A starting point for Isabelle Duval is the dramatic void of meaning that man is facing. A poetic claim for a re-enchantment of nature, and for a re-evalution of how man relates to nature, and, thereby, to his humanity. Duval’s work is situated in between a quest for transcendence and the longing for a dissolution of the ego in a greater entity.
Departing from her sense of wonder and respect for life, including that which we ignore or regard with dread, she uses living or changing matter to reflect the passage of time and the inevitability of decay; she confronts the viewer with the beauty of life in its most modest expressions. ‘Why does one dare to strut about with necklaces made of shelves and not with cobwebs, with foxes’ furs and not with their entrails?’ (J. Dubuffet)
Duval’s paintings, drawings and objects exhale a true lyricism. She is not afraid of baroque excesses and profusion, nor does she fear beauty, elegance and seduction; she also never hesitates to wield the imagery of the uncanny and even the grotesque.
Strange underwater worlds with an indefinable fairy atmosphere, attractive and revolting patterns put next to one another indifferently but equally, bones revamped into real jewels – Duval’s works exhale a sense of celebration and loss, of force and fragility.
Her work doesn’t imitate life; it is a true mimicry of life, simulating a life where the formless, the rot and the ugly are finally rehabilitated. It is an attempt not to forget our primordial ties with the beautiful intricacies and mysteries of the natural world, the very ‘correspondences’ of Baudelaire’s poem, this genuine experience which is probably the one and only ‘crises-proof’ one.
Isabelle’s presentation at This Art Fair will be held in the context of TAotS-the Academy of the Sublime, an initiative by Erik Odijk.