The works playfully displayed with brilliance and humour by artist Léopoldine Roux in the large volumes of the Maison des Arts de Schaerbeek are a delightful experience.
Léopoldine Roux placed a series of old postcards showing views of Brussels inside a large frame that she found in situ. Using nail varnish, she then added spots, or small explosions, or a geometric shape to the views. This transforms the image. In the first room, she hang portraits – old engravings, black and white photos – whose faces are also hidden by a spot, which makes them look like they are exploding. No more head, no more gaze, just a beautiful coloured spot: bright pink, blue, and so on.
On the carved wood panels lining the walls and on the mantel of the fireplace of another room we find portable enamelled bright pink or yellow spots, as if growing out of the decor in a weird way. Are the furnishings melting? Could something unthinkable be oozing out from behind the woodwork?
Born in Lyon in 1979, Léopoldine Roux lives and works in Brussels. During her studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Rennes and later at La Cambre, she came to realise that she had a particular affinity for the spot as a motif. The spot, not merely as a coloured dot that can be placed on an image, but also in 3D in a room setting. We find this idea of absurd and playful highlights in the creations of several young artists, such as Laurette Atrux-Tallau, who just exhibited at Francis Carette, or Sylvain Ciavaldini whose works were shown in an exhibition at the YIA last April. These artists roam flea markets in search of old photographs or antique engravings with the objective of using these media to thrust traces of the past into the present. They seek to burst open the limits of time. And ultimately show us the beauty of an old image by giving it an incongruous treatment, very Pop Art.
The artist likes to work in space: in the cityscape or a room’s decor. She likes to move the spot – this thing which cannot have a definite shape – beyond the boundaries of the canvas or drawing, to export and place it elsewhere. Like, for example, on top of the entrance to the café next to the Maison des Arts. In the centre room, near the piano, she covered the floor with a lovely set of small multi-coloured totems, made from the various containers she used to paint. In the library, two huge works created with dripping paint. The whole exhibition is lively, coherent and joyful, and definitely deserves a visit.
From Brussels with love
Maison des Arts de Schaerbeek
147 chaussée de Haecht
Until 10 December
Tuesdays – Fridays, from 10:00h to 17:00h
Saturdays from 14:00 to 18:00h