This exhibition is perfectly curated. Creating a dialogue between times, media, and cultures. Devotional images meet contemporary painting, sculpture meets film, collage, and Venetian chandeliers; venus meets the vamp.
There are several topics to be discerned: shelter; the self/the other; collectiveness; woman- and motherhood; the enchanted/fairytale. Claire Tabouret’s paintings impress by their empathy, immediacy, sincerity and autonomy. Neon colours keep on flashing up, marking a mouth, a neckline, a halo; or seemingly discrete parts of the painting. The artist applies the vibrant, fluorescent paint before continuing in darker tones. In other works, somber colours convey a stunning serious- and boldness.
The gazes of the sitters are insistent, prompting or serious. Constituting a mysterious and eerie quality despite the changing subjects. Children become silent judges, women confident, yet calm contenders.
The paintings seem to exist in another time, halted and apart. They possess their own temporality, forcing their sense of time-vacuum upon the viewer.
The ex-voto paintings and sculpture within the exhibition, dating from the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century, and the 6th-3rd-century BC respectively, position the paintings in the broader #timeline of art history, making apparent a somewhat universal connection.
The garden of the exhibition is a centre of peace. Tabouret’s Baigneurs, female bronze sculptures with water pouring down their surface, perfectly match the 15th-century architecture. The sound of the water creates a sense of consistency and flow, which recalls a fundamental theme in Tabouret’s practice: fluidity. Through costumes, masks, make-up, and water; as an internal and external phenomenon. Here, it becomes eternity.
Complementing Marlene Dumas’ exhibition at Palazzo Grassi, Claire Tabouret’s paintings demonstrate the capacities of contemporary painting. Her exhibition I am spacious, singing flesh is a must-see for its contribution to both contemporary art and curation.