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July Ancel

Born in 1984
Graduate of l'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris

July Ancel’s work is rooted in the Western tradition that generated the most astonishing creations : from Hieronymus Bosch to Dürer, from James Ensor to Picasso and to Chagall of course, Western painting has been toying with death, dancing with it, provoking life.
July Ancel’s « danses macabres » are anything but morbid for in the end it is life that is winning. Her skeletons look like Don Quixote, clowns or tired kings. They are similar to us, for in truth these strange figures lead us not toward death but toward reality. The reality of our lives - so fragile yet in constant motion.
« One swallow does not make a summer »– this is the title of an exhibition that requires us to go beyond the wall of appearances, to steer away from cliches or from the merely picturesque, and to accept to bear the world’s weight, a little like these clumsy elephants that can be seen in some of the works. That weight can actually prove to be light. As light as a carnival’s setting, or a veil’s flimsiness, or a colourful pennant. Whoever we are, wherever we live, whatever our standard of living or our ethics may be, aren’t we similar to these circus elephants that can also be quite beautiful ?
Whoever we are, wherever we live, aren’t we all waiting as much for our Prince as for the end of the day ? One swallow does not make a summer – this implies that our gaze should not be satisfied with a first glance but should accept to being challenged, to search for uncertainties, and then leave, fly away, dream…
In a piece called « The Prince’s arrival », the horse’s mane looks like an Indian headddress, and the prince-knight suddenly takes the apperarance of a young man from Beijing riding his bike. The « bride » sitting sideways on the rack of a bike-horse is holding a marvelous bouquet of flowers reminiscent of the ones Manet painted in his later years. These landscape scenes raise questions. Will she throw this bouquet away or, on the contrary, will she bring it home ? Are the two of them going forward or are they on a carrousel that forces them to go in circles ? Nobody can tell - and then our gaze notices three irreverent smudges that darken the canvas before landing, like masks, on the lovers’ lips.
We never know where we stand nor what will happen next. Life is a comedy that forces us into a balancing act, allowing us only a suspended sentence.
This is why color that plays such an essential role in each painting is never too heavy. Pinks, greens, yellows, burgundy, diaphanous transparencies, all work together to create the impression of incompleteness. Each one is also on a « suspended sentence», on its way to extinction, washed out, free from all significance. A gifted colorist, the artist made the most of her residency to strengthen this talent of hers.
Despite her desire to engage with Chinese culture, she chose to deepen her pictorial vocabulary without trying to sinicize it. Therefore the influence of Beijing and of three months spent in residence at Yihsu 8 will not be explicit in the work – what will be is the proof that « something powerful » happened here, thanks to China, to the opportunity to work in total concentration, to the freedom that one gets when one decides to act upon one’s own expectations instead of worrying about the expectations of others.
Christine Cayol

CONTACT

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
(原中法大学) 
 
Tel : +8610 6581 9058
 

找到我们

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
(原中法大学) 
 
Tel : +8610 6581 9058
 

CONTACT

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
(原中法大学) 
 
Tel : +8610 6581 9058
 

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