Didier Mencoboni’s work spans the whole gamut of aleatoricism, ranging from minimal intervention to almost complete artistic control. The sink-derived paint-sculptures are aggregates of trapped brush bristle and clotted cakes of chance-mangled paint. They constitute one of the most appealing ways of beautifying refuse, thus standing at the most aestheticising end on the spectrum of Trash art. Perhaps only Francis Bacon put his studio dust to better use by incorporating it into his paintings.
By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo:Eric Dupont Gallery Archive
Didier Mencoboni’s solo exhibition “Episode XI” is his 11th exhibition at the Eric Dupont Gallery in Paris, and extends three exhibitions, in Ivry-sur-Seine in 2012 and 2015 and in Bastogne in 2014. It is a matter of standing on the edge of a vast area and being able to live an experiment generated by the color. Laid on the ground, dozens of sheets of a red fluorescent poppy color are spread out, invading the gallery, radiating and diffusing in the air their colored power, tinting by reflection the faces and the walls. Here and there some elements complement the device. Mirrors, colored spheres are lying on the orange pigments of the drawings. Some half-painted pebbles are placed on the ground, alongside the colored installation. Leaving the surface for a volume, the color irradiates such as an incandescent hearth and makes the mass of granite lose its gravity. The appearance of these pebbles results from a long path. The first one painted one emerged in the ‘80s, collected on a beach of the Bigouden countryside, covered in a gradient of blue paint, it associated the weight of the granite and the lightness of the color. This pebble was long in finding its place in the work, but the collection has been continued during the walks on the same beach and the choice has been done with an increasing accuracy. Floating over the surface, some colored silks are installed on other spheres silhouettes of cloth, in-between inhabitants that are put in movement buy a single breath. Tinted silks, shades of reds and oranges, migrate out of the plan. They are the same ones as those presented at the Éric Dupont gallery in 2003, where they stretched along a steel rope from one wall to another of the gallery. Two large drawings complement the device, two surfaces slowly elaborated with a pencil point, colored punctuations of ink, another way of standing at the edge of a wide space, at the edge of a world.
Info: Galerie Eric Dupont, 138 rue du Temple, Paris, Duration 7-18/1/17, Days & Hours: Tue-Sat 11:00-19:00, www.eric-dupont.com