Back Line, by Umut Ungan, March 2014
«These are surfaces, but at the beginning there is the point. The geometric point marks the commencement of each of my works. Even though it’s invisible, it’s the point that brings to life the line.» Lucie Le Bouder
For her second solo show at the gallery 22,48 m2, French artist Lucie Le Bouder engages the gallery’s exhibition space with sculptures and a mural in situ resulting from her latest research project at the Darling Foundry in Montréal. A series of drawings made with a cutter will complement the exhibition.
Lucie le Bouder’s work seems to derive from hatching, a basic technique for drawings and engravings, where closely spaced parallel or crossed lines are used for tonal and shading effects to bring various figures and forms to life. Using a cutter to incise the lines, the artist shifts and inverses the meaning of this technique by working the surface of coated paper. In addition, in her series Plans, she is intentionally contracting the tridimensional space. The artist draws from architectural plans and superimposes the different layers that form a building. She thereby shifts the initial two-dimensional form towards a new one while de-contextualising the very same architectural data in turning them into the primary source of a work that eludes the surfaces’ flatness.
This alteration of the original plan is equally present in wall, a mural created specifically for 22,48m2. It shows a set of lines on white walls, lines that draw a geometric form by following several dots that are set and connected by the artist. A number of cross movements is brought to life by barely perceptible fragments painted in different shades of white. This creates an effect of depth on a surface that a priori presents itself as a simple medium, yet in this case comes to life in the spectator’s eye as he makes his way around the gallery.
If the artist withdraws from flatness, she equally withdraws from expansive surfaces. Thus, with the sculptures Pli, she uses folded and refolded plasterboards of various colours to alter the view of the presented objects: like fragments of walls, they seemingly outsmart their own thickness, turning themselves into three- dimensional sketches.
Moving between painting, sculpture, drawing and architecture, and with a logic that abstains from any hierarchy, Lucie Le Bouder creates works whose abstract character seems to gain in intensity in the face of meticulous efforts directed at the exhibition space. The works of the French artist are marked as much by the immediacy of the gesture as by it’s duration: more than sketches or ongoing research practices they constitute a real thought process dedicated to a form that continues to be in the making.
"Lucie Le Bouder, virtuose de la ligne / master of the line", by Céline Hervé, April 2014, www.hop3fully.com
Lucie’s work is perfectly representing her soul : as light and shy as brutal and incisive. She is a paradox. The visual is soft, the process is methodical, the technique is obsessive and sometimes violent. Lucie smashes and lacerates but always smoothly.
With her utility knife, she grazes the paper lying on chrome. Under her gesture appears the white on the paper . A line, then another line. Hundreds of lines . Several meanings. Several forms. Several frames. The lines are fine and elegant . They follow, intersect and tear each other. We admire the precision , we guess the obsession.
Where does the forms come from ? Lucie has a method . She chose architecture projects , following specific criteria. She has her preferences : multi-storey buildings and complex superposition of different levels. She takes the contour of the ground floor. Transpose the form of the plan on paper, coated on chrome. Then she fill the surface with parallel lines. After that, she adds the higher level always filled with parallel lines but in an other direction. Another level comes after with its hundreds of lines. All the drawing takes a new form, a new pattern, a new frame. She forget about her starting point. The building no longer exists. It is now only lines and shading.
“BACK LINE” shows also sculptures, broken plaster plates. We can also see those anchored lines that become edges or folds, sometimes even colours or reflects. Lucie sculpts instinctively. Without any method this time. Just to reach a visual satisfaction, which she is not able to explain. There is also huge mural painting, done with translucent lines, almost invisibles. We can observe some white nuances between the lines. Behind the lines.
Lucie invites us to cross that mural painting. We go out of the public place gallery. We are coming to the backstage, more private. In that space, Lucie’s work invests all the corners. They are everywhere. Some old works in the same spirit are exposed in the previous room. All of this is a confirmation. Lines are everywhere.
We can say that lines are Lucie’s obsession. But she controls those lines instead of suffering from them. She plays with those lines to offer us the softness of her rigor.