Evoking Serenity and Anxiety: “Les Lueurs du Vide” by Mathilde Lestiboudois

Exhibited earlier this year at Galerie Paris-B, Mathilde Lestiboudois’s “Les Lueurs du Vide” (The Glimmers of the Void) presents images that bring together bare landscape and architectural elements to create new areas—non-places or mental spaces that oscillate between reality and imagination.

These areas are cold and open to infinity, with only a horizon line and the glow of a star that rises or sets indifferently. Much more than a show that seduces its audience, the painted spaces suggest themselves as a metaphor for the harmony or disorder of society.

A few everyday objects, a chair, a table, white sheets – all evocative of a human presence – are carefully arranged and surrounded by incomplete architectural details. Columns, round arches, staircases or doors leading nowhere are Mathilde Lestiboudois’ obsessions. We are in front of her paintings as we are in front of a show, sitting in a theatre, waiting for the actors or at the end of a performance. Without imposing a model of thought and without seeking the viewer’s easy emotion, the painter suggests that we step onto the stage and take hold of this space. She invites us to project our own fiction onto it: here a naiad who, after having basked in it, has forgotten her drapery near a pool; here the ancient curia which has just ended, leaving the imprint of the bodies of the politicians on the armchairs covered with white sheets.

Les Lueurs du Vide by Mathilde Lestiboudois, installation view. Courtesy of Galerie Paris-B.
Les Lueurs du Vide by Mathilde Lestiboudois, installation view. Courtesy of Galerie Paris-B.

Imbued with references to the architecture of both ancient Greece and modern Spain, the paintings exude a magical and enigmatic aura. It is this suspended atmosphere that allows for an almost therapeutic projection: some see harmonious spaces creating a feeling of serenity while others perceive the emptiness of the composition with anxiety.

The spaces Mathilde Lestiboudois transports us to tend to upset our certainties. She proposes a completely different experience: that of solitude, strolling and personal introspection. The accuracy of the volumes, the precision of the perspective and the chromatic tranquillity give the impression that time has stopped, that reality has been frozen by the painter’s vision. Through this static figurative order, one seeks to penetrate the intimacy of things offered to the everyday and yet never conquered. This poetry of ordinary objects is the promise of a timeless painting in which meditation is the main component. We are no longer locked in the cruelty of the contemporary world and can delight in the absence of the human being with malice. Let us lose ourselves in the painting, let us follow it with confidence, as if we were following an unbalanced compass that leads us to a hidden treasure.

Born in 1992, Mathilde lives and works in Paris. She graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she followed Jean-Michel Alberola in his studio. She also studied at the Universitäte der Kunst, Berlin in 2016. In 2021, she was an artist in residence of the Casa Velasquez in Madrid.

Links: Website (www.mathildelestiboudois.com) | Instagram (www.instagram.com/mathilde.lestiboudois/)

Colonnes, table et drapé © Mathilde Lestiboudois. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Paris-B.
Untitled © Mathilde Lestiboudois. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Paris-B.
Fauteuils et drapés version 2 © Mathilde Lestiboudois. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Paris-B.
Bassin surélevé et drapé © Mathilde Lestiboudois. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Paris-B.

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