Laurent Pariente

Date : 2004

Medium : Mixed media

Size : 200 x 200 cm

Zinc sheet

Engraved sheets of zinc, copper and brass are the basis of the artist’s work on space, developed at the same time as the architectural constructions made of chalk. They bring out the characteristics found in these constructions: occupation and mobility of space, movement within the architecture, and light.

These sheets are covered with a mat varnish, then engraved using differently sized metal tips. Each engraving provides a notch in the metal that catches the light. The sheet is then covered by an infinite number of marks engraved in all directions creating a luminous and moving material. The composition or structure and the result vary according to the light and the position of the viewer. The surface of the sheet is an ever changing space.

The guide

Light plays an integral role in this work. A role of contrasts.
Let your eye wander over the network of lines that sparkle. You might almost think it was made of shiny nylon fishing line.
The play of light is poetic. Each person sees it reflect differently. Take the time to look and contemplate. What can you see?
For me, the lines bring to mind the beating of the rain, the black of the zinc recalling the winter sky.

But let's discover part of the mystery.

In this series, the artist notches the dry surface of large plates of metal, copper, brass or zinc.

Laurent Pariente does not draw predetermined patterns but records the trace of his touch like an abstract expressionist. And like those artists, he makes use of the large format, 2m x 2m in this case.

What’s more, he combines a range of techniques. Has he used metal to create a sculpture rather than a painting? Not exactly, but he treats the metal more or less like a canvas. Notice also that by engraving the metal, no ‘paint’ is added to the canvas. Instead it is a process that scrapes the material away from the surface.

You also have to consider the location in which Pariente’s work is displayed. The magic is in the light.
The grooves in the metal play with the light and the work changes depending on the lighting and where the viewer is standing.

The artist invites the viewer to experiment with his own perception.