claire chesnier

View of the exhibition « Fragments d’une déposition »
20/01 – 03/03 2012, Galerie du jour agnès b., Paris.
© photo : Laura Morsch

View of the exhibition « Filiations – dialogues avec les œuvres de la Donation Albers-Honegger »
9/12/2012 – 21/04/2013, Espace de l’Art Concret, Château de Mouans.

Possible definition of Claire Chesnier’s work process

1 | Build a container.
2 | Pour some liquid in it (water is preferrable).
3 | Construct a pipette.
4 | Take a bit of ink with the help of the pipette.
5 | Drip a drop of the chosen ink into the container.
6 | Take the container, put it in direct sunlight.
7 | Watch.

It is not the work of an alchemist but that of a mason or a monk.
The rest belongs to her…

© Jean-Michel Alberola, november 2011

CCXLIX, 146,5 x 133,5 cm ink on paper, 2013. Private collection.

CCXLII, 141 x 131 cm, ink on paper, 2013

CCLII, 139 x 135 cm, ink on paper, 2013

CCXL, 134,5 x 128 cm, ink on paper, 2013

CCXXXVI, 156 x 134 cm, ink on paper, 2013

For five years, Claire Chesnier has obeyed a constraint that she gave herself : making a colored shape coming out of the white surface of the sheet of paper. With this gesture – which is first of all a “re-veiling”, a recovering of the surface with the help of a colored veil – she initiates a dialogue with the fluidity of color, of the thick and immaculate “skin” of paper – making each brush stroke the moment of a tension, between intensity, amplitude, mastery and the freedom of the gesture of the arm and the hand. From there, everything is possible and there is for sure a dialectique that settles itself : the presence of the shape suspended in the middle of a kind of void – as a cut performed on a perfectly defined base – enters into contradiction, into a conflict maybe, with what happens inside that shape, until the depth of the velvet weaving of the paper which becomes saturated with the diluted inks. For the artist, that is about creating a relation between the “authority” of the edges and the “listening” of the infinite possibilities spread inside this same shape. And it is that way that the spectator enters into the material : his look is lost into the watercolored gradations ; he goes through a perceptive and phenomenological experience of the painting, quotting from Merleau-Ponty’s vocabulary. Staying true with the minimal tradition, Claire Chesnier quotes Ellsworth Kelly or Joseph Albers from whom she takes in a beautiful way the idea of variation, understood as the repetition of the difference.

© Léa Bismuth, août 2012


Born in 1986, Claire Chesnier lives and works in Paris. She graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts with a Post-master’s degree in Fine Arts. Currently, she is a Doctorate student in Fine Arts at Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, Institut Acte CNRS.

Claire Chesnier is represented by the Galerie du jour agnès b. (Paris). Her paintings are part of the agnès b. Collection (Paris) and The CCNOA Collective Collection (Bruxelles). Winner of the 2011 agnès b. Friends of the Beaux Arts Prize and the 2013 Yishu 8 Prize (Maison des Arts de Pékin), Claire Chesnier has already participated to several individual and collective exhibitions such as Galerie du jour agnès b. (Paris), Galerie agnès b. (Marseille), Espace de l’Art Concret (Château de Mouans), Rosenblum Collection & Frends (Paris), Salon de Montrouge, Le CentQuatre (Paris), Parcours Saint Germain (Paris), Galerie Leonardo Agosti (Sète), T-Gallery (Bratislava), Note on (Berlin), The CCNOA Collective Collection (Paris), L’escaut (Bruxelles) [...]
Currently in residency at La Forge / Point Ephémère (Paris) and soon at la Maison des Arts de Pékin (Chine), Claire Chesnier follows her search for a painting in the shade of ink.

To see more works of Claire Chesnier :