THE LIMPIDITIES OF ISABELLE BONZOM
by Baldine Saint Girons
Baldine Saint Girons is a professor of Esthetics and Philosophy at the University of Nanterre, Paris X. An art curator, she is also the author of many books, in particular “Le Paysage et la question du sublime (The Landscape and the Question of the Sublime)” (Editions du Seuil, 2001). She has published "Les Marges de la nuit", 2006, Editions de l'Amateur
“Strength and tranquility strike the viewer in Isabelle Bonzom’s paintings, but first, unusual limpidities. Is ‘limpid’ an equivalent to ‘liquid’ or does it derive from the Greek word lampô which means ‘shine’ ? In any case, Isabelle’s paintings combine fluidity with clarity and luminosity. Successive layers appear, rendering the viewer sensitive to history and giving the acute sentiment of the kairos , that auspicious moment when things reveal themselves and can be understood.
Watercolor is Isabelle’s medium par excellence. Look at those meats: they are painted as tenderly as a landscape. The pale pink, the carmine red and the orange appear from under the vermilion and scarlet red. The grey and the amaranth show on the surface through the beige and the white, applied with large snowy touches. From a background of black ink, emerges a rack of short rib never seen before. Two light strings guide it into levitation and the reflection of its appearance is spread on a board. By applying layers upon layers of touches, it is as if the painter transports us through the matter and makes us reach its core of phosphorescence.
Those membra disjecta offered to our sight do not reproach us for being accomplices to the cruelty of the slaughterhouse. Nothing of the cadaver here, but the radiance of the flesh that has become imputrescible.
Nothing, neither, that calls for the fork and knife, but a pure shine, a raw glory which calls for an outlook enamored of truth and organization.
All the beauty of the world is there: perfect distinction, ingenuity of production, radiant depth. The search for the beautiful, as was shown by Galien commented on by Jackie Pigeaud, lies under the thin envelopes of the skin. And nature is an inner Phidias.
No bloodiness, but a measured and restrained appearance. The short rib fleetingly looms up into our visual field, as an epiphany. Is it going to enter the canvas and disappear for ever? The triad of a dark night, a red and white short rib and a pool of light seems to emerge from a unique moment."
Copyright 2018 © Isabelle Bonzom