The body, like an obsessive motif, is omnipresent in the work of Etienne Gros. Tirelessly, he explores it at the closest of the skin, at the most elusive of its humanity. He makes it emerge from a flat area of color, from a few wisps of smoke, from a few folds of diaphanous foam. He paints it, sculpts it, models it to show us both its infinite power and its intimate fragility. Paintings, drawings with smoke, sculptures in foam, the artist by these various mediums (re)thinks in a great modernity the universal and eternal subject of the human body. He creates a strong and voluptuous language of the curve and the line. Between materiality and desire for weightlessness, the bodies painted by Etienne Gros seem to give us to touch the very substance of the being. Tightening the plan on the essential to better approach the living. Photographic framing and tight shots, in a chiaroscuro evening, the bodies in close-up appear in a subtle game between abstraction and figuration where the viewer's eyes enjoy getting lost. Sometimes, a landscape emerges on the horizon of these bodies and the reliefs and the geographies which constitute it come to merge in the same dreamlike perception.
It is the same fascinating metamorphosis that is at work in what Etienne Gros has called Les Fumées. There, the carbon deposit of a flame gives birth to improbable drawings. On the white sheet of paper, round shapes are magically deposited, living shapes, unpredictable but of an incredible truth. Precious and subtle drawings, as if born from an inner alchemy, both light as a breath and strong as the quest for an elusive beauty.
Founded in 2008 by Véronique Cochois, Insula Gallery is a singular place to discover contemporary art. With an innovative and demanding selection but with an open-mind, it offers a multidisciplinary program – painting, photography, sculpture, etching and drawing – where revealing sensitivity and quality of artworks are ensured, beyond their belonging to diverse current streams, somewhere between poetic figuration and lyrical abstraction.
Marie Bathellier • Béatrice Bizot • Lin Calle • Sandrine Cnudde • Stéphane Dauthuille • Etienne Gros • Jérôme Festy • Sarah Navasse • Olivia Lavergne • Mathilde Le Cabellec • Thomas Jorion • Sandrine Rondard • Bénédicte Plumey • Caroline Polikar • Sadko