Lucie Picandet
Au jour d'Hui
25.01.2018 — 03.03.2018

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Today, news is fairly good. We are in
January 2018, Lucie Picandet is presenting
her second solo exhibition at the Vallois
gallery, following Idiose in 2016. These
are the facts. But is it all certain? As
mentioned, for this young artist who won
the Emerige Revelations Grant in 2015,
both her world and words are subject to
specific rules and timelines, forcing us to
reconsider everything: when, where and who
are we.

This Au jour d’Hui (literally “the day
we are”, from the old French hui meaning
“today” itself) is the new episode of
her fictional project Celui que je suis
(literally “the one I am”) which gives the
exhibition its title. It marks the present
moment, Hui’s one (the artist),
the exact founding time of its own
downfall depicted in the three artworks
opening the exhibition.

Let’s start from the beginning. Back in
2004, Lucie Picandet found a photographic
postcard in a flea market in Paris that
will set it all in motion (research,
writing, creation) and therefore influence
her works (embroideries, notebooks,
sculptures, etc.). The stage is set.
Going back in time, she continues here
her introspective and sensitive journey
within her world-body: brain, eye, heart,
intestinal flora… Every work is a step.
Her unconscious and universe are invented
and unfolded before our eyes, transposed
into shapes and words in an unbridled
manner. We watch her become the train of
her thoughts. Woolen threads running here
and there are yet to be pulled and looked
at closely. Then follow the recommended
itinerary in the meanders of Hui, diving
or else digging with it.

What is displayed makes one’s head spin:
colors, materials, effects, subjects, flora
and fauna. It’s whirling, circulating,
pulsating and grinding all over. Lucie
Picandet really knows the ways and means
of giving life, energy and texture to
what she puts on paper. Her new series of
watercolors, bright and radiant, combine
both writing and images, just like in her
previous embroideries.

We move from figuration to abstraction,
from macroscopic to microscopic,
from reality to imagination, from
astrophysics to molecular biology. A
moment of suspended or extended time,
your choice: a second could be a century
in this mysterious and incredibly
timeless world.
Passionate about quantum physics, Lucie
Picandet enjoys playing with scale and
time. Presented in the second part
of the exhibition, her large inner
landscapes are experienced by moving
from a short, medium or long distance.
One needs to get closer to see the
invisible. Shown in late 2017 at the
Palais de Tokyo as part of Les Mains
sans Sommeil exhibition, the Artists’
Residencies programme of the Fondation
d’entreprise Hermès. Visitors would try
to decipher them as if they were unknown
maps. Inner landscapes symbolizing
outer worlds, populated by the artist’s
surreal creations-creatures: colour
agent, « houleur » agent and other
unidentified characters. Somewhere
between Jérôme Bosch and Gilles Barbier.
Since her last exhibition, Lucie
Picandet’s tool-sculptures are also
larger, allowing her to “test the
waters” as she puts it, and capture
She uses the first person to talk about
her artworks: she embodies them, relates
them, connects them, inventing her
own mythology. Lucie Picandet lives in
Fontainebleau (70km from Paris), likes
watching scientific videos on Canal-U
(a digital video-library) and can talk
about astrophysics et metaphysics for
hours. The ideal of work she has been
developing over the past ten years,
starting on this well-known day of 2004
in a flea market, embraces timelines and
matter and spreads confusion once and
for all. Au jour d’Hui, sum of yesterday
and material of tomorrow, namely the
artist’s space-time, Lucie’s one.
Astonishing and explosive.

Barbara Soyer

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75006 Paris – FR
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