The ArtCat calendar is closed as of December 31, 2012. Please visit Filterizer for art recommendations.


Amelie Chabannes, The Bestiary of Clothilde

Luxe Gallery
53 Stanton Street, 212-582-4425
East Village / Lower East Side
April 1 - April 29, 2006
Reception: Saturday, April 1, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Amelie Chabannes’s The Bestiary of Clothilde looks at once futuristic and anachronistic. The title betrays the artist’s employment of the medieval illuminated manuscript as a structure to narrate her story; a story, in which exotic alien beasts float through sparse yet expansive unknown landscapes creating a spatial nebulousness and disassociation of place. Chabannes’s works, much like those kindred ancient documents, use the social fears and fantasies of the day as subject matter. The artist incarnates these issues with an individual iconography developing a personal allegorical tale.

Although the artist often likens her meditative and spontaneous practice to the automatic drawing technique first advanced by the Surrealists, this comparison is deepened by the consideration of Andre Breton’s focus on the importance within the movement (or as he might prefer, revolution) of expressing the inner reality and Chabannes’ highly personalized symbolic language. Gangly and grotesque hybrid characters, clutch irrepressible trees while simultaneously expelling them in a circuitous embryonic attachment, wriggling desperately to tell us something pertinent as if bound by their own raveled meaning. The Bestiary of Clothilde in its entirety seems mired in a similar predicament as the artist uses her subjective meat grinder on contemporary hopes and prejudices, mirroring her characters’ entanglements and craving to stay that way. Chabannes allows us to reconsider Motherwell’s 1944 statement, “it is true that each artist has his own religion” without that little bit of irony.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-2155 to see them here.