Marie-Stéphanie Servos

 

Journalist and editor

Founder of the media Women of art

Art critic

 

 

To be a body   

(April 2020)

 

 

 

 

Virginie Hucher is a multidisciplinary artist who evolves between drawing, painting, photography and ceramics. Originally from Paris, she moved to Picardy in 2010 in a house-workshop where she lives and works. A graduate in plastic and applied arts, she trained in various recognized workshops and gradually developed a mainly abstract approach to painting.

 

Pablo Picasso asked: “In every child, there is an artist. The problem is how to stay an artist while growing up ”. Virginie Hucher has found the answer to what seems to be an enigma. It is through dance, a practice to which she was initiated very early by her mother, that the artist lifts the veil on her artistic sensitivity. Captivated, she then discovers the movement of bodies and their relationship to the world, a theme that is still dear to her today.

 

Because this is what it is all about in Virginie Hucher's work: being one body. For her, creation is a natural, almost intrinsic act. The artist is one with his work, and vice versa. A unity is then created, defined as “what is one, as opposed to Plurality. The unity of God. (...) The unity of the self. Unity of feelings. ” (1) Consequently, we no longer distinguish the artist from his work, and we can only define them together, in relation to each other.

 

To make body is also to make with the body, central element of each of Virginie Hucher's creations. If it is not figured, the body is in any case used as a tool in the realization of a life-size preliminary drawing. The body is choreographed. Most of the time, she performs her ephemeral figures on living supports, such as water, snow or earth. As a return to organic elements, which we find in filigree in his paintings composed of blue, yellow, green or ocher, which are reminiscent of water, sky, sun, nature or earth.

 

We therefore understand that the artist wants to become one with nature, in a search for unity, true osmosis, symbiosis. “The artist should not copy nature but take the elements of nature and create a new element” said Paul Gauguin (2). If nature is not directly visible in her paintings, Virginie Hucher performs a creative process that borrows from Land art. Nature is abstract in its representation, but it is in the heart of it that the artist begins each of his creations. To respond to the ephemerality of her drawings on living supports, which are destined to disappear, Virginie Hucher photographs, rigorously films each of her performances. Essential witnesses to the continuation of his creative process. Then comes real investigative work, in her “laboratory”, as she likes to call her workshop. The artist unearths: travel photographs, quotes, layers, drawings ... Almost in the manner of an archaeologist who discovers with a new eye vestiges of the past, which another eye has already experienced ... The walls of his studio are covered, only a large white band remains, space necessary to project the video of his performance. This step allows him to better appropriate the gestures before finally starting to paint. There, Virginie Hucher deploys her finely selected colors on canvas frames, large paper or tracing paper.

 

Always as a body, when she does not paint using brushes or objects found in nature, Virginie Hucher uses her hand, her forearm. Like the child, in an instinctive approach, almost primitive although applied, that which Picasso evokes the loss, once the child becomes adult. As for her painting, Virginie Hucher uses oil and acrylic. The first for what it uses a natural element, water. The second, to fill, surround, control the full.

 

If we stop at his creations, everything can now light up. The duality of colors, selected with care evokes the day, the night, the autumn, the summer. Anyone who observes his works, can feel a ray of sun brushing his face, or the smell of the forests at the end of autumn, shortly before winter wears its way. “As a rule, color is therefore a means of exercising a direct influence on the soul. Color is the key. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with numerous strings. The artist is the hand which, by the proper use of this or that touch, sets the human soul in vibration. It is therefore clear that the harmony of colors must be based solely on the principle of effective contact with the human soul. ” (3) wrote the founding father of abstraction, Kandinsky.

 

Also, Virginie Hucher ceramics seem to be an integral part of this nature. This is the case with “Botanica”, a series of several small ceramics with a vegetable and organic aesthetic. One would almost believe to have already crossed these forms in situ.

This is less the case with this astonishing figure of a man with four faces, entitled “The call of the forest”. Arranged upstream of a clearing, open mouths, these four figures almost seem to warn us, but what? From the coming danger? Or perhaps, like the Guardian of Gloria Friedmann, are these figures the protectors of the forest, precious sanctuary, gift of nature? Like Friedmann in any case, committed, environmental activist, Virginie Hucher makes the protection of life on earth a commitment, an approach, both personal and artistic. She implements it daily through her work, but also in her lifestyle.

 

Didn't Mark Rothko say: "Art is communicating something about the world". What if it were even more true today, at a time of an environmental crisis in which the artist can and must take its place to prevent the evils that threaten us?

 

 

 

 

 

1) Definition of the French Academy.

2) “Oviri, writings of a savage” - Paul Gauguin, chosen and presented by Daniel Guérin. (Gallimard, 1974).

3) In “Spiritual in art and in painting in particular” (1911).

 

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