"Due to so many stories fuelling her imagination, at an early stage Marie-Anita Gaubechose painting in its most figurative dimension. Since the very outset in 2012, the artist has produced bright and colourful paintings, buzzing with a myriad of details that unfold on her favoured large formats, immersing viewers in her world to the maximum. An Edenic world where everything seems to serve as a reminder of the joys of being alive: lush environments, palm trees and birds of paradise, fairytale like waterfalls, transparent lakes and sun loungers form the recurring settings of idyllic scenes.
However, a sense of restlessness reigns beneath these cloudless skies. There is no respite for the eyes with the hectic compositions and chromatic rhythms. Braving excess, the painting is over owing with events and unexpected details covering every inch of the canvas.
As the artist likes to point out, each of her paintings always incorporates several of them. She appears to make this heterogeneity the very substance of her dynamic compositions linking people, objects, colourful patterns and landscapes in entwined stories that converge. The surface of the canvas is home to a multitude of co-existing universes simultaneously featuring day and night. The inside space of the house opens out into the landscape, as if the boundaries between inside and outside were non-existent. Vanishing points multiply, various planes are juxtaposed like screens and merge into complex constructions that extend the portrayal space.
By linking these disseminated worlds, Marie-Anita Gaube accommodates contradictions and tensions. Imbued with perceptible vital energy, more hidden concerns seem to pervade her work. Something strange emanates from these people captured in positions with obscure purposes, these bodies that are a little lost in the landscape absorbing them at times to the point of concealment. Still lifes laid out like vanitas, masks and hieratic statues resonate with the most archaic concerns of a humanity facing its finitude.
The exhibition Odysseys, in the black gallery at the CCC OD, takes us on an exploration of the world invented by Marie-Anita Gaube, perhaps encouraging us to address ours differently. Her works are not just distant dreams, they also draw upon a shared reality of which we recognise snippets. For the artist, her paintings are heterotopias, as Michel Foucault elaborated: ”spaces that are other“, enshrined in reality rather than a utopian dream. Living in her imagination is not a means for escape or withdrawal, but in fact a response to the world surrounding us."
Odysseys, text by Delphine Masson
For the exhibition of Marie-Anita Gaube, CCC OD, Tours, 2020
Translated by Louise Jablonowksa