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| maurice frechuret

for craig fisher, the space of the canvas cannot be defined in an unequivocal way. rather, it is simultaneously a surface on which his artistic ends are rigorously and confidently forged, and an area in which his various experimentations, traces of hesitation and the uncertainty inherent to his painting process remain visible. within a perspective that doesn't try to hide its close ties to certain artistic movements of recent decades - particularly the french support-surface movement whose material and theoretical presuppositions the artist knows very well -, craig fisher's work pursues an objective which, from the very beginning, relies on the primacy of a certain visual materialism.

through various procedures, the very reality of the canvas - its texture, even its constituent physical elements - is taken into account in order to endow it with a truly active role, one of directly participating in the evolution of the painting. thus, contrary to the usually passive role played by the support, the sheet of unprimed cotton that craig fisher regularly uses reacts to the various imperatives the artist assigns it. his multiple brushstrokes act on the canvas fibers, making them dilate or retract, each time resulting in subtle changes that participate in the visual adventure that this new york artist has been pursuing for over twenty years. the tensions provoked by the clusters of paint or by the concentrations of color are coagulations which punctuate the surface of the canvas like the islets of an archipelago. the artist's methodical explorations invite us into a veritable geography of visuality, and open up rewarding paths for us to follow. large unpainted zones and planes make us wish for some contrast, for a swell of paint, a protuberance, which we then quickly encounter, delighted to find something to anchor our gaze for a moment. farther on the canvas, an artificial collage - a blob, a clot of paint, obtained by letting the paint drip in one particular spot - jeopardizes the transparency of the canvas and gives our eye a welcome little nudge in the right direction. here, it is the phenomenon of capillarity that enlivens the colored surface. there, it is the iridescence of the pigment that thwarts any flatness in the work. the effects of impregnation, the subtle plays involved in marking-out the canvas, the repercussions of positive or negative printing techniques reactivate the artist's painterly method by demanding the use of other formulas.

the artistic vocabulary refined by fisher is hardly limited to the procedures described in painting manuals. his numerous inventions confer many visual surprises onto those willing to share in the risk of his artistic adventure. we would even be tempted to say that it is in a jubilant mood that we are invited to wander within such experimental spaces, even though the pleasure we derive there should in no way distract us from the profound reflection we can engage in if we are sufficiently attentive to what our eyes perceive.

the pleasure that the artist gives us access to - that very delight which this adept of french culture imbues his own life with - cannot mask the seriousness of his artistic enquiries. it is the perfectly pitched and sonorous counterpoint to the beautiful silences that his paintings emit, and that we appreciate, as we do everything that favors meditation.

© galerie corinne caminade - maurice frechuret