Calls for creation

La Rivière au bord de l’eau (The River by the waterside)

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Olivier Nottelet, 3rd Prize – 2010 call for contemporary creation

Olivier Nottellet received the 3rd prize of the 2010 call for projects for La Rivière au bord de l’eau. The model was realized by the artist with Indian ink and blue gouache on paper (60 cm high x 80 cm large). The low-warp weaving (300 cm high x 400 cm large) was realized by Bernard Battu’s workshop in Aubusson.

Olivier Nottellet uses essentially the black and the white to work the visual impact of the form, to set graphic masses which stand out from the void. An atmosphere of discord is created. “It is actually the convolution, sometimes inextricable, which bounds memory, representation, evocation, retinal persistence, that is precisely this, which creates my activity” explains the artist.

His drawings are first and foremost created with Indian ink in classical format notebook, like a raw material thereafter enlarged, reworked. Playing with the lines and forms, Olivier Nottellet creates a fluid black material, some sort of a mass, which floats, rolls or sinks. This fluidity is particularly present in La Rivière au bord de l’eau by the aquatic atmosphere characterizing the model. The technical writing of the weaver allowed him to transcribe this universe into the tapestry: black masses were realized in triple warp thread to obtain a stronger weaving stitch, with an addition of fiberglass to the wool to emboss the design of this material, central in Nottellet’s work. A smart wink to the fantasy elements present in his works, which yet take reality as a starting point.

In his work, the artist breaks free from traditional distinctions: he is always located on the border between figuration and abstraction, between drawing and sculpture, between forms and materials. Playing with the codes of lyrical abstraction of the post-war period, he reuses the formal writings – reminding for example of George Matthieu or Pierre Soulages, abstraction master – and sorts out a figurative writing. The ambiguity between the full and the empty, the style and the content is strengthened by the contrast inducted by the color within this black and white flow.

Leaning on the immersive force of the tapestry medium and the fact that Olivier Nottellet’s work articulates drawings, objects and installations, the Cité internationale asked the artist to think of a specific space, which could welcome and highlight this work.