18/05 -02/07/2017


 Olivier Nottellet, L'énigme, 2017 | www.oliviernottellet.com

Benoît Félix, Trou jaune à pattes (le tour de rien), oil paint and graphit pencil on Tyvek, 2012 -2016

Benoît Félix has invited the French artist Olivier Nottellet to create new works in response to one another. Both artists explore different facets of drawings on paper. The drawing becoming a three-dimensional object, whether or not in relation to a subject or suggesting an experience. In dialog with Félix' playful cut-out drawings on tyvek-paper Nottellet presents an ensemble of drawings and wall-paintings created in situ. Man-high silhouettes, strategically positioned in the gallery-space, literally give an insight in the relation between the work on paper and the visual experience of perspective.


The body of work of the duo Félix-Nottelet functions as a support for the thought. As what we see is not always what we see, the ensemble is nourished by their analogies and divergences. Likewise the word hier (here or yesterday) in the title 'gisteren was HIER c'est ici ' reflects the bilingual Belgian state of being. Félix, a French speaking Belgian artist with a background in Lacanian psychology, often shows his work in Flanders and uses the ambiguity of language rather as a performing art. New interfaces correlate out of different meanings.


In Félix' oeuvre the cut-out treat in crayon or ink literally frees itself from the frame and traces itself into the dispositions of space. Fascinated by the possibilities of digital video he initiates the trompe l'oeuil in what appears parallel in the visible and invisible, in the image-frame and hors-champ. On its turn, the drawing presents an object that looses its realty. By cutting out the drawing and positioning it in the 3D-space it's no longer a representation of a subject. Hereby Félix gives back to the drawing its value as an existence in reality. With oil paint he applies accents of color and explores the limits of the medium through deterioration, until he can 'grasp the painting'.


Nottellet, on his turn, creates with black ink and yellow or blue paint correlations between the drawing and the substance. The figure appears in schematic forms, imperfect silhouettes. The composition always feels unfinished, unstable, emerging, and challenges the mobility of the eye. The black and white that he declines on paper, mural paintings or installations has a directness to the spectator. Drawing is called into question. A painted line transcendents the paper's edge of its borderline and is repeated on the wall, transforming with the material of a white paper. Nottellet's drawings don't represent the object. Throughout a vibrating instability occurs an event of transition of the object into its environment.


Just like Félix', Nottellet's works, being neither drawing neither sculpture, are always literally on the periphery, making the two-dimensional three-dimensional. The flawless contours are rather suggesting than showing an object. Perception is re-cognition. His attempt is not to represent a reality, but to emphasize an experience of composition and perception, creating an inter-space between abstract and figure. The complexity of the different layers give space, put into present an experience rather than an interpretation. The pas de deux of Felix-Nottellet surrounds the viewer with a scenery of here and now.


The work of Benoit Félix (°1969, lives and works in Lustin, B) was already on view at different group shows at the gallery and last year in Brussels at Le Botanic in a duo show with Bernard Gaube and solo at NFgallery and Jan Colle (Ghent). In recent years works of Félix were shown in Antwerp (SecondRoom), Lier (Voorkamer), Brussels (Performatik!, OAC, La Centrale), Ghent, Namur, Liège, Munich (D), Lisbon and France.


Olivier Nottellet (°Alger 1963, lives and works in Toulouse, Lyon, Paris, New York). His works have been exhibited in different places in Paris and throughout France, New York, Brussels, Amsterdam and the Biennial of Sao Paulo, Brasilia.