Corentin Canesson , Retrospective My Eye – Le Crédac –

“Art is what makes life more interesting than art”

Robert Filliou

“Retrospective My Eye” is the title of Corentin Canesson’s solo exhibition, presented until April 2 at the Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry (le Crédac). Its musical resonance is attested, it is a direct tribute to the English singer Robert Wyatt. The artist borrows one of Gharbzadegi’s lyrics from his 1985 album Old Rottenhat. Corentin Canesson practices this medium himself, and from the beginning of the exhibition, the tone is set by the music of his group, The Night He Came Home. The door closes, the vinyl is on its way and the space is open to us.

Corentin Canesson’s artistic practice is polymorphous, as is his inspiration. All media are treated, but painting reigns as the master of the ceremonial imposed by the artist. The staging developed in the exhibition brings us into his world. Corentin Canesson is both an artist and a curator. This dual positioning brings us closer to him and his creation. The intimate becomes public. The artist’s studio seems to be exposed. The architecture of the site contributes to this end, the immense windows used as windows open a perspective and create a direct link with the city and its environment. The structure is industrial, as is its practice. The seriousness of his work stems from a chain of operations that he tirelessly develops and applies. For this exhibition, fifteen canvases were created.

De gauche à droite : Corentin Canesson, Sans titre, 2016 (ensemble de 3) ; Jean-Pierre Dolveck, Sans titre, 1985 ; Corentin Canesson, Samson et Dalila, 2016. © André Morin / le Crédac

This production, constrained by the recurrence of the same format (195 x 130 cm), exacerbates an experimental mechanics. The artist plays on abstraction-figuration antagonism, invoking multiple clearly identifiable references in his works. Among those of 20th century art, the Dutch artist Bram Van Velde and the French painter Eugène Leroy. The desire is to cry out in pastiche, the notion of author is raised here. However, Corentin Canesson’s practice is part of a perpetual renewal of painting. The prefix specifies its art: recreation, recomposition, reconstruction. Corentin Canesson appropriates the figurative gestures of Bram Van Velde and the singular impasto of Eugène Leroy, in turn, under the cover of American expressionist art. Abstraction is universal and this clearly assumed artistic legacy frees up the motif, which is then crushed to perfection. The material accumulates by the line or the flat surface, the artist takes the time to make it evolve as evidenced by the multiple repentances visible on the canvas. The only figurative motif clearly explicit in his work is the bird, a passion derived from the paintings of the American ornithologist Jean-Jacques Audubon and the plastic artist Jean-Pierre Dolveck, a sculpture of which is presented in the exhibition.

Corentin Canesson, vue de l’exposition Retrospective My Eye, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, 2017. © André Morin / le Crédac.

Corentin Canesson decompartmentalizes the practice of painting, which is found on multiple supports. This transposition goes hand in hand with a painting that is now “textual”. Two of the works on display symbolize this passage, the back of the jean jacket tagged with the phrase “Alone and gregarious” (2016), and the Porte palière (2013) on which we can read “What I thought I saw that night under the ironic yellow moon” which comes from his friend François Lancien-Guilberteau’s exhibition. Corentin Canesson uses former exhibitions, in which he also held this dual role of exhibitor and exhibitor. These two works introduce the notion of the collective, essential in his art. His pictorial practice is complemented by digital art, a major element in contemporary artistic production. Corentin Canesson is indeed an artist of his time. The video broadcast in a loop synthesizes eighteen years of common emulation (1999-2017) between him and Damien Le Dévédec, met at the Beaux-Arts de Rennes. It becomes the archive of their performances. The mask is the symbol of the identity blurring desired by the artists, who each in turn wear this second skin, this second face. Two masks made of silicone and plaster by Damien Le Dévédec are displayed in staggered rows on a table, within reach.

The exhibition offers us a retrospective look at all of Corentin Canesson’s practices. Scanning all accessible media, the artist sets his sights on an experimental, subjective and far from obsolete painting. “Retrospective My Eye” also seems to be the exhibition of his artistic entourage, Corentin Canesson gladly quotes his artist friends, his travelling companions who inspire him in his creation. In parallel, “Remember the colour of strawberries” is the second exhibition of the artist Lola Gonzàlez, presented at the Crédac until April 2. In line with Corentin Canesson’s, this notion of artistic emulation guides the practices of artists.

Diane Der Markarian


Featured image : Corentin Canesson, vue de l’exposition “Retrospective My Eye”, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, 2017. © André Morin / le Crédac. Au premier plan : Damien Le Dévédec, x x (tirage n°1), 2017 ; Damien Le Dévédec, + + (tirage n°3), 2017. Au second plan : Corentin Canesson, Sans titre, 2016 (ensemble de 3).

Diane Der Markarian
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