Press release of solo exhibition
in Xippas Gallery, april 2014

Léa Barbazanges is a forager and a curious investigator. She is attentive to the environment and endeavors to gather materials of mineral and organic origin (both vegetal and animal). Léa Barbazanges’s artworks employ a vocabulary which she terms “organic assemblings” and which includes suspends gold leaves, crystals, white marble, dandelions seeds, spiderwebs, clementine pith, and Elaeagnus leaves. For her, each encounter with these materials is experienced as a new challenge. The artist must first understand the substance, discover how to manipulate it, and then brainstorm the appropriate shape, in order to reveal the hidden properties that were previously invisible to us.

While looking at these artworks, the spectator is confronted with fragments of reality that he has never seen before. The artist has enhanced reality by experimenting with its elements in an attempt to move beyond its limits and render the graphics extraordinary without any help from artifice. The rectangle of fly wings plays with transparency, the clementine pith forms an abstract drawing, the Elaeagnus leaves create wells of light, and the crystals brilliantly reflect light, which changes according to the source. The beauty of her work resides in the fragility of her works: a mere touch threatens them with disappearance. By attempting to render these ephemeral materials stable, Léa Barbazanges invites us to see the power within instability. There is nothing theatrical in these domestic artworks, no staging, nothing but a simple stand, which is always minimal and discrete and which allows the artwork to be shown. In her works, the spectacular reveals the extraordinariness of her process.

The strikingly beautiful and transparent Paroi de crépines was produced on sight in the final room of the exhibition and is a large ephemeral work that contrasts with most of the other pieces. This material that normally repels us becomes a translucent canvas fashioned from a fascinating network and it push us to question the way we look at the world around us. Moving beyond the question of the relationship between art and nature, Léa Barbazanges’s works must be approached, looked at, contemplated, and appreciated for their infinite fragility that they reveal.