Milene Guermont transforms concrete, she makes it sensual, to be caressed, mysterious: sometimes interactive, bright and sonic, sometimes even appetizing, evoking candy or ice-cream. The artist breathes life into the concrete.
Some artworks, as the Colored Engravings on white concrete IMPRESSION SOLEIL TOUCHANT, question the representation itself. They are a chromatic decomposition of the painting by Monet and also an invitation to an almost haptic experience. This deconstruction of the image seems to reach the origin even of the image itself.
By echoing, its CATHEDRAL goes in the same direction tending to the essential, the perusal, the subtraction, the same adventure of discovery around this symbolic series by Monet when for the first time maybe, the subject had faded in front of its representation. The pixilated images by Milène Guermont, engraved into grey concrete, become plays of light more and more stressed in which the image dissolves.
And so, this often cold and thankless material not only creates an unhoped-for emotion but also, by its modernity, becomes part in an unsuspected way of Art History.
Art Critic, 2011
Decomposition of a landscape recomposed by Monet
Impression soleil levant is the painting which gave its name to Impressionism. With IMPRESSION SOLEIL TOUCHANT, I take an opposite course and offer a new look on this historical work.
While the impressionist composes a landscape by stacking monochromatic dots to create volume, the Colored Engraving, which I have developed, allows me to break down Monet's painting into 4 monochromatic layers. Each layer is engraved independently on a slab of concrete, to create 4 new landscapes in volume. While the impressionist adds layers of painting on the canvas, I choose to withdraw layers of the skin of concrete slabs.
While the impressionist asks one to move away in order to understand the depth of a painting, I invite one to move closer, almost to touch, in order to appreciate colors printed in relief.
While the impressionist translates insubstantial light into pictorial material, I transform a raw material into sensory pictures.
A “concrete link” is thereby made between Monet’s inspiration (Le Havre’s harbor) and the existing architecture of Le Havre which has received the UNESCO label.