Eugénie Paultre: Matter of Life

  • Eugénie Paultre

    Matter of Life 

     Viewing Room

    2 July-30 September 2021
  • _

  • _

  • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021

    Eugénie Paultre, The Slightest Sign of Love, 2019, Ink and oil on canvas, 195 x 145 cm


    The intention of the Matter of Life series is to come across colour – by searching for the existence of a harmonic scale, despite the initially undefined nature of possible variations. Written as if on the edge, step by step – this harmonic scale must eventually be found… But there is nothing, absolutely nothing systematic, that prevails here – the order of the tones is discovered as one goes along – the association of colors is left open to improvisation. A model may precede the painting, yet it is on the moment (or through the mobilization of a subterranean memory) that the final choice is made. In the end, the painting most often strays very clearly away from the initial figure – a simple reference point. 

  • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021

    Eugénie Paultre, Matter of Life, Exhibition view, 2021, Erna Hecey Gallery

    In their width, the lines are often irregular (at times it can come down to a mere shade). They may – or may not – tremble slightly with the movement of the brush – the marks of which are sometimes visible in the outline itself (revealing the life of the material). The lines also vary with the interplay and natural transparencies of the ink (the canvas is not saturated or homogenized by a medium). 


    Later come oil lines, of different thicknesses and widths, that often act, due to their compactness, as a “cement” that links the ink lines together in order to achieve an overall harmony. The oil lines drawn afterwards give the final tone, in the way that notes bring unity and rhythm – while creating depth – precisely by contributing to the alloy of different materials and modulations that they bring about.

  • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021

    Eugénie Paultre, Matter of Life, Exhibition view, 2021, Erna Hecey Gallery

    As a practice, the colored line naturally leads the way: one line calls for the next, and as the whole takes shape, it gradually invents its order. The repetition of the gesture generates a magnetism, driving a seemingly unstoppable necessity.


    "Lines and lines, drawn next to a river, as if to recreate a certain transparent, lucid, clear flow. - Lines and lines - to bring together anonymous dimensions.  Lines and lines - to resemble the repetition of the movement of simple elements. Lines, drawn over and over again, hundreds of times, with a trembling and steady hand, close to a river, to find a language, however simple - to test the endurance to live - for nothing - to disappear, to become." (Matter of Life, p.89)

  • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021
    Eugénie Paultre, Matter of Life, Exhibition view, 2021, Erna Hecey Gallery


  • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021


    • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021
    • "The soul” – like a painting – of lines, surfaces, colors, contours, figures, sensations, impressions – a face, faces, memories, evocations, nuances, and all that we cannot say. Its material: encounters, experiences, attentions, mishaps, explorations.


      Life is an experimental journey undertaken involuntarily.” (Pessoa)


      On this journey, there are stops, shortcuts, many detours, and – sometimes – appearances, vivid emotions – delays… and daydreaming, when allowed.


      An imperative? Go into yourself,” Rilke orders – and Augustine, Descartes, Teresa of Ávila, Agnès Martin, Rûmî, Emily Dickinson – and so many others – did not invoke anything else. Kandinsky: “To shine light into the depths of the human heart is the profession of the artist” – quoting Schumann. Rilke again: Dig into yourself for a deep answer. [...] And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your world,” something emerges… then…

      Pessoa: “It’s neither death nor life that I want: it’s that other thing shining in the depths of longing, like a possible diamond in a pit one can’t descend. [...] I’m like someone searching at random, not knowing what object he’s looking for, nor where it is hidden.

    • Klee whispers: “Fire of flower, at night you replace the sun for me and shine deeply in the silent human heart.


      [...] And yet, trying to open our eyes wide, as difficult as it is. Trying to see. And even, out of an instinct for survival and a basic sense of direction, trying to “summarize the contents of this time.” (Hofmannsthal) … Of this time of insistent trouble – teeming with traps?


      Or simply saying: “I love everyone. I do not want war. Or frontiers. I am the earth. I have a home everywhere. I live everywhere. I do not want to own anything. I want to love, love. I am love. I am love. I am man. I am man.” (Nijinsky) – Even in a corner, the benevolent and beneficial thought emerges – provided that we don't retreat before the "fog," but rather meet it (Etel Adnan)…


      Paradoxically, “the soul emerges, refined by struggle and suffering” (Kandinsky)? Whatever happens, staying afloat… setting sail…


      Yes, “we are left to our fate [...]We find ourselves sailing without the idea of the harbor that should welcome us.” (Pessoa) But we will go on, driven by some instinctive art of navigation, by who knows what current – and using as reference points – a few impressions, a few colors, a few presences – a few words, a few gestures, a few sunny spells – nothing to be underestimated.


      Download full 'Anima' text

      Image: Eugénie Paultre, « Matinée de liberté »2017, Oil and pigment on canvas, 60 x 60 cm

    • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021
    • Survival Library

      Paul Klee, Notebooks

      Jules Supervielle, A Child of the High Seas
      Carl Seelig, Walks with Walser
      Rainer Maria Rilke, Notes on the Melody of Things
      Antonio Porchia, Voices
      Guillaume Apollinaire, The Melancholic Look-Out
      Yves Klein, Overcoming the Problematics of Art & Other Writings
      Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Savage Mind
      Petrarch, Ascent of Mont Ventoux

      Etel Adnan, Life Is a Weaving
      James Joyce, Chamber Music
      Agnes Martin, On the Perfection Underlying Life
      Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
      Charles Juliet, Conversations with Bram van Velde
      Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
      William of Aquitaine, Nothingness & Joy
      Meister Eckhart, Treatises / Poems
      Wassily Kandinsky, Looks on the Past / Concerning the Spiritual in Art
      Simone Weil, Gravity & Grace
      Philippe Petit, Treatise on Tightrope Walking
      Yves Klein, Overcoming the Problematics of Art & Other Writings
      Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle
      Rûmî, Fiha-Ma-Fiha
      Hallaj, Poems of a Sufi Martyr / Dîwân
      Henri Michaux, Knowledge Through the Abyss
      Franz Kafka, The Castle
      Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems
      Etty Hillesum, Essential Writings
      Martin Buber, I and Thou
      Etc. Download the complete list

    • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021
  • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-life_Exhibition_Erna-Hecey-Luxembourg_july-october_2021
  • Eugénie-Paultre_Matter-of-Life_HENI-Publishing_2021

    Eugénie Paultre studied then taught philosophy at the Sorbonne, and since 2010 she has devoted herself to painting and writing. She is the author of numerous essays and poetry collections in French, English, and German. Paultre has held solo exhibitions at the Institut français, Bratislava (2019), Gandy Gallery, Bratislava (2019) and Erna Hecey, Luxembourg (2020). She has recently taken part in group exhibitions at Castello di Rivoli (2017), Mudam, Luxembourg (2019) and Lévy Gorvy, Paris (2021).


    Matter of Life, 2021

    HENI Publishing, London

    210 x 161 mm

    112 pages


    Download artist cv

    Purchase Matter of Life (HENI) catalogue

    View all Eugénie Paultre publications and artist page