in Innsbruck, Austria, now living in Vichy, Auvergne, MP Benoit-Basset
claims to have been painting as long ago as she can remember.
Her art, however, and the media she employs, have evolved considerably
Creatures, part of the artist’s latest series of oil canvases,
are closer to the surrealistic inventions of her student youth,
spent in the Auvergne’s metropolis, Clermont-Ferrand, than to
the subdued watercolour landscapes of a decade ago.
the changes in techniques and subject matters - the ubiquitous
dead tree is the only remnant of her watercolour days - MP Benoit-Basset
has nonetheless retained a distinctive style. All of her paintings
are permeated with a subtle, quiet sense of mystery.
use a lot of browns and what I call “dirty” whites, because
nothing is ever really black or white, says MP Benoit-Basset,
whose art, featuring such recurrent themes as the sun, the moon,
stars, and wheat fields, is brimming with symbolism.
she declines to offer “reading keys” to her images, leaving
it to the observer to decipher them at their own pace, she does
describe herself as painter of the “fragile and the transient”.
is a thread that runs across her art, old and new. The women
in the eponymous series are timid, almost reluctant, nudes while
her nocturnal Cities, with their thousand illuminated windows,
are a celebration of humanity’s smallness.
women in my paintings are expressionless, often even faceless,
which some people find oppressive. I think they are the opposite.
They may appear silent on the surface but they reach out with
their tentacles and antennas. They seek contact with each other
and with us.”
art of MP Benoit-Basset is not of the kind that needs to scream
at the viewer or shock to grab attention. Instead, it gently
hums beside its strangely serene fašade, rewarding the patient
and unhurried observer.
Benoit - spokeswoman