Lou-Maria Le Brusq
March 3 - May 27, 2023
It begins in the morning, with skies shading in gray, pink and lilac above the mismatched streets of Montreuil. You have to cross these overcrowded neighborhoods, barely irrigated by public transport, tangles of old houses, Pinel law1 buildings, low-income residences and vacant lots. Discreetly and without mercantile concern, all these dwellings are colonized by moss and lichen produced by the rainy climate of the region. It is there, at the end of the world, that I meet Lou-Maria Le Brusq to prepare her first solo exhibition.
Her portfolios are full to bursting; we open them all. The experience is dizzying. One is first sown by celestial bodies then released by stormy skies. We are absorbed by the earth, spat out by rivers and then drunk by all sorts of creatures. We are mixed with pigments. We are spreaded.
L.M.L.B: This scattering is a patient effort of research which is resolved in the construction of an individual thought. To gather, unite and compose (or identify, interpret, translate), requires a sensitive and patient effort. “A loving effort.”2
Artist, researcher, poet and editor, Lou-Maria is at a turning point in her practice as she moves from sculptural and editorial in situ gestures to studio work: painting and drawing. However, she keeps her raw material: an insatiable and tender curiosity that leads her tirelessly to imagine new places of hospitality. The freedom she takes to constantly experiment is led by an intuitive relationship to the mediums she manipulates.
The legend goes that Mary Delany (1700-1788) began producing collages when she discovered by chance the formal similarities between a sheet of paper and a flower petal. One can well imagine this moment of magical doubt, of abysmal possibilities, which guides the imagination of artists. The most fascinating forms are those that emerge from an unexpected encounter, from a slight shift. It is this kind of manifestation of unconditional hospitality that Lou-Maria strives to make visible.
What I seek in painting and drawing is a gesture that appears at the same time that it makes appear.
Lou-Maria’s work places itself between an almost scientific observation of nature and fantasy. By making biomimetic abstraction a tool of investigation, she develops a repertoire of forms that flirts with the limits of the representation of “natural reality”: intestinal flowers, fungal nebulae, subaquatic territories, a deposit of dust or a few pigments shown for what they are... We go from the herbarium to the landscape, from the landscape to the portrait, so that we don’t know any more where and at which scale we are. The forms dilute and gather; they remain ungraspable.
And all these images slide through the French countryside, rolled up in a tube that I slipped over my head. The train runs through the coastal lagoons crowded by pink flamingos. As the landscape unfolds to infinity, my eyes lead me against the current between the legs of these marine birds, among the crustaceans and salt crystals. My thoughts cross spongy organisms, Deux amies inattendues (Two unexpected friends), floating above a Fadette rouge (Red Fadette). I understand that ideas of nature and landscape are fictions as much as fantasy is.
Creatures are the beings of our tangible world, but also the beings of our fictions, drawn from our writings and images. Literature and painting are the place for the expression of our fantasies, they welcome more than all the human and non-human beings that inhabit the earth and with whom we share our DNA.
Lou-Maria explains to me that creatures could be those that also exist only in inaccessible possibilities. They could also be compost. Demoror is the temporary house of these creatures, yours, Lou-Maria’s and mine. This word, which could be a mistranslation from French to Castilian, is the Latin word for “to dwell”. Demoror invites you to be their guest.
Elles sont rangées (pierre et lotus), 2022. (detail)
Composition avec coquille, 2022. (detail)
Deux branches dans la brume, 2020. (detail)
Deux amies inattendues, 2023, oil painting on cotton canvas, 120 × 100 cm.
Tiges, moisissures et connexions synaptiques, 2022, soft pastel on paper, 88 × 55 cm.
Chères créatures, 2023, graphite, Indian ink and pigments on paper, artist’s frame, 21 × 29,7 cm.
Métamorpose (double peanut), 2023. (detail)
Bébé, 2021, soft pastel on paper, artist’s frame, 29,7 × 21 cm.
Pictures © Pol Masip