Florian and Michael Quistrebert
Thursday, 2 February 2012
Work from their oeuvre.
“For their solo exhibition Brothers of the Shadow, Florian and Michaël Quistrebert present a series of small-format paintings and a video that invoke incisive geometrical forms, architectural structures and experimental imagery.
In the Quistrebert brothers’ oil-based paintings, the black surface of the canvas is slightly scratched in order to reveal layers and under-layers of lines, circles, squares and triangles, signified in primary tones and forming a geometrical ensemble. Two main elements of the artists’ work are color and structure, recalling William Blakes’s cosmologic drawings and Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract paintings. This attraction to modernism is part of a quest for spirituality in the art of Florian and Michaël Quistrebert, who often represent mystical symbols and connections to the occult.
The paintings of the Quistrebert brothers reflect an attempt for curving the matter and modeling the thickness of the layers of paint: a heavy, almost physical action, interestingly balanced with a light, airy technique that consists in spraying acrylic paint directly on to the canvas. This way of playing with the weightiness of the paint itself can be seen to reference Bauhaus practices; both Paul Klee and Kandinsky used to spray oil and watercolor on to their canvases. This diffused projection of paint allows the Quistreberts to create structured and atmospheric pieces made of superposed and transparent forms, where different shades of black and grey express lack or excess of light.
The video Ex-Futuro projected in the exhibition conveys avant-garde reminiscences through Duchampian shapes (loops, spirals), art-deco aesthetics along with strong mystical references (triangles, skulls) that recall Kenneth Anger’s early movies. With images made of shadows, smoke, or light reflection, Florian and Michaël Quistrebert seem to reject high-tech practices developed in today’s video art. In contrast, their visual kaleidoscope of evanescent images creates a very particular overlap of futurist beams, vanishing lines, illuminated stars, and pyramids embedded with eyes and sensual forms.” – Envoy Enterprises