Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Musée de l’Échevinage
29 ter, avenue Alsace-Lorraine
Claudia Peppel, Curator
Séverine Bompays (Musées de Saintes),
Coordination of the exhibition
My world is one of ambiguity (mon monde est l’ambiguïté) is the first exhibition in Saintes dedicated to the work of the French artist Patrick Vernon (1958-1998). Comprising some 30 works, it offers an overview of his remarkable oeuvre.
His drive for autonomy, recurring sense of estrangement and melancholy meant that he never stayed in one place for long; his frequent dislocations and relocations left their mark on his work. Absence, black-on-white and the city in its many facets are themes around which the exhibition is organised, at the Musée de l’Échevinage.
This typology, however, represents but an initial and tentative approach to the richness of Vernon’s oeuvre. He was a restless wanderer who committed to paper the vivid impressions, the extremes of experience and also the loneliness associated with his many arrivals, immersions in new realms and inevitable departures.
Yet his works are a distillation of the essential. Expanses and dabs of colour, contours, abstract lines, open forms, and fragmentation, graceful interweavings – Vernon’s artistry combines a poetic intensity with a delicacy of particular charm.
Ecstatic, curiously evocative and often self-contradictory, his pictures attest to powers of meticulous observation and a subtle cheerfulness, but also to an instability and a restless search for meaning. Many explore transitions, the liminal and the ambiguous.