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Lucie Le Bouder


Solo show

Text by Mélissa Hiebler

10/11/2016 - 22/12/2016

For her third solo show entitled POINT BARRE at gallery 22,48 m², Lucie le Bouder offers us the opportunity to experiment a process consisting in dissolving architectural volumes by means of light, drawing and sculpture. While the artist’s previous works focused on constitutive elements of the exhibition space – ground, plaster walls, plinth – and on ways to get away from this by thwarting notions of flatness and by highlighting their limits in terms of color, matter, or verticality, POINT BARRE rather acts like a contraction aiming at eliminating the distinction between space and artworks.

Lucie le Bouder’s work about volumes goes further and approaches a kind of «anarchitecture», like a reaction against modern architecture and its famous statement «form follows function». At odds with this utilitarian principle, Lucie le Bouder’s steel sculptures – though refering to modernism with their geometric lines – assert their formal independance regarding space. Arase reshapes the gallery ground, and nearly covers it completely, only leaving a few openings, last clues of a plate tectonics that literally swallows these subtle steel structures, thus blurring the relation between space and artwork, or between base and sculpture. 


The notion of cutting is central to understand Lucie le Bouder’s works just like Matta-Clark’s in situ monumental “Building Cuts” the artist realized in the 70’s to change our perception of a place and its immediate environment. The Scenes series presents two drawings realized with a cutter and based on axonometric projections. Overlaid and flat, they call for a fall, a destruction of layers, necessary to create a new point of view, now directed by a grazing light. Like in an engraving, those controlled hatchings create a shading effect that tenses the three-dimensional space, empties it, and turn it into a starting point for new imaginery constructions.

Convergence Line #3, an assembly of battens, thus seems to pass through the gallery wall to invade the green area adjacent to the exhibition space and removes the spatial limitation. Are we facing a sculpture or is it the wall structure itself which is exposed ? Work and its support had merged. How can we not think of the fake brick wall supported by wood bracing in Duchamp’s installation « Etant donnés : 1° la chute d'eau 2° le gaz d'éclairage… » 1946 – 1966. Decor is indeed a key to understand Lucie le Bouder’s work because it leads to a concealment of the wall and highlights it at the same time.

This staging mechanics that aims at dissolving the wall is made explicit in the series of sketches and models Lucie le Bouder displayed within a working cabinet, antechamber for her productions, genuine drawing table for architect that would have completely swung down vertically to become a screen. This confined and staturated corridor that looks like a cabinet of curiosities shattered the neutrality of the White Cube that traditionally defines any exhibition space.

As a final attempt to fade the separation of the wall and the artwork, Surface en blanc et jaune #2 extends toward the wall via a yellow light. The colored shadow allows this continuity by means of which the edge of the sculpture turns into a transition rather than a rupture, just like the Californian 60’s movement «Light and Space» used to do when getting interested in perceptual phenoma by the use of light, volumes and scales that took into account the artwork immediate environment. «To think between the centre and the edge of things» Matta-Clark said…

[Mélissa Hiebler]

* Gordon Matta – Clark, Entretiens, 2011  


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