“Images and alphabets are the two branches of the same family.” – The Story of Art, E.H. Gombrich
In this second virtual exhibition, Emmanuelle Michaux explores Time with a capital T, and the shared origins of images and words.
From the very beginnings of cave paintings, 35,000 years ago, the earliest artists used twenty-six abstract signs that are to be found all throughout the history of prehistoric art, among them spirals, circles, and smudges. Today, the significance of these symbols remains a mystery. Several hypotheses lean towards seeing in them the expression of magical, religious, or symbolic thought, but also, by their abstract nature, a desire to communicate ideas, which are foundational to writing.
Emmanuelle Michaux approaches this subject through the intermediary of two different formats: a 1941 Gallimard edition of a work titled “Mélange” (medley), retrieved from a box of Paul Valéry’s books; and a series of eight Leporellos, or orihon: accordion books associated with Japanese Buddhist texts.
Each work juxtaposes and superimposes the poetic texts of Paul Valéry and of the artist with the primitive signs that are the spiral and the smudge, treated with gold leaf or Indian ink.
All works are for sale. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions or to make an appointment at the artist’s studio.
Twenty pages from the book “Mélange” by Paul Valéry (Gallimard, 1941)
Indian ink and 23-carat gold leaf, work dimensions 18.3 x 11.5 cm, with frame 24 x 30 cm
Eight Leporellos and eight poems by the artist
Black ink, 23-carat gold leaf, black fabric cover, 16 double-sided pages
unfolded length 101.6 cm, folded dimensions 10 x 15 cm
Each Leporello is a unique piece