Jane Bustin
“Si vague concept se suffit – après Mallarmé”

October 2022

With and after Mallarmé, Jane Bustin’s exhibition “Si vague concept se suffit – après Mallarmé » explores image and reality, knowledge and feeling, in a continuum between painting and ceramics, each of the pieces an artwork in its own right.

It begins with a letter to Mallarmé :

« Dear Stéphane,

In my home the walls are bare, not a single painting stares back at me. It’s as if all the paintings I have ever seen are imprinted in my memory and I merely have to flip the pages of my virtual catalogue, to feel their presence, to have the effect of those deep Velasquez blacks, soft Vermeer yellows, Chardin pinks and those calm pale Piero pastels.

We do not have to see paintings, we feel them, just as you told us: “Paint not the thing itself, but the effect it produces”. The memory of the painting supersedes the physical painting.

But these bowls that you could hold in your hand, feel their walls, peer into their centres, press against your lips, would they be too real ? Too present ?
I do not think so, for you would embrace this futile object, connecting with its subtle power to be more than itself, for something to be ordinary and sublime all at the same time.

To be taken from the earth beneath our feet, moulded with our hands and heart, plunged into the fire and soothed by the cool waters until the outer skin cracks and blisters baring the marks of a life well lived, whilst simultaneously fulfilling its domestic duty, quenching a thirst that is never quite complete, looking at these still lives you would probably conclude: “an image as vague as this, is self sufficient,” and you would be right.

À bientôt

Jane »