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Jean-Marc Urquidi

Artist born in 1968, lives and works in Nîmes. 

Imagine masses of clay so light that they escape gravity. Imagine diving inside their bodies, feeling them, groping and eventually being swallowed whole. This could be the beginning of a science fiction story, in which, transformed into agents of exploration of matter, we would be transported inside an imaginary rocky abdomen. If the idea seems to lend itself so well to fiction, which is in essence moving and evolving, Jean-Marc Urquidi nevertheless gives it the flat form of painting. He does not freeze it however, resorting to blur and weightlessness to reinforce this impression of movement almost of mutation of matter. Thus, without really crystallizing its contours, Jean-Marc Urquidi seems to flatten the lumps of clay on the paper, giving it a precision and objectivity such that it is easy for us to imagine penetrating it. The clays then seem to rise without taking hold of reality, defying gravity as we know it. As for the shadows, they seem to coagulate, hardened by time. His work proposes to serve the idea of a transgression of our relationship to reality. Moreover, the forms he depicts flirt with abstraction, no doubt responding to the artist's desire to “get out of the anecdotal of representation”.  At the heart of Jean-Marc Urquidi's thinking is the idea of confronting the resistance of clay with the voluptuousness of design. The idea of the destruction of time presides over the conception of his work. Before painting his rocky figures, he shapes small blocks of clay, until he reaches ovoid shapes with an organic and living aspect that he destroys and reshapes. From this process emerges a reflection on the perpetual cycle of matter, its birth and its disappearance. In his work, it is a question of comparing mineral time with human time, the latter being infinitely brief on the scale of geological rhythm. To achieve this idea, the artist makes the solitary experience of confinement in his studio, in the desire to reconsider the closed space, and to put reality at a distance. It is this decentering that allows him to apprehend the disembodied living forms of the world around them. A mixture of vagueness, proximity and strangeness, Jean-Marc Urquidi's Les Argiles Levées (2021) reshuffles the cards of the terrestrial world.

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