Patrick Le Nouène (2010)

Some White and some Black

By Patrick Le Nouène, curator in chief of the patrimony, directeurs of the Museums of Angers, Angers, France

Marie-Noêlle has the understanding and sensibility of using space, of working also with the surroundings of the sculpture’ spot. In Anjou, she therefore displayed enormous slaty monoliths quickly cleaved and split into the nature. She saw those blocks in the quarry where they were extracted from, recognized them immediately and saw their artistic potential and knew where they had to be exhibited. They found their place. The space and nature surrounding them also found their place with regard to them, creating perfect harmony. And it is the essential part of a sculpture, to live in a place, fit with modesty and strength in the mind of the place, to inhabit and own the harmony of this place. The project was ambitious, but the success is owed at the same time to the effacement of the sculptor, to the strength of the chosen materials that she let live and fit in the most freely possible way. Facing those sculptures, no incongruity, on the contrary, a big sense of clearness and evidence. They are in this landscape, in Anjou, as steles raised in the air or as languid tables getting lost and melting with the ground and the history of this landscape. Marie-Noelle works the slate schist of various manners, sometimes she protects it almost raw, some other times she splits blocks thanks to a simple, ancestral and precise gesture. She separates and cleaves them, looks for surfaces, effects of surfaces, creates mineral dyeings, and moves them closer to each other. Sometimes she also plays with the empty space which is established between both faces of the same block. Sometimes she assembles them, such as modules. Marie-Noêlle is also blooming in other hemispheres, in other continents, where she works with the bones of big marine mammals. She plays with the oppositions between the schist and these bones, two materials, two textures, two colors ; the black of one and the porous whiteness of the other one. Rooted sculptures but also nomad sculptures, which testify, which recall, which connect their blackness extracted from the bowels of Earth and their whiteness taken from the oceanic depths, of a time so close and maybe already so far away.