Artist: Julie Beaufils
Venue: Balice Hertling, Paris
Exhibition Title: La plage
Date: June 1 – July 13, 2018
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of the artist and Balice Hertling, Paris. Photos by Aurélien Mole.
Le Rayon vert (1882) is a romantic novel written by Jules Verne. The two principal characters search for the “green flash”, the last or first ray of sun as it sinks below or rises above the horizon, creating an optical phenomenon inwhich a green spot or ray is momentarily visible. A film by the same name was made by Éric Rohmer in 1986.
The Swedish painter Hilma af Klint had a directive in her will that her paintings not be shown until twenty years after her death. She was convinced the world was not yet prepared for her abstract work, which was deeply tied to spiritism, spiritual guidance, and esoteric meanings. She quietly made work in a community of women, in contrast to her manifesto-writing male peers.
The paintings in Julie Beaufils’s La plage date from 2017 or 2018. One might be tempted to speak of these paintings as being out of time. I could describe them as ethereal, as otherworldly, but they were made during years of personal and global-political reckoning. Like the moment between sleep and wakefulness, or the sun on the verge of visibility, each painting hovers in the gray realm where abstraction and figuration meet. They are a call to the spiritual in order to grapple with the all too real.
Bokashi is a technique of Japanese woodblock printing in which transitions of value and lightness of a single color are achieved by applying a gradation of ink to a moistened woodblock. It’s often seen at the top of the sky, where the edge of the visible world gradually becomes reduced to sets of black and blue lines. Here, these lines are at once degrees of the unconscious, a gilded cage, a green ray, a glass ceiling. The desert seen through a passenger side window. These paintings are mirages. What’s more unreal—the glass ceiling or the freedom of the white cube?
Each painting invites us into a moment. The green ray is thought to allow one to “read his or her own feelings and that of others”. If you’re not dying of thirst, what do you see in a mirage? Like a mood ring, each color is chosen for its vibration, its own way of holding and creating space. Abstract forms lead to poetic and concrete references—a sunset, negotiating one’s place in the world, contemporary spirituality. A recurring circular form shifts, stretches, compresses, or otherwise transforms as in a heat shimmer or orbs seen behind eyelids. This form speaks above all of potential— of the womb, the eye, and the intuition.