Who Wants to Look at Somebody’s Face? by Joël Riff, Pi Artworks London, 2018

Joël Riff, 2018

Curator at Moly-Sabata / Fondation Albert Gleizes and writer

Who Wants to Look at Somebody’s Face ?

Maude Maris’ paintings delicately convey sculpture to images. She is acting upon the curiositiesthat began last year in Paris, of which led her to examine four pioneers of modern sculpture, by observing their use of photographyand as a result, is inspired by the revolution of the modelled contours, whichhas translated into her painting bringing forth the use of new textures. In order to sharpen her attention even more, today the painter focuses on a British muse.

Barbara Hepworth suddenly appeared in the twentieth century, as maternal and radical. That’s a woman who strives for the anonymity of the genre in terms of its creation. For her, art is neither masculine, nor feminine; it’s either good or bad. Let us celebrate the oeuvre, as well asthe figure that she represents for all the generations, regardless of their gender. Her humanityis successfully embodied in this free and optimistic abstraction.

Maude Maris thus, finds in Barbara’s work the energy to crosswaters,grasping to groundthis light which is so gently caressedby the Cornish coastal breeze; the kind of which enveloped this determined icon to work. These natural conditions shape the mineral epidermis of these pieces as much as the chisel does. Objects within this landscape, offered to the sun and to the wind. Every other element wanting to add its mark is invited to do so.

Barbara Hepworth frequently worked outdoors. The garden served as her studio, and the fluctuating weather of Cornwall contributed to the modelling of her statues. Her production is intentionally tactile, provoking the desire to touch. The hand is omnipresent, and it is in some case explicit as the motive, whereas on the other hand evoked by the reserve of curbs. Thus, the voluptuousness implants itself in our hands.

Maude Maris stimulates through her compositions, the prehensile capacities of the eye. New elements appear on the background of the paintings this time, far less calculated but always matter-oriented. Sometimes even fiery and re-calibrated in comparison to their more discreet predecessors. Their superficiality is confined by the framings, which let us guess the existence of the backstage of the shooting, through respecting the luminosity of the outdoors in these miniatures.

Barbara Hepworth never made a model for her sculptures unless she was commissioned.Because even if this one proved to be a success, it was the risk that it would be a failure once enlarged. Here, no hierarchy divides the elements of a production by their size indeed worked with great diversity.On the contrary, every sculpture is relative to the other by their size. A small sculpture appears charming, whereas the large, tragic.

Maude Maris now relaxesher processesand carefully selects picksamong the photographic archives of the Lady more freely. Simultaneously, her definition of the space of work is expanding and gently lowering the horizon, and a greater surface is dedicated to the backgrounds, endowing the paintings with a larger physical appearancewith larger foreheads. Unedited typology of objects, especially the soft and flat ones, detaches itself in order to better present glaring filiation.

Barbara Hepworth drew from the operating theatre block. It is in hospitals, where the reality of life manifests itself in its most concrete and abstract form. The instruments of a practitioner are fiddling with the flesh at the core of some harmonious cooperation. Fascinating synergy exists between the gesture and the instrument, brought by the restorative function of such labour. To transform rather than create. As legend says, it was an artist, who first probed The ‘hole’ in modernism.

Maude Maris claims allegiance to this chirurgical cleanliness. She slices the world in order to rearrange a new version of it on the canvas. Within these new paintings, with varying sizes she affirms that attraction towards the subject matter.To walk around the objects, to observe them from different perspectives, immortalizing within a sequence of several pauses. If the ideal is born out of balance and unity, through their mobility, the viewer must be capable of grabbing that constant vitality, not simply a profile or a face.