A solo show by Anne Neukamp
October 15th - november 12th, 2011
For her 2nd exhibition at Galerie Chez Valentin entitled “Rebound”, Anne Neukamp Anne Neukamp presents some of her recent large format paintings. These works deal with fragment states, playing on the meeting between figurative motifs and their shift towards a miss-matched abstract cosmology. Rebound is an expression used in basketball designating the moment when the players try to gain possession of the ball after a failed shot. A missed opportunity, the game seems to be suspended in time until one of the players re-possesses the ball. Rebound represents a gap in time, not only a moment of absence and trouble, but equally an opportunity to render something possible.
Anne Neukamp’s paintings rebound via a multiplicity of sources, motifs, symbolic allusions and layers of matter. The images are composed of a fragmented and constellation-like imaginary presented on the canvas. These kaleidoscopic surfaces using earthy, muted tones play with optical effects and layering, blurring the hierarchy between the foreground and background. Anne Neukamp’s works open up to the spectator revealing their hidden layers. The spectator’s gaze shifts between the work’s immediate appearance and the evolving apparition of the subject. These layers both overlap and unfold, the geometric forms that the artist paints are like vignettes which allow us to enter into dialogue with the paintings background. The vignettes circular motif recalls the shape of an eye, a dilated pupil or even in mid-hallucination, witnessing the real and transforming it into the virtual.
Equally, with Neukamp, the real appears in symptomatic forms; the resurgence of figurative imprints drawn from popular imagery, stickers, post cards, pictograms, cartoons which all exist on the canvas in a communal abstract logic. The artists plays with our perceptive schemas, with the notion of fantasy which emanates from the canvases, and with the poetry of their suspended forms that is never wholly resolved at the moment of passive contemplation. The images that the artist has created remain open, gradually becoming spoilt with time as we analyse the work’s surface. Here the pictorial motif seems to dissolve into the background whilst simultaneously surfacing towards the foreground. Using this game of appearance/disappearance between different layers, the images enter into movement.
In Anne Neukamp’s works, the dream, an abstract process working in response to an obsolete fixed reality, seems to disperse the body of work. With Neukamp, we are aware of the instantaneous, we are struck by a crystalline, vulnerable, vein-like image which seems to unveil the visible leaving illusion intact. When the surface of the work begins to crackle, Neukamp chooses to underline the artificial nature of these surfaces. It is through this play between superimposed imaginaries, optical illusions and trompe-l’oeil effects that she creates discontinuities with in the pictorial narration and that the work is able to blur the traces of it’s own creation through this game of friction between the visible and the hidden.
The artist’s vision is testament to its heritage: from constructivism, geometric abstraction, op art and pop art right back to the primitive Flemish who used the oil and tempera techniques. This gesture seems to wish to create a depth of field which represents it’s own era, intermingling a diffracted and multi-referential reality. This is where we find the palimpsest metaphor, a technique which consisted of reusing old parchments from which their initial contents had been erased. The original texts often seem to reappear in trace-form. With Neukamp, there is no original motif, but a multiplicity of sources layered on top of each other which the eye simultaneously perceives. This web of layers which are both smooth and coarse, applied upon full and missing surfaces seem to relate to a state in which the image is never whole but offered to the spectator in an incomplete form, leaving space for the imaginary to rebound.
Clara Guislain (translated by Eliza George)