En Chair et en Os, 2022
Oil on linen
Two panels, 33 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches (85 x 200 cm) each
67 x 78 3/4 inches (170 x 200 cm) overall
© Inès Longevial, Courtesy the artist and Ketabi Bourdet
Van de Weghe is pleased to present, in cooperation with Ketabi Bourdet, Paris, En chair et en os (In the flesh), an exhibition recent self-portraits by Inès Longevial. This new body of work highlights the artist’s mastery of color and form as she strips away all ornamentation, in order to “to make the face speak.” She transforms the body to landscape, hills and valleys carved by light and crossed by shadows.
Longevial’s sensitivity finds its most delicate expression literally on the surface of the skin, that thin membrane between oneself and the world, which resonates with atmospheric information. The figures glow with reflected light; the pastel palette punctuated by incandescent hues evokes the diurnal cycle of light from sunrise to sunset. They console and soothe with their soft and warm pinks, mauves and yellows.
The works likewise probe the emotional depths of living in the world. Longevial’s compositions are closely cropped, almost cinematic, and evoke an essential drama. Each variation tenderly asserts itself with a soft, silent presence, seemingly in search of consolation. A modest tear appears on the figures’ cheeks, signifying a need for alliance, resolution, and comfort. The dreamy candor of inclined faces and lowered eyes beckon us back to our first years. Longevial uses composition, symmetry and seriality in a visual game that transforms the self-portrait into multitudes. They surround and mirror each other, one dissolving into the next, at once bearing down and then at a distance.
The process of creating the self-portrait is akin to the the Plotinian ethic to “never stop sculpting your own statue,” the process of building and refining a means to discovering one’s essence. Here, Longevial finds grounds for affirmation, for emancipation, allowing her to reclaim the power of her own body, her femininity and to embrace her singularity. This focus also speaks to the singular place of the artist, consciously absorbing the melancholy of the world. Beauty is the artist’s consolation and Longevial offers us a refuge and “through painting, a shoulder to cry on.”
Born in 1990 in Agen, Inès Longevial paints and draws in resonance with impressions, feelings, sensations from which she naturally extracts the palette. The artist approaches her memories in color and gives form to candid and absorbed faces, which carry the nostalgia of seasons, sunsets, shades of light and caresses. This year, Ines has enjoyed a rich schedule of solo exhibitions in French and international institutions such as FIAF New York, Ketabi Bourdet Gallery in Paris, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Agen. In 2023 she will exhibit her work at the Korean Museum of Contemporary Art (KMCA) in Seoul.