The Fondation Thalie in Brussels, has invited French artist Karine Rougier to recreate her atelier as an immersive exhibition. Dialoguing with ceramics by Italian artist Alessandro Roma, Karine Rougier blends various organic forms inspired by nature. The work ties in with the Fondation’s annual themed programming this year, “The Renaissance Artist as Worker” completed through a residency, an exhibition, workshops and publications. The physicality of gesture is built into the work via the act of painting, drawing, and sculpting. The work highlights a rapport with materiality, which is experienced as an utmost necessity, one counter to our dematerialized era.
There is a poetic syncretism in Karine Rougier’s work. This exhibition has committed to recreating the artist’s atelier: a veritable cabinet of curiosities located in Marseille. Here, it’s a matter of adapting as closely as possible the singularity of this intimate space by drawing upon multiple sources of inspiration. A vitrine specially produced for the exhibition will showcase objects, picked up here and there, that the artist has great affection for -masks, talismans, old etchings and ‘70s-era postcards- items that the artist, who is passionate about sacred stories and poetry, uses as inspiration to build her magic realism-tinged visual tales. In this new series of paintings, hands are always articulated as though they were characters or games (which are recurrent elements in her work). There is also Kali, the Indian goddess of destruction and rebirth, whose necklace encircles a neck without a head, referencing the Biblical scene in which Judith beheads Holoferne, if approximately, since the decapitated head wears a bear mask affixed to the hairline, like a savage janus. Karine Rougier’s work situates itself outside of time, celestial and dreamlike. Her masterful drawings conjure a virginal world, peopled by feminine divinities linked to nature and to the stars.
Born in Malta in 1982, Karine Rougier lives and works in Marseille. After having studied at the Arts Décoratifs in Geneva, followed by the École Supérieure d’Art in Aix-en-Provence, Karine Rougier developed her practice of drawing and oil paintings on wood. Her work is inspired by her journeys, underwater excursions in the Mediterranean and her desire to believe in the supernatural. She represented Malta at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
An exhibition in dialogue with the works of Alessandro Roma
Alessandro Roma’s work is composed of echoes and stereophonics. The unique decorative elements of his ceramics are made from shocks to the material. The artist showcases a total sense of freedom in his work through the choice of glazes and the enamels, at once through the color lines as well as through the cuts and extrusions of the earth inspired by telluric forces. The rupture in the compact clay forms, and the fragmentation of the lines, opens the gaze to a new dimension and creates links by playing with otherness between the works, the body and space.
Born in Milan in 1977, Alessandro Roma lives and works in Brussels. He studied fine arts at the Accademia di Brera. Although he considers himself primarily as a painter, he uses drawing, collage, textiles and sculpture. His works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout Europe and in New York.
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