As the days go by
Fabienne Levy Gallery
11 May – 7 Sep 2023
Fabienne Levy is pleased to present the first exhibition of French artist Ben Arpéa in Switzerland. The artist's work takes its roots in art history; between the classical painting of still lifes and minimalism. Simplified geometric shapes, bright colors, the artist prioritizes the essentials. Ben mixes materials and always seeks an almost sculptural dimension.
The vivacity of the flat colors and the stylization of the forms remind us of the works of Matisse. The representation of « man made » geometric patterns refers to a constructivist aesthetic. His sculptures, on the other hand, seem to be paintings that have come out of their canvas. This first exhibition aims to be an experience around the theme of time. Two temporalities oppose each other: cosmic time, evoked by the eternal cycle of the sun, always present in his canvases, and human time, punctuated by everyday gestures. His works also emphasize the persistence of objects that accompany us throughout our existence, crossing the years, like silent sentinels of our past. It is in this way that Ben Arpéa's paintings invite us to rediscover these everyday objects, which, despite their banal appearance, have an emotional resonance in us.
Pots, vases, tables, so many recurring patterns in the artist's canvases, which refer us back to the still lifes of the great painters who preceded him. The human figure is absent, but the shapes give us clues to its presence. The artist also presents sculptures that reproduce the elements of his canvases and deploy them in space. He thus achieves an unprecedented level of abstraction while continuing his experimentation with matter. In a world often chaotic and oppressive, his paintings offer a feeling of clarity and simplicity. At a time when we are bombarded with stimuli from all sides – from social media to advertising, through the constant flow of media – it's easy to feel overwhelmed and disconnected. Ben Arpéa's works have a timeless quality that transcends eras and trends.