The Space In Between

Renaud Jacquier Stajnowicz & Moon-Pil Shim

ActualitéDu 18 mai au 6 juillet 2019

For this exhibition at Galerie Lahumière, Renaud Jacquier Stajnowicz and Moon-Pil Shim lead us into a dialogue about space, light, and movement. While their works differ in the media they use, they share a strong focus on their surrounding space, that of the wall or the gallery (indeed, both artists have created many monumental commissioned works), as well as the intrinsic space of the work itself—that is, what takes place between its various elements and what is the relationships between these elements ? Different methods are employed to respond to these questions, inviting us to reflect on the permanence of painting as an eternal window onto the world and, a subject that has always preoccupied abstract painters, how can painting make visible that which is invisible ?

Renaud Jacquier Stajnowicz likes to explore the notion of thresholds. A threshold is a passage to be crossed, delineating spaces that are distinct from one another or have different functions—physical spaces and immaterial spaces. The physical space is the material field of the painting, while the immaterial, or invisible, serves as the connection between the elements that make up the painting, or between the different paintings that make up the work. It is the assemblage of these elements that shakes up our perception, as these works extend beyond their frame—that of easel painting—to become an environment that we enter into. In effect, some of these assemblages of paintings cannot help but disconcert us as they disrupt our sense of order and calm. The result is a play between spaces that are open, closed, areas that are filled in with paint, and the empty spaces of the wall that compel us to change our position. And when there is a change of position, there is movement—movement of the body, but also of the gaze, which is an extension of thought.

The same process is in action in the work of Moon-Pil Shim. His paintings do not appear to us frontally, but reveal themselves in a form that is "veiled" behind one or more sheets of translucent Plexiglas. The superimposition of these layers draws us into the work, with the Plexiglas at times reflecting and pointing our attention to the surrounding space ; moving around the work reveals it in its entirety, allowing us to see what lies behind it. Here, we are not in the world of Vasarely’s optical effects or that of the collaborative experiences of the GRAV artists’ group, but rather confronted with an almost metaphysical thought process that raises the question of what comes afterward, of what lies behind the surface of things—and it is the light that passes through or reflects the painting that enables us to cross this threshold. In Moon-Pil Shim’s work, as in that of Renaud Jacquier Stajnowicz, we enter an in-between space in which we move back and forth between what is above, below, inside, and outside—we are literally in the spaces beyond and beneath, since these works incite us to seek what lies under the surface as well as beyond what is hidden within it.

Painting—the point of reference for these two artists—is the impetus, the driving force. Movement comes from the body and the mind. It is initially our own desires that dictate movement to the body, then the body is propelled into action. Mind and matter thus meet at a common point, and it is the artist’s role to allow us to experience this.

In this way, the works of Renaud Jacquier Stajnowicz and Moon-Pil Shim belong to the realm of the infinitely small, of the inner vibration of matter, therefore of painting and the vibration it seeks to evoke in us through the mediation of space and light.

All of our concrete experiences start in the world of thought. What we have here is not so much a matter of bodily movement as a thread that gives tangible form to the flow of thought, without the use of words. This is something that is shared by all of humanity ; it is what provides the link and is also, perhaps, the universal language that is the domain of many nonobjective and concrete artists. Henri Bergson said :

It is not the "states," simple snapshots we have taken once again along the course of change, that are real ; on the contrary, it is flux, the continuity of transition, it is change itself that is real ... The nature of time is that it passes ; no one of its parts remains visible when another presents itself.

To me, it is this space in between that can be experienced and experimented with in this exhibition.

Céline Berchiche
April 10, 2019
Translation by Sarah Tooth-Michelet


The Space In Between . Renaud Jacquier Stajnowicz & Moon-Pil Shim