For centuries, painting was the art of imitation. The fascination of artists for the effects produced by different materials has, however, always been a major preoccupation. During the Renaissance, Vasari expressed surprise at the savagery in the later work of Titian, who used crude brush strokes and patches of primitive color.
In the XVIIIth century, one recalls Diderot’s celebrated remark concerning the medium in the works of Chardin: “The source of this magic is inexplicable. It is the thick layers of color applied one on top of another that produce the pictorial illusion of substance seeping outwards from the depths.”
The medium has always been the essence of painting. In the XXth century, it was exploited by artists with the highest ideals in mind. The artist no longer organized the world according to the laws of Euclidean geometry. Ennobled by artists of the immediate post-war period, such as Jean Fautrier and Antoni Tàpies, those laws were transcended by the medium.
What difference is there between a text, the medium handled by the painter and Penelope’s shroud?
Texturology - there is a new word, a painter’s word.
Jean Dubuffet invented it in 1970 to evoke the weaving and interweaving of an intrigue, just as in a story; the canvas becomes a vibratory field, where the medium and the color combine and conspire.
Make no mistake, every painting, just like every poem, is a tissue of illusion. What is really being recounted, wrote Maupassant, is “a mass of tiny insignificant delightful facts which make up the thread of life”.
For several years, Kloé Vano gave full rein in her work to her moods of anger or of exuberance. Today, she attempts to master them, essentially concentrating on the value of her medium: firm, solid and magical. From water she creates ice; from ice, rocks and boulders. In her most recent canvases, liquids become solids. She explores her content in what she has from somewhat surrealist figures like the scumblings of Marx Ernst.
The light arrives from the interior, faith in color organizes the space and architectural dreams are dislocated. Her canvases take on the aspect of cleverly constructed prints in the deep colors of screens which hide something
In the patina of her ruby-like reds, bas relief figures, from another epoch, appear. Her petrified greens evoke the mosses covering the stones of a ruined Hindu temple lost in the lush undergrowth. In the words of Jean Dubuffet: “It is not by staring at gold that you, the alchemist, will discover the means to create it; instead, go back to your retorts, bring the urine to the boil, greedily scrutinize the lead, therein lies your work. And you, the artist, observe the patches of color, the spots and lines in your palettes and your cleaning cloths, the secrets you are searching for are there.” The transmutation of the medium into dreams is another alchemy, which makes its appeal directly to the mind.
From the spirit imbedded in the medium, the paintings of Kloé Vano retain what remains, subsists and filters through after being rubbed out. The leitmotif of her art is memory. Like Penelope weaving and unweaving her work, obscuring the tracks left by time, the artist blurs the visual traces. She sticks to a secret path and steers her course.