• gerard van weyenbergh

New trends: Amazed by Nature

If the animal question acutely arises today in the social debate, it is also posed even in contemporary painting. The animals rarely take on a symbolic value and little of a naturalistic aspect. At the crossroads of Rousseau's paintings and those of Gilles Aillaud, we should indeed better situate the spirit, colors, and form of today's pictorial bestiary. Hidden in the jungle of brushstrokes or diluted watercolor lines, the animals crouch discreetly at the bottom of the canvas. The black cat (perhaps an allusion to Poe's fantastic short story), barely visible in Gerald Petit's paintings so much the animal's coat merges with the black background with surprisingly iridescent reflections of the canvas. Cathy Wilkes reveals under a fine pictorial drizzle the silhouettes of creatures half-human, half-animal, in an almost great vein in much clearer tones but not sharper. Another camouflage strategy of the painted subject: Urban Zellweger. He represents a group Amazed by nature of insects or reptiles by playing on their complicated morphology, interweaving their long antennae and their interminable legs, or insisting on their shells with multiple reflections and their skin crevassed relief. Suppose the animal tends to disappear here from the visible world, regaining dark and phantasmal areas. Plant species undergo the same treatment in Damien Cadio, who delivered last fall an exhibition at the Eva Hober Gallery titled "Botany of Silence." Wilted, withered, and withered bouquets, as well as rotting blackened cabbage leaves, gave the genre of still life a literal meaning.

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