Gallery selection: Eric Manigaud at Sator, and the art of greyness at Jocelyn Wolff

  • Eric Manigaud
    Sator Gallery
“Postcard, coal mines at Makala, Luluabourg, Belgian Congo, 1935”, by Eric Manigaud.

Eric Manigaud inexorably continues his work as an archivist of the XXe century according to his process, no less inexorable: to enlarge by drawing photographs that show the ordinary reality of contemporary history. Here, it is about the colonization of Africa. In the archives of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren (Belgium) and in its collection of postcards, he took views of the exploitation of the Congo by the Belgium of King Leopold II and by France of the IIIe Republic. What they show is most often abominable. They are portraits of groups of men raided and chained like dogs, forced to salute the flag of their executioners, and others of women and men whose hands have been cut off to punish them for not working hard enough. fast to the rubber harvest; and panoramas of the construction site of the Congo-Ocean railway, which killed thousands of the men forced to work there, and processions of porters. Redrawn in graphite on paper, these ash images are all the more effective as Manigaud does not make any changes, apart from that of the format. They simply say: here is what happened.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “The construction of the Congo-Ocean railway can be considered a crime against humanity”

“Those who dig”. Sator Gallery, 43, rue de la Commune-de-Paris, Romainville (Seine-Saint-Denis). Until July 22. Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Galeriesator.com

  • Grisaille Vertigo
    Jocelyn Wolff Gallery

Rarity: an exhibition in a gallery that brings together old and current works around a common subject, grisaille, the art of painting without using any color except shades of gray, from the lightest to the darkest. This practice of frustration is studied by the art historian François-René Martin in about forty pieces on glass, canvas, wood or stone, from the 16e century from Bernard van Orley to Miriam Cahn, including many anonymous works. Fragments of stained-glass windows, altarpiece panels, Flemish and Italian paintings demonstrate how the absence of chromaticism forces the gaze to be more attentive in order to see and understand everything, whether the subject is religious or profane. Trompe-l’oeil exercises are not lacking either, portrait of a man by Louis-Léopold Boilly painted in oil in imitation of a drawing or frieze by Piat Joseph Sauvage simulating a marble bas-relief. Others imitate engraving, with as much virtuosity. Among the living stand out two works created for the occasion, a canvas by Marc Desgrandchamps, enigmatic and silent, and a complex machine by Francisco Tropa, whose panels open onto the spectrum in grisaille on glass of a canvas by Van Gogh – the painter of color at his peak, taken here in reverse.

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