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October 1, 2022–January 29, 2023
The Casino Luxembourg—Forum d’art contemporain will display Adrien Vescovi’s solo show Jours de lenteur (Days of Slowness), which runs from October 1, 2022, through January 29, 2023.
In his Marseille studio, there are paintbrushes, washbasins, paint jars with floating bits of textile, rusted steel rods, and suspended canvases that are just waiting to be torn up and attached to others. The canvases, which were created and constructed as paintings, are then hung in places where they engage with their surroundings, whether outside where they actually absorb the weather or indoors where their arrangements engage with the architecture (one not excluding the other).
In Adrien Vescovi’s art, grandeur and fragility come together like two discordant notes that are harmoniously blended together in a purposefully calm, safe, desaturated environment. The scale at which Vescovi conceptualizes his paintings may be out of proportion, but it never feels overbearing. Working on such a large scale entails operating at the size of nature, which also requires overcoming limitations, whether they be related to space or feelings. Vescovi attempts to avoid or dismantle the rigid framework of painting and immerses himself in an uncontrollable process by definition. By doing this, he not only explains accidental events and brief, simple manifestations, but also conjures them. Rust, ochre, mint green, washed-out yellow: his “landscape juices,” as he calls them, capture the Mediterranean relief in its most earthy state.
Vescovi is deliberate about moving slowly. of being environmentally responsible by using less energy. After being spread out on the floor to be hand sewn, the recovered textiles wrestle with the artist physically. They stew in mixtures of natural pigments. These frictions leave behind residues that spread far beyond the substance. The huge work transforms into a fraction of the intimate in the hands of the artist-craftsman-alchemist. The fabric becomes a skin that wrinkles, stretches, and tans while being held together by stitches made either by stitching or suturing.
So how can we fail to recognize an effort to counteract the harshness of urban environs in the soft and pliable monumentality of these works? The 14 by 38-meter northern façade of the Casino Luxembourg is covered in suspended paintings by Vescovi that are left out in the open to the elements. The “poor” materials used in its construction help to soften the edges, rest the eyes, and sublimate any flaws that may be present.
The magic also works on the first floor, which has been turned into a ceremonial area and is home to a painting that has been laid out on the ground like a large tablecloth on grass. This painting inverts the relationship between interior and exterior within the exhibition simply by choosing to be horizontal. A certain sterile unanimity exists amongst the canvases that are propped up off the ground or exposed to the whims of nature, which the artist has delicately undone with a brush of his grubby, slightly coarse hand.
Adrien Vescovi graduated from the École supérieure d’art de l’agglomération d’Annecy. Born in 1981, he has lived and worked in Marseille since 2017 after many years spent in the mountains of the Haute-Savoie. His work has been shown in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Mexico. In 2021, he participated in the 22nd Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard Prize with the project Bonaventure, curated by Lilou Vidal. His work was the subject of a personal exhibition at the contemporary art centre Le Grand Café in Saint Nazaire and was shown at the Pera Museum in Istanbul. His works can be found in several public collections in France, among others at the Musée d’arts de Nantes (Cnap), the Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in Marseille and the Conseil Général des Côtes d’Armor.
Curator: Stilbé Schroeder, Casino Luxembourg
Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
41, rue Notre-Dame
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 11am–7pm,
T +352 22 50 45