25 June 2023 • 31 March 2024
Artists : Bernard Aubertin, Cécile Bart, Ode Bertrand, Marcelle Cahn, Antonio Calderara, Dadmaino, Jean-François Dubreuil, Gottfried Honegger, Frantisek Kupka, Verena Loewensberg, Aurelie Nemours, Vera Molnar, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Michel Seuphor, Karl-Heinz Ströhle, Elisabeth Vary
With a new cycle to reinterpret its permanent collection, eac. has decided to honour two major artists from the French abstract art scene.
For this 2023 exhibition, Cécile Bart and Ode Bertrand have been invited to work in tandem and enter into a dialogue not only with each other but also with a selection of works from the Albers-Honegger Donation.
Their artworks experiment with the notion of grid patterns and systems as they play with the viewer’s eye and also with the scale of their works which ranges from the infinitely small for one to the far more monumental for the other The question of rhythm also runs through their respective approaches.
Cécile Bart was part of the inner concrete art circle and worked with Albers and Honegger from the 1980s onwards. After a career in dance, Ode Bertrand decided to devote herself to geometric abstract art, inspired by the practice of her aunt, Aurelie Nemours, whom she helped with her work.
Cécile Bart studied at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Art (National School of Fine Arts) in her home town of Dijon and was inspired by minimalist experiments and modern abstraction. From the 1980s onwards, she started producing her first screens/paintings.
What makes Bart’s practice original is her use of Tergal Plein Jour, a translucent canvas which she coats with paint which is then wiped off several times until she achieves the desired transparency and density. By juxtaposing these monochrome rectangles, a multitude of chromatic combinations can be created: they can be placed on the floor, taped to the wall or mounted in a frame and hung in the centre of the space, along the windows or simply on the wall. Bart’s works are based on optical games and chance, so that light and the way the viewer moves around them become essential components.
From the beginning of her practice, Ode Bertrand circumscribed her boldly abstract pictorial field - with lines and straight lines forming the basis of the vocabulary she has been developing now for over 40 years. Ode Bertrand still paints with oil, being interested primarily in black and white.
The canvas emerges from grids which are often determined using the golden ratio, the pattern and position change according to the series - it may be a square or a rhombus - or as in the Miniatures series, she superimposes lines until the surface of the painting is saturated and reveals areas of opacity and transparency.