Installation view, Juliette Dumas Angels, on the right wall, Whale Fluke (Le Grand Bleu), 2018, clay and gouach on paper mounte don canvas, 60 x 144 inches.

 

Dumas subscribes to the terms of The “Rio Negro Manifesto” created in 1978 by the French art critic Pierre Restany who drafted a manifesto along with two artists, the Brazilian (born in Poland) Frans Krajcberg, and the Yugoslav based in Brazil Sepp Baendereck.

 

In 1978, the three men traveled along the Rio Negro River, an affluent of the Amazon River that runs through sections of Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil, along the Amazon ecosystem. That extraordinary expedition triggered a profound stream of consciousness in the three men on the urgency of defending the Amazon and combining ethics with esthetics in art. That deep feeling gave birth to a rallying call in defense of art that is “naturalistic, essentialist and fundamental,” as opposed to the “realism” and “chaos” of contemporary art.  After the expedition and on behalf of the group, Restany wrote the “Manifeste du Naturalisme or “Manifeste du Rio Negro”, cosigned by the other 2 artists.

 

The “Manifesto” yearns for a return from thinking and perception to a condition of “original nature”that defines naturalism as a discipline of perceptive and planetary consciousness, a return to the “occult meaning of things,” all in the service of the imagination and sensitivity.  The group’s point of departure was a concept of art opposed to the “tyranny of the object” and to “highly materialistic” ambitions. Instead, it favored the deconstruction of the art object and a concern for human destiny, beyond the ecological perspectives of that period.

 

 

 

JULIETTE DUMAS

Whale Fluke (Le Grand Bleu), 2018

clay and gouache on paper mounted on canvas

Two Panels: each 60 x 72 in. Overall dimensions: 60 x 144 in. (152.40 x 365.76 cm)

JD077

JULIETTE DUMAS

Whale Fluke (Le Grand Bleu), 2018

clay and gouache on paper mounted on canvas

Two Panels: each 60 x 72 in. Overall dimensions: 60 x 144 in. (152.40 x 365.76 cm)

JD077

JULIETTE DUMAS

Whale Fluke (Night), 2018

clay and gouache on paper mounted on canvas

Two Panels: each 60 x 72 in. Overall dimensions: 60 x 144 in. (152.40 x 365.76 cm)

JD078

JULIETTE DUMAS

Whale Fluke (Night), 2018

clay and gouache on paper mounted on canvas

Two Panels: each 60 x 72 in. Overall dimensions: 60 x 144 in. (152.40 x 365.76 cm)

JD078

JULIETTE DUMAS

Angel 01, 2018

clay and gouache on paper

Two panels each 8 x 8 in., Overall Dimensions: 8 x 16 in. (20.32 x 40.64 cm)

JD073

JULIETTE DUMAS

Angel 01, 2018

clay and gouache on paper

Two panels each 8 x 8 in., Overall Dimensions: 8 x 16 in. (20.32 x 40.64 cm)

JD073

JULIETTE DUMAS

Whale Fluke (Neri), 2018

clay, gouache and charcoal on paper mounted on canvas (2 panels, each 24 x 24 in)

Two panels: each 24 x 24 in., overall dimensions: 24 x 48 in. (60.96 x 121.92 cm)

JD070

JULIETTE DUMAS

Whale Fluke (Neri), 2018

clay, gouache and charcoal on paper mounted on canvas (2 panels, each 24 x 24 in)

Two panels: each 24 x 24 in., overall dimensions: 24 x 48 in. (60.96 x 121.92 cm)

JD070

JULIETTE DUMAS

Whale Fluke (White), 2018

clay and gouache on paper mounted on canvas

Two Panels: each 24 x 24 in. Overall dimensions: 42 x 48 in. (60.96 x 121.92 cm)

JD076

JULIETTE DUMAS

Whale fluke (Charlie), 2018

Clay and gouache on paper mounted on canvas, two panels of 24x24 inches each

Two panels: each 24 x 24 in., overall dimensions: 24 x 48 in. (60.96 x 121.92 cm)

JD068

JULIETTE DUMAS

ANGELS

Opening THURSDAY APRIL 5, 5 - 8 PM

April 5 – 29, 2018

Dumas explores the formal properties and inherent meaning of forms of Nature. Drawing on historical precedents such as paleolithic paintings and Cézanne’s studies of the Montagne Sainte Victoire, her paintings are a study of the language of Nature, an attempt to understand an experience other than human.

 

Dumas subscribes to the terms of the Rio Negro Manifesto: “Integral Naturalism seeks to better understand the mysteries of Nature.(...) To practice this availability in relation to the natural given is to admit the modesty of human perception and its limits, in relation to a whole which is an end in itself.(...) Integral Naturalism is not only a militant attitude but also a spur for thought. (...). (It) calls for "the expression of a planetary consciousness”. (Restany and Krajcberg, 1978, 2013).

 

The paintings in the exhibition portray a species that was present on Earth 30 million years before us. They travel 16,000 miles every year, continuously swimming with half of their brain asleep while the other half is awake, all the while making sonic maps of the ocean floor. The generic name Megaptera (from the Greek mega-/μεγα- "giant" and ptera/πτερα "wing"), refers to their large front flippers. Each individual has specific scars and markings on their fluke (tail) resulting from attacks by predators, fishing gear entanglements, boat collisions, and the continuous thrashing through water.

 

For this series, Dumas prepares her surfaces with clay on paper mounted on canvas, allowing her to scratch into the layers, drawing by subtraction into the fresh “skin” of the painting. She then runs water over it, letting the process of erosion edit by destroying some of the work. 

 

PRESS RELEASE

Press

HYPERALLERGIC Whale Paintings Evoke the Giant Mammals’ Suffering and Scarring by Peter Malone
April 16, 2018