Aurélie Nemours, Vera Molnár,
Ode Bertrand, Esther Stocker

OPENING WEEKEND: 18 & 19.09.2021
14:00 - 19:00

18.09 - 30.10.2021
Thursday to Saturday
14:00 - 18:00
or by appointment

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_Ordre & Désordre is a group exhibition where four women take centre stage at the Lee-Bauwens Gallery, with the minimalist style and black-and-white colour palette creating happy encounters: Aurélie Nemours (1910–2005), Vera Molnár (1924), Ode Bertrand (1930) and Esther Stocker (1974), Winner of the Aurélie Nemours 2020 Prize.

Born in the wake of World War II as an extension of the avant- garde movement, geometric abstraction is still every bit as vibrant and innovative today. Over the generations, this measurement-based art has constantly renewed itself and continued to captivate through an extreme economy of means.

Four figures who love simplicity and interrogation, order and disorder, rhythm and silence, light and shade, etc. Meticulous works that remain infinitely expressive, incorporate the audience and refer to the fundamental principles of the world around us. These four humble artists favour exchanging pathos for another, more universal element that will resonate with each of us.

Laura NEVE, Art historian, author and lecturer in the field of modern and contemporary art

 ▼  AURÉLIE NEMOURS (1910-2005)

A chief figure in French concrete art, Aurélie Nemours began her journey in abstract art in 1949. She is a template for many artists and admired because of the power of her visual language, which is stripped back to the essentials. The back-and-forth of black and white and the intersection of horizontal and vertical lines creates contemplative spaces of unusual depth, which allude to the structures of the universe.

 ▼  ODE BERTRAND (b. 1930)

For her niece and assistant Ode Bertrand, Aurélie Nemours is much more than that. She is a mentor, with whom she has shared a passion for more than 35 years. A dancer by training, Ode Bertrand shifted towards abstract art in the early 1970s and her painting always involves a sense of rhythm. The grid pattern allows her to create geometric shapes, like a ‘rule of the game before the lines appear,’1 the artist explains. A contemplative painting that requires a moment of pause: ‘I like when the composition reveals itself after careful observation,’2 she clarifies. Within this apparent order, Ode Bertrand likes to introduce a little chaos, which gives the shapes a new kind of energy.

1 ‘Interview with Anne Tronche’, in Ode Bertrand. Trait et lumière, Paris, Somogy, 2007, p.12.
2 Op.cit., p.13.

 ▼  ESTHER STOCKER (b. 1972)

Science is also a major source of inspiration for Italian artist Esther Stocker (winner of the Aurélie Nemours Prize in 2020), who lives and works in Vienna. Through her multidisciplinary work, she seeks to bring thought and emotion, two fields that are far too often separated from each other, together. Paintings, objects, sculptures or on-site works serve as a testament to her fascination with the motif of grids, which are initially regular but sometimes tear, crumple, unwind and invade the space. Esther Stocker uses their disconcerting nature to distort the viewer’s spatio-temporal landmarks. Getting lost in her art – that’s what is important to the artist.

 ▼  VERA MOLNÁR (b. 1924)

Hungarian artist Vera Molnár, who moved to Paris in 1947, is today regarded as one of the pioneers of digital and algorithmic art. Since 1946, she has employed scientific principles and mathematical laws, which she applies by means of an ‘imaginary machine’; starting in 1968, Vera Molnár used computers as a tool to facilitate ‘the systematic investigation of the infinite field of possibilities’1.

1 Vera Molnar. Une rétrospective 1942-2012, Paris, Bernard Chaveau éditeur, 2012, p.13