Ceysson & Bénétière, Paris
For Artorama 2022, Ceysson & Bénétière presents Nicolas Momein and his last series Lining. Nicolas Momein’s practice is based on the study of trivial and functional objects, such as agricultural equipment to shoe cows with slippers, cotton bath towels and living room couches, and develops through several stages of work. It begins with spotting objects, which thus also implies spotting acts and techniques This almost anthropological observation is associated with a kind of learning process, because he wants to understand and master these acts, learn how to use the machines, collaborate with workers and craftsmen-in short, prepare himself to make, unmake and remake these objects and carry forward these techniques even if that means augmenting them. The objects are instrumentalized, quite literally, through this process of learning and the modifications to the manufacturing techniques involved and other changes that may include rescaling, repositioning, reworking, the addition of constraints or new fabrication rules.
As often in his work, Momein’s new series of paintings entitled Lining revolves around a “lowly” material, hemp canvas in this case. The artist applied his colors on the back of the canvas, popping them through this grid with all sorts of tools used to enhance the color in the form of drops or touches depending on the viscosity of the material. The grid structure of the canvas takes on a ghostly presence, and the colors of the painting cover every part of the surface. The few areas left blank interrupt and alter the relationships between the surfaces. The result is a strong contrast between the rough canvas dyed in the mass and the paint stopped in its flight. The color is then transferred and seems captured by the canvas as it tries to expand. There is no flat tint here. On the contrary, it is a collide of colors, a juxtaposition, and a confrontation. The color is not new in Momein’s work, but his palette develops and reveals itself in his Lining works through pure abstraction and colorful materiality.