From tiny to large format, I do consider the painting as a matrix. Within the frame, displayed as a firm border, which compresses and give shape to the patterns that inhabit it, a singular and alternative reality is constructed‒a figurative one, relieved from our usual rules of space and time.
Since January 2019, I have been working to clarify and decline this pictorial principle in the “Compressions” series. These paintings, from 5cm to 2m40, focus on the figure, the body and its relationship to intimacy. The underlying subject is that of gestation; maternal gestation ‒pregnancy and the revolutions it generates in the body of the future mother and in the intimacy of the couple‒ is linked to pictorial gestation, movements and transformations of the painted space, patterns and figures.
Animation offered me an additional avenue of exploration, by adding the time constraint of the loop to the spatial constraint of the frame. The “Free Dances” performed in my animated GIFs express the tragicomic tone of this series, by trapping their characters in an absurd movement that repeats itself endlessly.
The embryonic and fetal figures of my Compressions inherit therefore from the naive and schoolboy spirit of the digital culture of GIF but also from the romantic spirit of figurative constructions in modern painting (for instance The embrace, treated among others by Picasso, Klimt or Munch). These bodies and their related limbs, feet, hands and sexes compress, hug and overlap. The acrobatics of the bodies and the contortions of the drawing twist these figures until they are upside down, confusing the interior and the exterior, like ribbons of moebius, so that these embraces, both carnal and pictorial, give birth to another temporality, relieved from any logic of action, but conducive to the contemplation of the sensual plasticity of bodies.
Alice Suret-Canale, born in 1986, is a french painter based in Paris. After a master’s degree in ancient Greek, she became interested in animation, co-directed five short animation films awarded in several international festivals, and defended in 2018 her PHD thesis in digital art. Since then, she is fully dedicated to painting.
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