Artists: Stéphane Abitbol, Jean-Baptiste Janisset, Villard & Brossard
Exhibition title: Euro Neu Mode
Venue: Everyday Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
Date: May 16 – June 16, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Everyday Gallery, Antwerp
In the second space of the gallery, it feels like you glide underwater, like entering a padded room. Spacious, the presentation allows for all surfaces to unfold. Simon Brossard & Julie Villard’s pieces are so visceral and unreal. This is what an object in science fiction would look like when you turn it inside out. Using moulds, the pieces curve, fit and follow the shape of an unknown entity. The duo’s thorough craft and explicit attention for surfaces, is shared by the other artists in the space. As gatekeepers, two of Jean-Baptiste Janisset’s thin metallic sheet sculptures, line the hallway. Like curious fingers, the material traces and lines its original. On the left wall, Stéphane Abitbol’s paintings continue on tactility; scratching the surface of pictorial illusion and canvas. Burning and layering, he too seems to push his fingers into the surface of things.
Stéphane Abitbol (France, 1989) is a painter whose practice bites itself into the illusions of the painterly medium. Often burning into the canvas, the directness of the action is countered by and freshly painted gradient blue skies. There is a question to the point to which something stretches; in the spun fabric, as in the surrealism of the painted picture. His work strengthens the medium’s capacity to move beyond the material carrier. The fire eats, stains, smokes, and dissolves the canvas, while the paint builds on it, to an image we seem to fall into.
Stéphane Abitbol finished his masters in Painting at ENSAV la Cambre in 2018. Since his work has been exhibited at Playtime, Bruxelles (2019), K11 Hangzhou, China (2019), Studio Orta Les Moulins (2018), La part Mortelle, Brussels (2018). Abitbol had a solo exhibition at Bom Dia, Bruxelles (2018).
Jean-Baptiste Janisset (France, 1990) makes metallic sculptures and installations. From fragments of historical material, he moulds and hammers metal into thin sheets of representation. His work looks like it holds the middle between drops of excess lead lost on a studio’s floor, and a precise reproduction’s craftsmanship. Rough-edged but hair fine. His figures and emblems embody a layer between us and what once was and contemporary sculpture. How do we now read binding rituals, mystical symbolism, and ancient storytelling?
Janisset had solo exhibitions at Atelier Chiffonnier, Dijon (2020), Galerie Alain Gutharc, Paris (2019), Espace Diamant, Ajaccio (2017), Complexe Culturel Le Centre-Bénin, Cotonou (2016). Group exhibitions he was part of include a.o. Open Space Beaux-Arts, Nantes (2019), Villa Emerige, Paris (2019), Galerie RDV, Nantes (2018), Beaux-Arts, Paris (2018), FIAC, Fiac (2017) and more.
Villard & Brossard
The artist duo Simon Brossard & Julie Villard (France, 1994/92) call up the words ‘human smell’, ‘Paris’, and ‘motorcycle engine’ when googled. Their stretched sculptural shapes behave like verbs; they are active agents in a space; always leaning, hanging, contorting, or standing. With a heavy emphasis on finish; rough or polished, their work dips into thoughts on material comportment and that specific sci-fi sensibility.
Simon & Julie work together as a duo since their studies at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy in 2016. They had international solo ex-hibitions at Rabouan Moussion, Paris (2019), Future Gallery, Berlin (2018), Exo Exo, Paris (2018). Group exhibitions they were part of took place at Da-mien & The Love Guru, Brussels (2019), Sophie Tappeiner, Vienna (2018), Plato Ostrava Czech Republic (2017) and Palais de Tokyo Paris (2017).
by Céline Mathieu