Artist: Sophie Bueno-Boutellier
Exhibition title: Le Don de Gaïa
Venue: The Approach, London, UK
Date: January 14 – Feburary 12, 2017
Photography: FXP Photography, London, Nick Ash, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London
The Approach is pleased to announce its second solo exhibition of new paintings by the French, Berlin-based artist, Sophie Bueno-Boutellier. Le Don de Gaïa is the second part of a trilogy of exhibitions reassessing the feminine and addressing reproductive labour, which Bueno-Boutellier began with La Ritournelle du Peuple des Cuisines at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris in 2016.
Bueno-Boutellier’s signature gesture of cutting, folding and wrapping raw, unstretched canvas reveals her simultaneous engagement with painting as a pictorial surface and a textile material. The paintings defy the standard of an image plane and instead possess cavernous insides, as if holding or withholding something. The viewer is inclined to lean in and move around the painting to inspect the hidden surfaces within or behind folds, creating an experience of intimacy through the act of looking closely and employing the whole body to this end.
This exhibition also features interventions by Bueno-Boutellier’s husband Niels Trannois, an artist himself. As an experiment of opening up her practice, Bueno-Boutellier has asked Trannois to paint within the sculpted surfaces she had made. She initiated this exchange in order to reflect on her own maternal experience through her artistic practice: the woman’s loss of identity and loss of the integrity of the female body through maternity, as well as the potential for this experience of loss to be transformed into knowledge. Bueno-Boutellier’s ceding of complete control over her works and the resulting disruption and exchange in her artistic process translates this theme of loss and transformation from intimate family bonds into the productive collaboration between the partners as artists. Textile curtains printed with abstract child’s drawings become part of the exhibition architecture, introducing a further element of another’s hand.
Le Don de Gaïa proposes an embodied exploration of the symbiotic relationships that constitute motherhood and family life, which entail the continuous negotiation of the permeable and unstable definition of the self, and the productive challenge of introducing the agencies of others.
Sophie Bueno-Boutellier (b. 1974, Toulouse, France) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Selected solo exhibitions include: La Ritournelle du Peuple des Cuisines, Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris, France (2016); Life seems unreal, can we go back to your place?, Freymond-Guth, Zurich, Switzerland (2015); They sing a song only you can hear, The Approach, London, UK (2014); C’est à crier tellement c’est bleu, Circus, Berlin, Germany (2012); Pensée Sauvage, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Langenhagen, Germany (2011); A knock on the window pane, Galerie Carlos Cardenas, Paris, France (2009); Lunar Odyssey, Beton-Salon, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, Austria (2007). Selected group exhibitions include: White Noise, Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus, Switzerland (2015); Rotrixagatze, On Stellar Rays, New York, USA (2015); DIZIONARIO DI PITTURA, Francesca Minini, Milan, Italy (2014); Occupy Painting, Autocenter, Berlin, Germany (2014); SLIP, The Approach, London, UK (2013); Beyond the Object, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy (2013); Plentitude, Carl Freedman Gallery, London, UK (2012).