Laurence Garnesson

Work on paper

Biography and career

Laurence Garnesson

The great Cy Twombly died in Rome yesterday, the news broke this morning. Here I am this day - XIVth Paris - in the peaceful and clear studio where Laurence Garnesson creates. There she is, as lively as the abstraction that she reinvents and which is quite obvious as soon as the door opens. These immense drawings in black stone click as «archaic» emblems. The artist likes this word and she is right. {...} «Blacks» of a rare depth coexist with the precision of chiselled lines. Laurence Garnesson draws as if she sculpts directly on the skin of the paper. The mineral sensuality gushes from this stone of alchemy ( 1 ).


The work strikes by its sulphurous minimalism and its emotional density. These papers that are engraved, scratched, rubbed, caressed and obviously loved enliven the silence. The balance of the black masses and the spontaneity of the lines resembling the “crayonnés”(2) dear to Mallarmé.  On the corner of a table, a quotation of the poet which, evoking the mystery of writing, suggests: “one who fully achieves it, subtracts from oneself!”. The same stands for painting ! {...} We are truly amazed by the grey of Payne and the Prussian blue of a rare sensitivity. This cutting off, this daily work, this retreat structures these imperial series bearing strong names (Sentinel, Bases). “I’m looking for the return of initial sensations” whispers the artist. We think of Joan Mitchell for the expression inextricably bound to emotion. Then for the majestic diptychs, we refer to the electroacoustic research where musicians seek the source of sound like material [...] These fluid or torrential sources, these confluences, these slopes reinvent, in Garnesson’s work, alternative ways. We are seized by this creation, which shows conflicts of energy – “duality” will say the artist – and find resolution in the act of painting : wild and concise, improvised although planned.


Antoine Campo