To contain the chaos, to organize the ruins

Georges Bataille, Inner Experience
"It is only in such a concentration - beyond itself - that existence has the leisure to perceive,
in the form of inner brilliance, "what it is”, the painful movement of communication that it is,
that goes no less from within to outside than from outside to inside."

Karine Fauchard's work is the articulation of an inner experience. The latter is grasped, cut up,
recomposed, concentrated by the means of painting. Between ecstasy and depression, between
belonging and distance, between calm and violence, a radically singular relationship with the world is
sought, played and replayed in a centripetal and centrifugal movement of return and exit from the
self, an erratic back-and-forth between the outside and the inside.
There is first a material dimension in her works. The choice of materials and their treatment,
sometimes technical (impasto, glazes), sometimes scholarly, sometimes direct and bricolagesque
(torn paper, scotch tape), sometimes incongruous (broken eggshells), testify to a jubilation of
working with the materials, a fine knowledge of their history and a great mastery of their effects, as
in the Vulkanische Aue series. The artist has produced numerous Experiments with Archived Colours,
notebooks where she minutely records her colour experiments to be used as repertoire. Scraps of
paints are carefully preserved and used later, for their haptic, visual and symbolic quality. Pigments
and classic pictorial materials are complemented by a wide range of raw materials : various papers,
wallpaper, gift wrap, tracing sheets, transparent sheets, coloured filters, mathematical grids, and
various fragments. Diverse as they may be, the abovementioned materials are most often writing
media (photography included) or surface ornaments. And the support of his paintings is often
In her work, the materials are as formalised, they give form, draw outlines, energise spaces. The
complex interplay between supports, surfaces and materials, solid areas and layers, fillings and
contours, shapes and counter-shapes, accumulations, overlays and entrenchments are both desired
and induced, both controlled and risky. In Damenwald , various colored surfaces - paper, cut papers,
printing on transparent paper, colored wood - are superimposed, arranged and fixed quickly by
pieces of adhesive tape. The assembly is both still and dynamic, rigid and flexible, each element
floating in part on the cardboard support. To make her paintings, Karine Fauchard tears up, rips
apart, rubs, scrapes, glues, recomposes, re-arranges. Tears, holes and edges, all the interstitial areas
of the paintings seem the most sensitive. Fragments are the recurring milestone of her work,
dispersion is its strategy of consistency. On the other side evokes, through a few colourful touches, a
solar landscape and a girl in a swimsuit, much like Jean Jacques Schuhl through words in Rose Dust, in
describing the disaster of the collapse of a drugstore as the persistence of colourful stains of female
clothing in the grey of rubble.
Subterranean forces seem to be at work everywhere, by sedimentation, accretion or subduction.
There is a geological dimension in the work of the artist in the titles, the materials but especially the
techniques used. They are situated between calm meticulousness and nervous impetuosity, between
design and randomness - of matter, of its natural entropy, or of an uncontrolled rapid gesture - but
also between short and long time. Some materials, remains or fragments, are preserved and used
much later. Things must sediment over a long period of time, they work in the mind of the artist as in
themselves, deforming, degrading over time and donning new finery. The artist keeps each bouquet
of flowers that has been offered her for a long time, without changing the vase or the water

remaining after their withering. Dead Flowers Bouquet (2011- ongoing) consists of the exhibition of a
selection of them, always new, and their arrangement on white pedestals at various heights. The
flowers are blackened or browned, oxidized, sometimes without petals. They have lost all turgidity,
resting fragilely in vases, at the limit of decomposition. Their water evaporated, moldy or troubled.
The deep melancholy (we remember here the etymology of the term : black bile) that emanates
from this work like others of the artist, is as animated by a death drive, as it is by a drive of life. The
painting of an anthropised still life subtly magnified by the composition is not exhausted in the dark
evocation of passing time, of the existential crisis, but also evokes, simply, the cycles of life, the
multiple possible reincarnations of things - where you wouldn’t expect them - the sight mode, and
finally traces an invisible community, that of friends, lovers, loves. Jewelry collection, where she asks
the artists she invites to lend her a piece of jewelry, which she then puts in a museum showcase for
the time of the exhibition, also delineating an invisible community, bound by the temporary
surrender and pooling of a piece of intimacy as much as of an ornament.
Her work is also a translation enterprise - sometimes irreverent - of a particular look at a collective
history of art. She inscribes her work in a referential framework of artistic categories (chinoiserie,
ancient ceramics or modernist design among others) sometimes directly citing, through image or
title, famous names in the history of art such as Botticelli, Manet or Klimt. Elsewhere, it is more
evocations, pictorial compositions of the 50s, design of the 60s, landscape paintings or portraits. She
is also interested in other people’s views of art (and the beautiful), especially some collectors, who
have deeply influenced the collective gaze: Yves St Laurent and Pierre Bergé - whose collection of
items sold a few years ago at auction was the inspiration for an eponymous series, 2009-ongoing - or
Peggy Guggenheim (whose kitchen utensils are partially used in Signes) .

In Karine Fauchard's work a complex system of correspondences in painting transcends the visual.
The synesthetic dimension of her poetics is part of a total approach to her work, where the singular
and the world, interiority and externality collide. In the dispersion resulting from shock as in the
promised decay of everything, the fragment is no longer the ruin of a past but the promise of a new
configuration and new navigation. The remains are reincarnated, the mathematical diagrams
become body parts (Komposition 3 or Ansa), the anfractuosities or folds arouse desire (Brigitte or
A.M. (Botticelli)). She does not hesitate to resort sometimes to the immersion of the spectator, as in
Rubikon, where she diffuses smoke, litters the ground with lemons, in order to alter vision and
movements and immerse the body in a sepulchral atmosphere of after. "It speaks, it desires, we die.”
(Maurice Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation) Rather than manoeuvre to contain the chaos, the artist
seems to operate after the apocalypse, sketching based on her inner experience another experience
of the gaze and of beauty to be shared. "There is magnificence and also - in it - its destruction, and so
inversely : destruction, only to beauty.” (Jean Jacques Schuhl, Entrance of the ghosts )

Anne Faucheret, 2018

© Karine Fauchard, 2024