Magicians exhibition

Magicians exhibition. Anne Limbour, Hélène Jousse and Yvette Alde

From 1. October 2016 to 7 January 2017

“Where there is a woman, there is magic”, once explained the poetess Ntozake Shange. This phrase alone sums up the philosophy of the “Magicians” exhibition, showed during fall in Saint-Malo at the Cristel Editeur d’Art Centre. A time to discover three artists with inimitable marks: visual artist Anne Limbour, sculptor Hélène Jousse, painter Yvette Alde. Authentic magicians…

The exhibition benefits from the support of Abri Services.

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Naturally magicians

They are artists, they are women, they are magicians. Three names, three lives, three works of which it is up to us to write that they complement and agree. For the first, Yvette Alde (here playing the alphabetical order), the affair has been known for a long time: born in 1911, and trained in modern art in the studio of André Lhote, she very quickly asserted herself as a naturally gifted student with a poetic spirit. When did she take off? In 1932, when she participated in her first Salon d’Automne? Later, when she produced long frescoes, notably for the Kabgayi cathedral in the former Belgian Congo? Later still, when she brought her paintings into museums, in Cognac, Jakarta, Elath, Grenoble, Paris, Toulouse, Tel-Aviv, San Francisco? One thing is sure, his work counted. “In her compositions, she often mixes the dream, the imaginary, with reality”, summarizes the Bénézit Dictionary. We are surprised that not a word is slipped on the mark that was regularly hers: the use of generous, colorful, twirling pastes, capable of leading her to the confines of a certain abstraction… However, her idea of ​​painting held her back; with a classical touch, she returned to the line, but without dissipating any of the trouble it had aroused. Subtle game, in short, magnified by a pretty name: magic. Until her premature death in 1967, Yvette Alde was a formidable magician.
And our hosts, Hélène Jousse, Anne Limbour, so unpredictable, so lively? Magicians, too? Yes, certainly, since they revive the beautiful invitation of Jean Cocteau: “I am bound to the impossible.” So does Hélène Jousse, an artist born in 1964, and born into sculpture in the mid-eighties. From this period, critics keep the memory of supple and vibrant bodies with bronze muscles: a skilful translation in which some could read a vague affiliation with the refined forms of Alberto Giacometti…

Then, from dream to dream, and from plaster to plaster, witnessing a slow maturation, were born these unexpected sculptures that the Cristel Éditeur d’Art Center is now happy to bring to light: according to the very expression of Hélène Jousse, “faces-ribbons”. Fine, high, high, fluid works, which one of the masters of contemporary art, the Dutchman Mark Brusse, immediately admired without reserve. Their secret? Eyes that do not see, lips that do not move — and yet this bewitching sensation of an indisputable presence…
Magician… For this rare gift, so powerful, so precious, perhaps Anne Limbour should claim a place of choice. This Breton visual artist, born in Fougères in 1971, is she not the author of a totally invented, totally dreamlike world? In a few words, fish, sometimes seahorses and jellyfish coming, not from the deep, but from the sky and the air! We think we hear another tirade from Cocteau: “The source almost always disapproves of the route of the river”… A way of saying, obviously, that a mysterious freedom and an inexhaustible magic were needed to transform his primitive quest – feathers of birds, remiges—in incredible swarms of fish. Mastery of goldsmith, therefore, where the chisel which cuts and the hand which disposes, are only the instruments of a singularly spiritual re-creation. We think, by association, of these marvelous innovators, now museums, that were and remain Line Vautrin, Simone Pheulpin, Bernadette Chéné, Jagoda Buic, Olga de Amaral… Anne Limbour is in their blood.


Christophe Penot
Éditeur d’Art