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Exhibit of paintings by well-known French artist PHILIPPE GUESDON “PLEATED PAINTINGS”

2006 April 14 @ 17:00 - 2006 June 4 @ 17:00

Philippe Guesdon paints and works as a lecturer since 1978. Artist’s works have been exhibited in the most famous exhibition halls in France and abroad.

 During Mr. Guesdon stay in Kedainiai he conducted a seminar for Kedainiai art teachers and for children participants of the museum project “Tell me your own story”.

Sponsors of the exhibit and seminars: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania; Kedainiai Municipality; Marks Charitable Foundation.

Painting with fabric, Weaving while painting

How can we talk about textile, whereas the artist uses pigments?

How can he diverts the functions of the fabrics samples; some from silk, wool or even linen or even engravings of wood fragments which obviously look like pleats; and how can he to gives them the role of a model: a painter always needs a model. The thought and reflex ion led by Philippe Guesdon comes from this type of stuff.

No doubt that we are finding here some material, which can be spread by, brushes. But no doubt, nevertheless, that we are projected in the universe of fibers.

In order to paint Philippe Guesdon projects his work in a double ‘contexture’; term which in the textile terminology applies to a fabric which adorns on a same chain, or backbone, two units of different widths. He therefore uses the double ‘contexture’ as background and canvas, to be taken in the literal sense, that is to say a painted décor. In spite of the different methods, which he uses to prepare his canvas, the latter, most often in linen, keeps his grain and therefore its smooth aspect. 

The canvas is used in various ways: stretched in Cursives Vertes (1993), worked and glued over and over, as in Groupe de totems (1991). But also, free of any background, the canvas‘s cloth is woven as in Seves (1994), folded and wrinkled as in Effigies, (1997& 1998). Here again originate so many words coming from the textile vocabulary.

Applying paint on the enlarged pattern brings this in-depth or tri-dimensional vivid touch of the textile pattern, as for example in the” pied-de-poule”, or even as in a given woof pattern talking about works coming from Durer’ s wood engraving works.

The detail enlargement, wished by the artist, enables to show the unseen, that is to say what is going on with the woof pattern and the fabrics chain or between 2 brushes strokes. All those spaces, which are never seen with bare eye. The interstice: this place where everything can be authorized or thought, like this one of revealing a new material, through ’layers’ of other textiles.

It is important to underline that generally creating a new fabric always goes through a step in which comes into play a drawer or a painter. Most of those models, kept in museums or company’s archives, constitute real books of painted images. Hence we are still in this dialog between textile and painting.

For this project Philippe Guesdon works with five institutions concerned with the history and conservation of textile material and their respective collections. The artist chooses a certain number of pieces, which he uses as models.  He then assumes the role of a painter and spreads his colored pigments, or sometimes metal powders, on a canvas.  The background is randomly manipulated with the outcome consisting of pleats, wrinkles and accidental art since the artist can not totally control all gestures in his artistic process.  It is his own method of producing this irregular handmade look, which can be seen only once it has been enlarged.  It is this ‘arkwardness’ that gives true life to handmade techniques.  Please note that this excellence in style can only take place within the scope of a completely controlled technique and superior know how of this art.  Then, Phillipe Guesdon at that time resumes the role of a painter again.

The five institutions that united for this project have similar interests; modern fabrics and textiles with traditional techniques, creations and contemporary research.  They are the Calais Museum of Laces, The Cholet Textile Museum, Hussseren-WesserlingTextile Museum, the Mulhouse Museum of Prints on Fabrics and the Tarn Textile Museum of Labastide-Rouairoux.

Phillipe Guesdon, while partnering with these five institutions, suggests four main topics for creative examination.  Les Dentelles (1981-1988) where he transforms the worn out and damaged fragments of lace into landscapes. Then Les Cursives (1991-1993) where the artist shows the delineations of a labyrinth suspended in space. With Les Paysages (2001-2003) he is inspired by the engraving works of Durer and lets these details appear in a landscape made of clouds, pleats, drapes or folds. Finally, with Les Concordances (2004) Phillipe borrows from various museum exhibits; handkerchief sidings, ‘guipure’ of black laces, pied-de-coq weft pattern, water color prototypes and silk screens.

Phillipe Guesdon creates a prospective image that is not only artistic but also cultural.  Through his paintings, Guesdon encourages and enables the dialog of traditional and contemporary heritages among various Museums.

It is the discovery of a new dimension or the magnifier effect as suggested by Phillipe Guesdon, which unleashes the act of painting by integrating the abstract dimension, which is within the structure of all textile material.

 Yves Sabourin
French Civil Servant,Inspector of artistic creation, entitled to textile and contemporary art
Plastic arts delegation,
French Ministry of Culture and Communication