The Visual Perception Of Curved Lines

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The Visual Perception Of Curved Lines


WITH ITS LATEST EXHIBITION “Curved Lines,” running from May 17 to June 6, Opera Gallery Monaco hopes the intense dialogue between two artists, Benoit Lemercier and James Austin Murray, will produce a moment of wonder and tranquility for art lovers, mesmerized by curved lines that lead deep into our hearts.

Each artist brings an idea into focus with the work they create. Suddenly, the background noise of everyday life seems to fade and the surgically selected appears in front of us demanding attention and reflection. With “Curved Lines,” we become children again in awe in front of vibrating particles, the unknown, and the ever so mysterious universe all around us. We want to ask the most basic questions. What is it? What will it become?

AMERICAN PAINTER JAMES AUSTIN MURRAY is a magician of infinite variations contained on the surface of a single black canvas. He uses primordial ivory black paint, made of charred bones or ivory, that mankind has favored from prehistory. His work, immediate as it is organic, draws its strength from the reflective qualities inherent within the paint he uses and the physicality of the visceral brushstroke left behind. An exciting selection of more than a dozen of his large-scale paintings will be displayed at Opera Gallery Monaco’s “Curved Lines” exhibition.

Austin Murray, who turns 50 this September, takes pleasure in seeing light change from hour to hour, day to day, and month to month. For him, the combination of paint and form is like a puzzle that he could solve over and over again and never be right, and also never be wrong. After graduating from Parsons School of Design (see p. 24), the New York-based artist spent some time in Paris, Slovakia and Hungary.

His paintings call to mind a number of venerable precedents including artists like Jackson Pollock, Mark Tobey or Ad Reinhardt. Art critic Ann Landi says Austin Murray’s “surface effects are far from simple, and indeed offer an almost otherworldly experience... Depending on where you stand, the paintings can look like a forbidding landscape you could walk right into. It’s a visual encounter that is both unsettling and profoundly seductive.”

FRENCH SCULPTOR BENOIT LEMERCIER, born in 1965, has always been fascinated by manual work, including drawing and painting. At the age of 16, inspired by chemistry, he used Chinese ink on paper to create his first drawing, The Periodic Classification of Elements. Since then, the artist, who lives in Paris and Eauze in southwestern France, has integrated science in his artwork trying to illustrate in a visible form the mysteries of the universe.

Lemercier’s art is based on different scientific theories, taking us on a poetic journey into the heart of matter. In “Curved Lines,” he presents a dozen works from two series of sculptures which began in 2000, “the infinitely large” Hypercubes and “the infinitely small” Superstrings, the latter hinting at String Theory, which suggests that matter is made of vibrating microscopic strings that in turn create subatomic particles.

The Hypercubes series plays with the anamorphic to venture into the fourth spatial dimension. Angular and black geometric sculptures open these perspectives to us and lead towards the infinite with radiating lines. The Superstrings series intermingles white bands showing the vibrations of the smallest particles of matter. The sculptor, who renders unimaginable scales in front of our eyes, says that he has “the impression of creating more or less big fragments of a single monumental sculpture.”