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LOUISE JANET: PRESENT TENSE

Exhibition from Thursday 9 to Saturday 25 March 2023

Louise Janet paints as she draws the little things in life that make the richness of her characters. Watching TV, taking a nap, consulting their computer, scrolling their phone, watering their plants, this is what constitutes her yearbook of images without events, her poetic of boredom, or to borrow her words, her “mythology of tiny life”, her “epic of the banal”1. Louise Janet collects memories of things we forget. All these moments that we fail to notice and which go by faster than time are carefully recorded by the young artist who does not miss a drop of these moments of laziness, complicity, idleness, apparently insignificant and which nevertheless, put end to end, constitute the great whole of family life. 

 

Because it is indeed the unstoppable sequence of these passing moments that preoccupies Louise Janet: these moments which melt irremediably into each other, these moments which surreptitiously disappear at the very instant they are born. Not surprising then that the painter is so interested in cinema, literature or comics: arts that preserve the moment before, always ready to be consulted on the unrolled film, the previous box, the previous page. . The oil on canvas Cycles (2022) testifies well to this obsession: photos taken in jerks punctuate the screen of a computer with, in the foreground, a bouquet of brushes and in the background, a back frame, a canvas still sulky waiting for its pictorial charge: the photo selected by the painter, “the chosen moment”.  The artist not only reveals her creative process, but also exposes one problem her technique, that is, how to represent life passing on a flat and fixed surface.  In the episode entitled La mort de Jeannot (2022) Louise Janet begins an answer: in two paintings, she represents the death of her cat and its discovery by her younger brother - in two vignettes, in two sequences, the narration is constructed. 

 

If the painter illustrates herself especially on small formats, by a luxury of details, it is that they allow her to find the precision and the meticulousness of drawing. Often represented in a moment of total absorption, Louise Janet gives us access to the intimacy of her characters - her loved ones - who without saying a word populate her paintings. The generosity with which the artist deploys these miniature interiors, through an escalation of small objects, textures and items, makes visible the interiority of these heroes of the banal, of these everyday actors without action. As with Vermeer, the body does not matter here so much as the space it inhabits, a space overflowing with these sometimes colored, patterned or silky objects which parasitize the painting. These "pretexts" as she calls them, are as many excuses to paint as clues. 

 

In Self-portrait with portrait of L. Freud (2023), the painter's face is only one detail amongst others - a monograph by Gauguin, the reproduction of Lucian Freud, a plant, trinkets here and there in disarray on the fireplace - it disappears hidden in a corner of the mirror. Does the figure of the artist count less than the repertoire of images that surrounds her, than the visual references that constitute her? With her paintings-inventories such as Hiéroglyphes (2022), Louise Janet pushes the use of the painting within the painting to its climax - a direct way for the reference to faire oeuvre.

 

Sketching moments that she captures with a pencil, collecting images that she assembles, Louise Janet paints these everyday scenes that add salt to everyday life. As self-enactment, ever more rapid, glamorous and active, through filters, glossy plastic images and jingles overflow our phones, Louise Janet shows us the preciousness of idleness, the beauty of banal, the sublime tranquility of being with one's own. 

1.   Excerpts from the interview conducted by Elsa Meunier in December, 2021 (Dans les yeux d'Elsa magazine)

Louise Janet: Present Tense

 

Exhibition| Thursday 9 - Saturday 25 March 2023

Opening| Thursday March 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Galerie Mathilde Le Coz | 

11 rue Michel-le-Comte, 75003 Paris

Open Wednesday to Saturday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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