French painter Victoire Cathalan’s (b. 1975) visceral works envelop the senses, transporting viewers to places deep in her imagination. She mixes images, materials, objects and environments, inviting us to almost breathe in the scent of sea-breeze, hear the rustle of leaves like the nostalgic whispers of Caetano Veloso, or feel the dampness of tropical rainforests in Costa Rica or Brazil. Cathalan believes that humanity has lost its bond to nature and her art seeks to “find our relation to nature and how we can connect more”.
Bordering the human world and the animal kingdom, the abstract universe in her works is composed through diverse techniques including etching, sculpture, photography and painting. Filtered or cut out photographs; tactile surfaces; painting of lively foliage and twisted sliver-like branches and fine drawing are brought together by evanescent washes and a whimsical colour palette. The play of textures such as reflections in water and windows, branches that metamorphose into organs or corpulent concrete structures masked and revealed by a suffocating nature, represent the symbiosis and harmony between man and nature. Cathalan's paintings draw us into a reflection on our place in the world, the impact of our interventions on nature, and what we have conquered and stolen from it.
Cathalan studied at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg, and has exhibited widely in galleries and art fairs. She currently lives and works in Geneva.