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États Unis

Arpaïs Du Bois

Potion - to divert the heavens

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This selection of very recent drawings -  january/february 2022 - highlights the core of Arpaïs Du Bois’ practice.

Today, the universal themes that she recurrently handles in her work come to a strange point of being caught up by reality and actuality. One can always feel a great involvement and empathy in her work. The condition humaine is always subjacent. Also the animal and botanical realm are a great source of concern and inspiration.

The permanent flow of works on paper that she makes day by day in booklets and on a larger scale are comments, considerations, notes that oscillate between sharp annotations, poetic musings or humorous deconstructions of the smallness of our actions, systems and constructions we set up to be able to cope with the world. With this proposal the painterly action is in direct concord with the action of writing and the sound and power of the words. Arpaïs Du Bois shows once again that she is in a permanent state of communion with her surroundings, fragile and powerful at the same time.

Have a look at Arpaïs Du Bois' website here

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“Drawing is an action that artists wondrously convert into a drawing. When it comes to Arpaïs Du Bois, paper is the skeleton, while the pencil or other drawing media (ecoline, charcoal, acrylic, ink, etc.) is the flesh and bones. I picture the following: Arpaïs Du Bois turns the page in one of her drawing books. The echo of a past drawing is dimly visible on the page on the left, while the right side is blank, untouched. But perhaps the latter is only true as a fact, as blank pages are non-existent. Looking, thinking and, consequently, drawing are all contaminated with inescapable static before the pencil touches the paper. The world around that right-hand sheet of paper is a folding screen that bestows resilience on the direction of a line, the speed of a streak or the rhythm of words. The background is a stratigraphy of drawing books, organically arranged piles, with pages undulating from the moisture of the media applied to them. The world outside looks inside through a window. At least, that’s how I picture her at work, but the accuracy of this image is irrelevant.”

- Excerpt from a letter to Arpaïs Du Bois written by Philippe Van Cauteren, director of S.M.A.K., Ghent -

“How does one draw with and against language? She (Arpaïs Du Bois) had already decided, as early as the 2000s. Affording words a plasticity means refusing the effects of cursive writing, the promise of an inevitably troubled I and the support of this coquetry embodied by the diary. Discard too the biographical features, the family saga or the obvious references to what she experiences every day as a woman and artist living in Antwerp. And yet! And yet, hidden there, in the hollow of the sentences as well as in the creases of her painting, are so many hopes and fears, emotions and overwhelming contemplation. However, everything is placed at a distance, suspended. In her work, the individual invariably meets the universal.”

- Excerpt from a text written by Damien Sausset for Du Bois’ latest publication Feue la Joyeuseté -
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