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Charles Le Hyaric

Azar Azur

Extended until June 20

In the exercise of drawing, it’s necessary to know how to visualize, to project, to hang on to (an image). We learn to handle the pencil or the brush because we have the desire to be able to finally give shape to our nocturnal dreams, to sketch the face of a stranger we’ve crossed paths with, to remember the colors of a landscape that is dear to us. There was a time when Charles Le Hyaric also liked to scrutinize and then reproduce, trying to get to a premeditated ideal form. But, for several years now, other creative processes have taken over this naturalistic research.

His methods now leave a predominant place to chance - guided - and allow him to consume space as well as time. First, there is the randomness to the collection of materials. On his walks, his urban wanderings like the creeks bordering Marseille, he gathers small objects, small stones or pieces of rope, fragments of wood from boats. But Charles Le Hyaric is also a collector of images and landscapes: the blue of the sky or the waves, the viscosity and grace of marine animals reappear in his works. It’s no longer a question of reproducing them, but rather of bringing them about by successive indecisions. We imagine an octopus here, a stingray or seaweed there. Soon, however, doubts begin to creep in: wouldn't we be speculating on uncertainty? Then chance also infiltrates the heart of the artist's gestures. There are papers that he plunges in seawater, plants that he imprints on thick leaves, copper powder that he spreads without knowing where it will settle, objects dipped in plaster that metamorphose. There is also a taste for encounter, the kind where we don't know whether it will lead to harmony or repulsion: for example, his mixtures of oil paint, turpentine and bleach. We hesitate to define the forms: these mixtures may very well remind us of combustions. Secret alchemical mixtures, complex processes of coatings or exhumations are readily imagined. Finally, chance also infiltrates itself into the temporalities of the works:  oxidation increases, crystallization continues.

But if living things seem to be gaining ground again and again in Charles Le Hyaric's work, we must also see its full romantic power: after all, doesn't bleach kill the slightest organic desire ? And salt erodes, plaster suffocates. There is an effervescence, but it’s not flashy. Even better: it's whispering.

Camille Paulhan - february 2019

A graduate of the École supérieure d’Art Graphique Penninghen in 2010 and of the Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2017, Charles Le Hyaric (1987) lives and works in Marseille. He has created several installations and monumental sculptures in situ as part of group exhibitions, notably at the Riga Academy of Fine Arts and the Galleria Continua - Les Moulins. In 2018, the Fondation pour l’art contemporain Claudine et Jean-Marc Salomon devoted a solo exhibition to him in its new location, La FabriC in Annecy.  He will take part in the first biennial dedicated to new creation organized in June 2020 at the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain Saint-Etienne Métropole, with the ESADSE and Art Press.