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Diane Benoit du ReyBruno Gadenne — Mirages by Jonahtan Roze

They both trained at the Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts (now called the HEAR), where they were classmates and became good friends. And yet, Diane Benoit du Rey and Bruno Gadenne's respective approaches to painting are polar opposites. 

For Diane Benoit du Rey, although she got there through depiction, her work is centred on the representation of light through abstract compositions where each colour reflects a movement. Calm, elegant, soothing, and inviting contemplation, her paintings paradoxically require an intense physical effort to produce. The whole body, and particularly the arms, are engaged so that with the help of bigger and smaller paintbrushes, she brings out the effects of evanescence, transparency, and subtle gradations. 
Faced with the finished work, we feel the serenity of an artist who has found balance in her composition. But there is more to Diane's work than just technique and colours. It is all about movement, vibration, iridescence, it calls out to us because although eminently abstract, it seems nevertheless familiar. Which makes perfect sense since it represents the light spectrum and the way it plays upon what we see around us every day. The Sun through a curtain veil, a light fixture and its shade, the yellow, pink, purplish, bluish, infinite hues of the sky in clear or stormy weather, day or night...
Diane transports us into a world we already know but to which we no longer really pay attention. while oil paints are her preffered medium, Diane sees her art as much broader, almost all-encompassing, in order to better fit into our day-to-day lives.

The contemplation of light, the use of colours to create and describe an atmosphere and an understanding of art as an overall pratice are, in the end, the points of intersection with the other artist in this exhibition: Bruno Gadenne. He too sees his art as more than the simple act of painting. His figurative universe speaks first of himself and his experiences, he often represent himself and sometimes reveals himself to the point of nudity. In his studio, Bruno Gadenne commits to canvas his memories from solo excursions in Central America, Iceland, Grece, France and elsewhere. Travel, exploration and experimentation with the world, living it, and confronting it... These are the driving forces behind his work. With this sketchbook under his arm or his poster paintings in his pocket, he makes dozen of sketches of landscapes, plants, and details that catch his attention. He then recomposes them, drawing out the essential elements and transporting us to the places of his wonderment. Bruno does not, however, take a naturalist approach to painting, depicting plants, animals or minerals. His landscapes are often assemblages of several sketches, several places visited, and one or part of one may be reproduced in several works and interpreted differently by the artist. A certain saturation of the scene he produces, for instance by painting the sky in red, gives his work a sometimes mystical atmosphere. Jaguar masks, bodies entirely covered with felin patterns, boats stranded on seemingly paradisiacal beaches, long lost temples amidst jungle overgrowth, river rapids in the moonlight, bluish light... Bruno Gadenne's paintings transport us into a world that exists but has been recomposed, one that is at once calm, simply beautiful, or somehow haunting...

Mirages is the story of two parallel artistic universes, two ways of expressing one's experiences and one's vision of what surrounds us. Two prisms that intersect in places to better separate and explore the infinite possibilities offered by the art of painting.

What we see reflects a reality, but does not itself exist. That is the mirage.