Les cycles d'essorage – Martin Bureau

MARCH 2 TO APRIL 1st 2018 

This exhibition showcases new paintings by Martin Bureau that follow in the vein of his recent works. Using watercolor and acrylics, he explores the catastrophe theories associated with the Anthropocene, the term given to the current geological era in which human activity has a greater impact on the evolution of ecosystems than any other natural phenomena.

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 Fairground and water rides, symbols of pure thrill, are juxtaposed with extreme natural elements. The allusion to the velocity of a spin cycle refers to the efficient running of the fairground rides; humankind is faced with the unknown of the next cycle. As one era rolls on to the next, the past is forgotten, purged and wrung out, and nature renews itself—or not.

Bureau’s painting technique, which combines figuration, erasure and transparency, lends a distinctive dimension to these works. Light emanates throughout the bold brushwork and subject matter. The worlds that emerge from his canvases are formed with varied brushstrokes, which build and distort through a movement of accumulation and reduction. Such mark-making reflects the conflict between technology and erosion: the lines and colors, the signal loss associated with the Anthropocene. We can sense the painter’s pleasure in this formal play.

« The concept of the Anthropocene is fascinating to me as it seems to encompass all forms of catastrophe theory—from eschatology to the perfect storm. The Anthropocene allows us to borrow the aesthetic of the sublime to create an image of the end of time. It is not borne of spirituality or of poetry, however, but of geology! And yet. A substantial layer of gas, plastic, and cement is building up on the Earth’s surface. We know it. We are having a good time.»

Martin Bureau 



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