Marlène Mocquet at Haunch of Venison, New York

Marlène Mocquet is a French painterd who lives and works in Paris. Born in Maison Alfort in 1979, Marlène Mocquet graduated from Paris’ Ecole Normale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in 2006. After solo exhibitions in Lyon, Paris and Hong Kong, she now presents her paintings in a solo show at the gallery Haunch of Venison in New York. The exhibition that runs until June 16, 2012 includes four paintings and two ceramic works.

Marlène Mocquet at Haunch of Venison, New York. Opening reception, May 17, 2012. Video by Shimon Azulay.

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From the press release:

Mocquet’s paintings depict a fantastical world of animated and anthropomorphic creatures inhabiting a universe filled with hallucinogenic splashes of color. At first glance the works appear to portray a vision of whimsical fantasy, but upon further observation reveals a much darker more sinister existence. The beautiful realms Mocquet introduces are filled with menacing characters and macabre undertones set in a most beautifully tactile and opulent universe.

Mocquet’s paintings are an overflowing lush world inhabited by otherworldly beasts, manga and cartoon characters, and prehistoric imagery. However, it is not the characters that dictate Mocquet’s paintings but her instinctive and passionate use of material. As stated by Roberta Smith (New York Times, August 10, 2007) “…she exploits paint’s possibilities with flair, working thick, then thin, dripping, pouring and staining.” It is from these thick impasto-like layers of paint, alongside billowing clouds of glitter and lengthy drips of enamel that Mocquet’s imagery is born.

One of the highlights of the exhibition, Le Barrissement de la Peinture (The Trumpeting of the Paint), is a modest nine inches high and features a diaphanous figure gathering apples in a candy-colored landscape. Strange creatures surround the figure, one spewing paint into another’s throat through a long elephant-like trunk. The paint then gushes off the canvas. Wax, enamel, glitter and layer upon layer of paint enable Mocquet to achieve a highly tactile surface in which her figures take on a nearly sculptural quality. Her work, is both playful and grotesque, sharp and subtle, and warrants great inspection.

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