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Meet YISHU 8 prize winners
Sophie Lamm

Born in 1982
Graduate of l'École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris

"Take them or leave them – this is what could be said of Sophie Lamm’s paintings (and drawings). There they are, in one piece, a powerful whole and it is one of their paradoxes – as paintings—that they are not so much images or representations, as they are objects. Yet they come from afar, and are anchored in decidedly heterogeneous points in art history. Sophie Lamm likes to mention the names that have a particular resonance for her: Victor Hugo, Redon, Arp, Warhol, Philip Guston, Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, the disciples of the New Leipzig School; or in other words Pop Art, biomorphism, the German tradition and many more (mediumistic drawings for example, or grotesque art or cartoons). Such eclecticism is not only generous but it is also fruitful.
She approaches painting with an easy impulsivity, and effortlessly takes ownership of paint blobs and drips, adventurous cutouts and shapes, perilous brush strokes, ancestral signs, bold or muted tones. The shapelessness that interests her is what she calls the « materiology » of painting. But it only appears to be so. For she does not entirely rely on unpredictable effects. Her stratagem is more studied and therefore much more effective. With an impressive spontaneity, she literally addresses painting by going « against the grain » or « wrong-footing it » as she says. And by using the type of inversion of which we know some illustrious exemplars, she manages, paradoxically, to make her en creux motifs stand out. Toying adroitly with planes she very successfully disturbs their hierarchy in our visual perception. She is not averse to addressing experimental formulations head-on, displaying a definite taste for primitivism or for Art Brut. Sophie Lamm is what a painter should be today, and embraces with audacity, and great gusto the oldest medium in history."
Henry-Claude Cousseau

Constance Nouvel

Born in 1986
Graduate of l'École Nationale Supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris

"When speaking of her method, Constance Nouvel employs a statement that sheds a perfect light on her enterprise: « I choose subjects that, by analogy, can combine different spaces: the photographed, photography and the photographic. »
She follows through on this wide program with a constantly renewed rigorousness and inspiration. Her work does not explore specific subjects or iconographic repertoires nor does it evidence particularly favored themes or spaces that need to be systematically explored. What it does is provide an analysis of what the medium of photography, so widely used, can still be today. Thus she has decided to examine the philology of the photographic: its history, its artifices, and its technical and semantic practices.
To do so, the artist creates installation and three-dimensional dispositifs in subtle spatial settings where photography often captures the subject. They allow her to insert the critical dimension, the strategic distance, and the subterfuges that are inherent to her work, and that are underscored by the constant presence of a frame.. Thus, she creates mise-en abyme as in the image where an operator, by tearing the image in the foreground, reveals the one hidden behind it, thus suggesting a mechanism that could be repeated indefinitely; or as in the one where an observer is gazing into the paradoxically frozen image of a video screen hanging on a wall; or again in this collage done with torn images that reveal the enigmatic geology of another image. All these images are infused with a particular grace and sensitiveness that is not averse to the realms of imagination and dream, particularly through the recurring usage of the landscape. But it is a trap: by pretending to show us the poetic and aloof universe of her images, Constance Nouvel actually forces us to a sudden awareness that gives us no choice but to succumb to the irresistible charm that these images hold over us, and within which we find ourselves confined."
Henry-Claude Cousseau


Yishu 8
Former Sino-French University, 
N°20 (jia), Dong Huangchenggen Bei Jie, Dongcheng district, Beijing 100010
北京市 东城区东皇城根北街甲20号
Tel : +8610 6581 9058


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