June 25 – September 11, 2021
18 rue Dauphine, Paris 6
The density of the void in Victor Puš-Perchaud’s painting « With the void, full powers », this is what Albert Camus scribbled as he left the Vides exhibition organised by Yves Klein. If Victor Puš-Perchaud does not hide his admiration for Camus’ philosophy, this paradoxical statement, bringing together in an oxymoronic way the void and the full, applies in a certain way to his painting, which is so dense and rich. We are indeed far from the minimalist or conceptual art presented in the Yves Klein exhibition. When one enters Victor Puš-Perchaud’s studio, one is struck by the presence and visual impact of his paintings: one delights in the warm colours, browns, ochres and bursts of bright colour in the background of the landscape or between the fingers of the pensive young man. The paint, which a coating of marble powder has absorbed and diffused on the canvas, seems to crystallise an indefinite and precious temporal duration. The eyes of the characters, lowered, half-closed or hidden in the shadows, give them the appearance of dreamers. The cat stands still, Mount Minerva, bathed in lava, is silent. Sometimes an arm reaches out to the imaginary edge of the frame, held in the air. It is indeed a question of capturing a moment, but a moment that one would like to be eternal. Through the superposition of more or less thick layers, the mineral reference, the reminder of coloured patterns from one end of the canvas to the other (a golden yellow wink of a tree that is leafing out or the vermilion reminder of the parasol in the striations of a shutter), Victor Puš-Perchaud sublimates the materiality of painting, he gives it back its « full powers ». Because it is necessary to be able to start from emptiness and silence to give place to such a serene plenitude. In a corner of his studio are the images that inspire him. An Indian miniature gives two thirds of the space to the empty horizon; by hiding the foreground, we discover a Rothko! The void is a matrix from which the details emerge without, however, being completely freed from it.
The silent – but not silent – melody of the work can be created from the appreciated and observed emptiness of the canvas. Sometimes the work remains in an empty state for a few days or weeks in the painter’s studio, sometimes the canvas remains in a state of « grisaille », finding its perfect form in the unfinished. The different layers of paint – some of which are barely a white veil on a red cuff – take their time. Let us do the same.