Open your eyes underwater

May 26 - July 20, 2023 (interruption June 20 - 28)
Opening Friday, May 26, 18 pm -21 pm, on the occasion of Paris Gallery Weekend

The exhibition is the receptacle of a simple act: to leave for the sea - to swim, then to repeat the action daily, to feel the weightlessness, to open the eyes under water. To lose oneself in the atmosphere of azure, ultramarine, turquoise blues; to see the sky upside down, to pick up stones, to distinguish organic forms, creatures and to leave in the spaces of the mental matter.

Then return to the studio and freeze these forms. The alchemy of materials and images then meet to compose fragments of landscapes, of sensations. Here a golden spot in the shape of a fish floats in the middle of the rock, there salt crystals combined with gold powder give way to an attempt at a cosmos on a sheet of paper, next to it a sentence is drawn on a white pebble...

- Charles Le Hyaric 

At the age of 27, even before graduating from the Beaux-Arts de Paris, Charles Le Hyaric organized his first exhibition at the Galerie Papillon. His approach is already based on the collection of objects abandoned in the painting and sculpture workshops of the Beaux-Arts, which he combines on canvas with paint, bleach and metal sheets. Based in Marseille since 2017, he continues this subtle alchemy, fascinated by the landscape and light of the region.

Running every day on the paths of the Calanques, he collects pieces of wood, stones, sea urchins, agave leaves and corals. He chooses objects or plants which have been transformed over time from deterioration and erosion to take on new forms and colors that inspire him.

Following the example of Claude Lorrain who tried to capture the light at all hours of the day during his daily walks near Rome, Charles Le Hyaric constantly returns to the theme in harmony with nature. On his return to the studio, he combines these precious relics and impressions with a skillful mixture of materials, in which he instinctively combines oil paint, bleach, turpentine, rust and gold powder. This ensemble, once assembled according to chance and uncontrolled impulses, gives rise to poetic and sensory works.

After having embraced the immensity of the sea around Marseille, Charles Le Hyaric today explores its depths, "with his eyes open underwater", plunging us into an aquatic atmosphere that calls upon most of our senses. This immersion gives him sensations of weightlessness, of forgetting himself, absorbed in a deep silence.

The undulations and fluctuations of the water, sometimes accompanied by underwater creatures, algae, or shells, animate his compositions, which are crossed by an intense and magical light, almost supernatural. Forming a succession of images and impressions, they evoke a journey at first anchored in reality and then more and more dreamlike and marvelous. The turquoise blue, always present, is affixed to the sides of Naples yellow tints and very delicate golden brown. His irregularly shaped stones, whose roughness and relief situate them out of time, make reference to the arts of the past, from prehistory to antiquity.

Emmanuelle Brugerolles
April 2023

Graduated from the École supérieure d'Art Graphique Penninghen in 2010 and the Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2017, Charles Le Hyaric (FR, 1987) lives and works in Marseille. He has created several installations and monumental sculptures in situ: Academy of Fine Arts in Riga, Galleria Continua - Les Moulins, Fondation Francès, Château Valmer, Pavillon Blanc Henri-Molina, International Biennial of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, among others. In 2018, the Foundation for Contemporary Art Claudine and Jean-Marc Salomon invited him for a solo exhibition at the FabriC in Annecy. In 2020, he participated in the first Biennial dedicated to young creation held at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Étienne Métropole by the ESADSE and Art Press. In 2022, he held an exhibition Félis at the Contemporary Art Center Atelier Estienne in Pont-Scorff. He was selected as one of the winners of the commission for the Canopy Cannes hotel (opening June 2023) for which he produced 72 drawings. His work was chosen by Irina Zucca Alessandrelli, curator of the Disegni section of Artissima 2023. Open your eyes underwater is his 4th solo show at Galerie Papillon.