Isabel Michel

Born in 1956
Lives and works in Paris, France.

  1. "Sous le volcan, 2019

Biography (pdf / French)

It is pointless to try to dissect these forms, these transparencies, these colours, and the interplay between these parameters. Because in this case, the painting stands united. What is at stake lies elsewhere: in the burst of life that springs from each of her pieces.

It is a style that is atypical in the field of abstract painting, one that could be characterised—if absolutely necessary—as “landscaped abstraction”. Although abstraction long dominated Isabel Michel’s painting, it was only in 2005, with the reintroduction of white—which allowed the shapes to stand out more incisively—that the evocation of the landscape subtly asserted itself.

Without lapsing into a realistic approach, this small dose of representation brought us closer to a hallucinatory landscape, or a futurist backdrop from the 1970s. With Isabel’s work, the experience is not chemical but rather pictorial. Her mushrooms are art of every kind: painting quite obviously, and cinema, and also literature, since she is an avid reader.

Through landscaped abstraction, an evocation of the landscape finds its way into certain abstract paintings, as does the idea of the artistry of the great landscape painters. Like them, Isabel very meticulously chooses each detail of the composition. She seeks a synthesis, an equation, because “everything has to come out true and alive”.

The painting, although resulting from an instinctive flow, excludes any form of improvisation. The act of painting is consequently executed “under the influence of a very strong feeling haunted by colours and shapes”.