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Ainsi la nuit, Fabienne Verdier

77 Faubourg Saint Honoré has become a meeting point among artists, collectors and amateurs.

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77 Faubourg Saint Honoré has become a meeting point among artists, collectors and amateurs. The French artist Fabienne Verdier has been invited to exhibit her work under the skylight of the atelier at 77 Faubourg Saint-Honoré.


The artists paints in perfect harmony, be it in New York or Aix, to the sound of a Jazz band or a classical quartet. Painting flows in time with the music which becomes pictorial. The series of paintings “Ainsi la nuit” on exhibition, are the fruit of work carried out during the years 2016 to 2018. The title refers to a string quartet of the same name by Henri Dutilleux.

The series of photos by Laure Vasconi in the artist’s workshop immerse us into a unique and surprising universe. Fabienne Verdie paints while standing, with monumental paint brushes and pigments that flow by the liter on the canvas placed on the floor. Sometimes, she even applies the paint without a brush.

When she paints, she dances. Her body becomes a paint brush.

When she paints, she dances. Her body becomes a paint brush.

At nineteen years of age, Fabienne Verdier observes birds in flight and listens to the murmur of rivers.

She draws skeletons at Toulouse’s natural history museum alone, in order to understand the underlying structures that give movement.

In 1983, she travels to China and encounters the elderly painter Huan Yuan who accepts teaching her the bases of his art, although this was officially prohibited: thought in movement.

Fabienne Verdier, absorbed by the principle of « the single stroke of a brush », learns how to control her body and to stand upright to paint vertically.

The force of gravity becomes one of the players of her painting.

Upon her return from China, the artist uses a wide range of brushes made of animal hairs, (ranging from rat, fox, wolf, goat, otter, sable, to sheep) and feathers (cock, duck or pheasant), as they make a more or less firm stroke, that is soft, vigorous, gentle, fidgety but precise.

In 2006, she conceives a new workshop along with the architect Denis Valode, organized around a “pit”.

The artist performs her work by using a pulley supporting a huge brush (that weights almost 60 kilos) that hangs from the ceiling.

Her body is at the center of the work, like a pendulum.

The workshop is said to be « a homage to Newton and the force of gravity”.

The different pieces of work are accompanied by sketch books where she records notes and drawings. The note books or pages aren’t preliminary sketches to the paintings. They accompany the execution of the pictures, which can be done beforehand, simultaneously or retrospectively.

Over a span of months or even years, Fabienne Verdier gathers notes and all sorts of pictures (works of art, illustrations of nature and scientific images). The act of painting for Fabienne Verdier is extremely physical.

In 2009, she creates a new tool that resembles a pastry bag: a plastic tube full of acrylic material that allows her to work without a brush and walk on the canvass whilst applying the paint directly; these are known as walking /paintings.

These pieces have similar dynamics to those we have a glimpse of in lighting. Fabienne Verdier gives thought to vibratory energy that fills what we perceive in a vacuum. The canvass becomes a field of energy.

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