When you prepare to read about Marseille, France artist Karine Rougier’s newest solo show, Wild waves in our hands, now on view through June 30 at Catinca Tabacaru in NYC, this statement leads you into the show: “…a work disregarding conceptual vanity to honestly express the vicissitudes of our mysterious and pointless lives.” The quote is attributed to author, curator and editor Dorothée Dupuis, and sets the mood for Rougier’s excellent new show, one that obsesses about hands and gestures throughout sculpture and painting.
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Rougier, who represented Malta at the 57th Venice Biennale, and who Juxtapoz has been following since her standout showing at the Volta Fair in NY in 2016, and there always seems to be a discussion between the artist and her practice in the works. And their is something fascinating about this conversation, where we see not only the artist’s creative output but her ability to talk about the way she approaches her process within the works that keeps our attention. They are beautiful works, and in the case of Wild waves in our hands, there is a fascination with hands, or as the gallery notes, ” human hands, but not always so. These carry emotion; they are the first place for contact, and for drawing. A hand is an independent character: acting, holding, embracing bodies. Sharing wild feelings. Feeling the heartbeat. Miniature paintings and expressionist grigris abound in minute details make up this first solo show with the Gallery, which pushes us deep into emotional sensuality and mystical experience.”
There is almost surreal, folkloric feeling in each painting and sculpture, playful but also mystical in some scenes. The works feel like gatherings, and as the gallery notes, “Women are Rougier’s muses; poetry her nourishment: an ode to Ingeborg Bachmann, Rainer Maria Rilke, les Métamorphoses d’Ovide. The power and strength in a gathering of women: the marches of this past year leaving permanent tracks around the globe; the march of Rougier and her friends descending upon New York, fire in their hearts, girls, girls, girls. That ferocious energy captured and translated into these works.”
Wild waves in our hands runs through June 30 in NYC.