spaces. The musicality and lyricism of the gesture shine through the canvas and maintain affinities between the traces of Indian ink.
Regarding the “Collages”, the artist sets up a plastic language in the form of flat areas of paint on cardboard. The cutting that follows this first gesture and the positioning of these modules lead to an exact balance. This process of occupying a chosen space is accompanied by a set of correspondences between the different colours. The cut material is then put into perspective and highlighted. As with the Inks, this architecture stems from a superposition that contributes to the depth of the painting. These works can be thought of, in a way, as static sculptures.
For her oil paintings, the gesture remains the same. Salomé de Fontainieu still favors verticals and horizontals and applies broad strokes of brushes on the canvas. The color appears in the subtle and refined transparency of the glaze, then lightens in the continuity of the gesture in order to gain fluidity. This superposition of layers of paints gives the canvas an almost tactile density.
The tone is set : minimal elegance and a strength that never goes overboard.
2022 : “Legato” (Paintings and cemarics), Château Servière, Marseille, France
2021 : “Le Déconcertant Banquet” (Ceramics), Marseille, France
2021 : “Le paysage, un lieu d’introspection”, Coworking participation, Granville, Normandy, France
2019 : “La Couleur au service de l’abstraction”, Galerie Aliénor Prouvost, Brussels, Belgium
2019 : HLM/Hors-Les-Murs, Marseille, France
2014 : The Salon, Galerie Diane de Polignac, New York
2013 : Manufacture des Gobelins, Paris, France
2013 : Galerie Homer – Richard Mishaan, New York, USA
2013 : The Salon, Galerie Diane de Polignac, New York, USA
2013 : Masterpiece, Galerie Diane de Polignac, London, UK
2008 : Design Fair, VIA, Milan, Italy
2023 : Galerie Aliénor Prouvost, Brussels, Belgium
2021 : Atelier de Bibemus, Aix-en-Provence, France
2020 : Galerie Aliénor Prouvost, Brussels, Belgium
2018 : Miguérès Moulin, Paris, France
2017 : Commission for the green room of the Élysée, meeting table “Concorde” in wood marquetry, Paris, France
2006-2007 : Commission for the French National Furniture, furnishing the office of the Minister of Culture and Communication, Paris, France
Where do you spend your quarantine and with whom?
I am in Marseille in a house with an exterior large enough to do gardening and landscaping projects and enjoy even more of the spring and summer to come. I am in the company of my husband and my two children, who are 14 and 18 years old. We go about our everyday activities fairly quietly.
What is the place where you spend the most of your time at the moment ?
The place where I spend the most of my time at the moment is my art studio, even if I neglected it a little during the first weeks.
How do you manage your time ?
The morning is rather intended for the chores of the house and to put my children in “study” mode, while in the afternoon I am most of the time in my workshop.
Does the quarantine bring you interesting elements in your artwork?
At the beginning I thought that it was a bit like if I was in “residence” at home and that I had to keep a testimony of this period. I then filled two whole notebooks with sketches of my children in quarantine : sometimes drawing their slumped or coiled postures in quantity of quilts, sometimes moments of hectic creative activities…
I’ve always sketched a bit, especially when my kids were younger, but with quarantine I’m currently sketching a lot again. The sketch actually allows a very quick stroke. We don’t really think about what we’re doing, the gesture follows the mind and not the eyes. By looking too much you lose the natural. It is the fact of not controling the gesture, the accident and the emergency that creates something that works.
And now I’m back in my workshop to work on more abstract ideas.
Tell us more about your current work. What is the last artwork you made ?
My current work is about a series of artworks in bas-relief, both sculpture and painting. My last artwork is a sculpture-painting which I called once finished “Window” because it was so timely.
We see on one side, a raw black wooden element which casts its shadow on the canvas while on the other side, a large painted shape accentuates its outline. By chance, these two elements placed on either side of the canvas drew the outlines of a frame. The glance bouncing back on these successive plans rushes into the luminous background. Likewise, our constrained eyes and minds search through our windows for the light of a beyond.
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