Fabienne Levy is pleased to announced the first solo show of Romane de Watteville.
To observe bodies as one looked at still lifes in the 17th century. Romane’s work makes us reflect on the role of our body in a society more and more marked by voyeurism. The materials intermingle with the beings in a game of hide-and-seek that reveals the artist’s interest in cinema and its intrigues.
Text by Samuel Gross:
“Romane de Watteville must be a painter, obviously. Her works are impregnated with the fragile delicacy of the intimate. There seems to be no doubt that the pictorial practice is closely mixed with her life. The artist paints moments captured on her cell phone. These canvases are gorged with the altered taste of reality passed through the filter of the screen capture. These women’s legs must be hers, these hands, these feet. Painting becomes the obvious modality of a mirror projection, as if being a young woman artist should also serve to thwart the very definition of the model. Romane must be a painter and obviously a model. It cannot be otherwise today. The question is no longer there.
On very different formats, she unties what she gives us to see of her and of the others, of which we are. She stretches between her and us a grey veil. We have to admit to being put in the slightly uncomfortable position of a voyeur. Canvas after canvas we are confronted with our common obsession to think that freedom is acquired to the point of being able to enjoy our lives. But the delicately muted chromatic range of her works keeps us at a distance. The sensuality of these sketches is clearly no longer intended for us. The artist makes us feel a complex. We are no longer here, and it is obvious, part of life. We can only try to possess the intensity of a complex sketch.
If painting is a ghost, Romane uses a register that reminds us that its surface is smooth and its framing sharp. She melts the planes and flattens the perspectives. Everything is diluted and entwined from one edge of the canvas to the other. The young woman remains the faceless center of the network of desires and sensuality that she builds. With these obliterated self-portraits, the artist speaks to us of our faceless selves, of our bodies that we would so much like to be able to melt into the dream spaces that our capacity for projection offers us.
In short, even protected by a bundle of pictorial and cultural references, Romane de Watteville repeats to us, not without seduction, that our bodies contain with difficulty the exhilarating diversity of our desires.”