Imagine a landscape, conceptualise it, deconstruct it, exhaust its formal possibilities... and then? When I had the immense pleasure of discovering Hélène Muheim’s latest works in her studio, our discussion went beyond the clichés of landscape description and ventured into... Read More
Imagine a landscape, conceptualise it, deconstruct it, exhaust its formal possibilities... and then? When I had the immense pleasure of discovering Hélène Muheim’s latest works in her studio, our discussion went beyond the clichés of landscape description and ventured into a quite different lexical territory: that of the body, of her own above all.Mental projections, cathartic gestures… The worlds contained within the drawings in the Rémanences series speak to us of the artist Hélène Muheim and, more especially, of the artist as a woman, with all the suffering and joy she has known. A stricken body, a disincarnate presence among the eternal mountain peaks... The Franco-Swiss artist spent her childhood high up in the mountains, where she lost herself and now finds herself anew. To illustrate her work, she reads me a quote from Henry David Thoreau: ‘The tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry into their secrets, and try their effect on our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, perchance, go there.’There is an abundance of love in her gestures, an infinite patience in her refinement of the slightest detail, a tangible sensuality in the velvety paper that she caresses with pencil and powder.Hélène Muheim’s drawings evoke more or less familiar worlds but never fully reveal themselves; like veritable intellectual challenges they require patient, meticulous observation and open interpretation. Vegetal interlacings with hints of the baroque, iridescent x-rays emerging on black backgrounds… the citations are many, the emotions immeasurable. She talks to me of Qi Baishi and his kakemonos, Ferdinand Hodler and his pastel horizons, the blue-tinged perspectives of Joachim Patinir. But beneath the dissected landscapes lies the constant, disquieting echo of her fine and fragile body.In the artist’s work, the act of drawing becomes an act of resistance and imposes a temporality of its own – that of a gradual, painful ascent, an introspective uphill struggle. Muheim, a hypersensitive Louise Bourgeois of paper art, explains that she keeps working until the ‘skin’ of her landscapes is revealed – an intimate, deeply spiritual approach intended, she says, to reflect a more accurate image of herself. Each drawing is an act of bringing-forth, a retreat from the world, a meditation. Because with a visceral vocation such as this, creation is vital. It is the only means of confronting the absurdity of the world. Anne-Cécile Guitard Curator, founder of "L'Agenda du dessin Contemporain.
Hélène Muheim was born in 64, she lives and works in Montreuil, Paris, France. Of swiss and french origin, she spent her childhood in the mountains and in the Luberon, in Senanque Abbey, a cistercian monastery and cultural center. She met visual artists, musicians, sociologists or theologians who likely influenced her vocation. After graduating from Beaux- Arts, she exhibits her paintings and creates site-specific installations. Simultaneously she creates vosdesirs.org, a field of graphic and poetic experiences.
It is through the digital line that she finds back the original gratification of drawing. She now devotes all her research to this medium, attracted by its fragility. As a child Hélène Muheim had the privilege to "watch ends of the world beyond the clouds, to perceive the vastness, and the obvious uncertainty of our beings." From here she went to see further. From her lonely trips she learns through landscapes to reconsider our connexion to the world and to the image. She has solo and collective exhibitions in galleries in Paris, as well as in art centers in Rennes and Le Havre ; she participated in Drawing Now art fair, and is currently working on various institutional exhibitions projects (Paris, Birmimgham, South Korea). Last solo exhibitions 2018 Art on Paper, Bruxelles, Galerie Jean-Louis Ramand/ 2017 Horizons-Paysages, Galerie Valérie Delaunay, Paris/ 2016 Pnøma, Galerie Pascaline Mulliez, Paris/ Inlassablement ce qui n’est plus, Galerie Maïa Muller, Paris 2013/ Memento Temporis, Galerie Maïa Muller, Paris 2012/ Silly old stories, Galerie Maïa Muller, Paris 2010/ Rester légère, Galerie Maïa Muller, Paris 2009 /
Last group exhibitions 2018 Luxembourg Art Week, Galerie Jean-Louis Ramand/ La forêt des esprits, Galerie Plateforme, Paris,/ Entre les mondes, Galerie Graphem, Paris,/ 2017 La petite collection, galerie Bertrand Grimont, Paris/ Une île,Saint-Denis/ Synthetic Landscapes, Meadow Arts, Weston Park, Angleterre/ Ailleurs Galerie Hors Champs, Paris/ ZooCryptage,Biarritz/ 2016 Mauvaises graines II, Topographie de l’Art, Paris/ Ouverture, Galerie Eko Sato, Paris/ DDessin, Regards sur la Planète, Curatrice 2014/ Drawing now, Paris, Galerie Maïa Muller, 2014/ Open your eyes, Galerie Maïa Muller, 2014/ Viens, la mort on va danser, Galerie Maïa Muller, Paris 2013/ Graphic, PHAKT, Rennes, curated by Anne Cécile Guitard 2013/ Drawing now, Paris,
From her lonely trips she learns through landscapes to reconsider our connexion to the world