Home > Current events > CHRISTOPHE CARTIER - PAINTINGS 2007-2012


Opening Saturday October 6 2012 at 3:30 pm

A form of abstraction that is a deep immersion in colour

Untitled, 2012, mixed media on canvas, 162x130 cm



12, clos de la Cathédrale
91000 EVRY


• Tel: 01 60 75 02 71
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From Friday to Sunday.
• Friday: from 2PM to 5:30PM.
• Saturday and Sunday: from 2PM to 6PM.


• Full rate: €3
• Reduced rate: €1.50
• Free for children under 12 (with their parents)


Christophe Cartier
• Tel: 06 72 89 45 16
• E-mail :

Twenty abstract canvases made since 2007, all done in portrait format (162 x 130 cm) and almost all untitled, will surround the triptych Nymphéas. A series of aesthetic objects that are food for thought, in particular because they are abstract at first glance, i.e. easel painting, at a time when this kind of medium is not particularly welcome by institutions.

Untitled, 2007, ink and pencil on papier, 101,6 cm X 64,8 cm

Immaterial reality

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the triptych Nymphéas whose title is obviously not neutral. But what intrigues Cartier about Monet is not so much his representation of aquatic flowers as the latter’s rendering, in Cartier’s terms, of “the beauty of the air.” It is as if, in the 21st century, a painter having reached maturity and with a quarter century’s production under his belt, had decided to simply paint an immaterial reality, with no recognizable figuration (some paintings were entitled Soleil after completion, the artist never having set out to represent the sun).

Matter and colour

This artist has succeeded in materializing the solar spectrum. We see a kaleidoscopic movement produced by superimposed layers of transparent paper between which are blots, puddles and waves of oil, the colors contained by a layer of varnish.
The interplay between the strata and their transparence produces the effect of dematerialized matter. The color immersion wipes out all perspective. Like in traditional Chinese painting, top and bottom cease to exist, leaving only a single plane on which space is diluted. The painter uses mixtures of paints and varnishes on sheets of paper that are then pasted layer after layer, while preserving their transparency by means of an entirely personal technique.
For Christophe Cartier, the “measure” of the depth of the aesthetic object is the depth of existence it reveals, a depth that corresponds to our own.

Soleil couchant, 2008, mixed media on canvas, 162x130 cm

Transparent effets and aesthetic depth

This painter’s masterly transparent effects and glazes achieve what Clement Greenberg probably meant by “pictorial depth” when describing the purely abstract compositions of Jackson Pollock. But there is another depth in Cartier’s work, what phenomenologists call aesthetic depth. The aesthetic response that is born from Cartier’s paintings is only profound insofar as these objects touch every aspect of what makes us up. You have to take the time to become submerged in them, going beyond the immediate impression (which might prompt some people to say “it’s pretty” or “it’s decorative”) to confront the work with everything that we are, nourished by our past, this past which gives a density to our being and the power of penetration to our gaze.


Catalogue by Estelle Pagès and Jean Luc Chalumeau. 15 Euros, post free.