For nearly forty years, Du Pasquier has playfully blurred the boundaries between fine art and design. Since 1987, she has dedicated her practice to painting and challenging the concept of representation. As with her early design work, her vividly-coloured paintings on view at Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens until 4 August 2017, explore complex arrangements of forms, ideas of depiction versus reality, and the expressive relations between objects and colours. As the artist explains, “Through the representation, I learned about looking and transforming what I saw into a painting. The abstract work is a different kind of position. I become a builder, an inventor.”
The exhibition at Pace centres around a site-specific red room, showcasing paintings made between 2008 and 2014. Gentle colours are applied in flat expanses and the forms hint at domestic appliances and objects such as cups and bottles, as well as more abstract constructions that Du Pasquier physically makes herself before representing them on canvas. Self-described as a ‘painter who makes her own models’, Du Pasquier envisages these initial wooden compositions as autonomous art objects. They will be dispersed around the gallery alongside new abstract wooden sculptures. Du Pasquier will also paint simple ‘rhythmic’ elements on the walls of the gallery, uniting all works in the exhibition in a single installation.
The title of this exhibition, From time to time, comes from Du Pasquier’s shift from representing constructed compositions to constructing compositions directly on the canvas, and from representational work to abstract work. “The paintings in the red room are traditional still-lifes representing abstract constructions, and you do not see them when you enter the exhibition. What you’ll see instead, all around the space, is the recent work where I have composed abstract paintings, done in the last two years, with three-dimensional elements that show the scars of time. What I want to show in From time to time is this continuous shift from one position to another. It is in that movement that I recharge the dynamo.” – Nathalie Du Pasquier, April 2017.
From time to time precedes two major solo exhibitions of Nathalie Du Pasquier’s work this autumn at the Camden Arts Centre, London, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.