The best artists of the French art scene


Anastassia Bordeau

14 000 €

Year : 2015

Artists generation : Born in the 70's

Category : Painting

Method : Oil on canvas

Size : 116 cm x 175 cm

The first thing in the paintings of Anastassia Bordeau that strikes the eye is the absence of natural lightning. The firmament with moon and stars has totally vanished from her horizon: space has lost its sublunary nature (hypaithrios), even as a tangible presence of the earth, the ground is, on the contrary, stressed by the traffic signs. Headlights and lampposts transpierce the gloom, while neon lamps with their sharp, pointed beams paint the night by white, yellow, green splashes of varying intensity. No haze, no glimmer anymore, but the primordial Colour standing out against the Shadow.

Another characteristic feature of the series is the absence of Man. It’s this very trait that so conspicuously distinguishes them from the artworks by Edward Hopper (1882-1967), the painter hardly to be omitted in the context. In his paintings, such as “Night Windows”, 1928 (Museum of Modern Art, New-York) and “Night Birds”, 1942 (Art Institute, Chicago), human figures arrayed in clinging garments stand motionless, as if under a spell. Peeping out through the display windows, his personages flaunt their passivity and inability to communicate; still, they are undoubtedly human, men or women. Bordeau’s world is just the opposite: her benches, cars, cafes, filling stations have never stood for a journey, an action, or a sign of ordinary life. This world is at least for a time deserted, devoid of human presence.

After all, the third feature one has to note is the total absence of any plant or animal life. We are plunged into the depths of mineral world, where triumphs the glass with its playful ability of optic effects – either of transparency or of reflection. Could the trap be avoided? “Beware, Danger!” And so warns the train of brown signs flattened in S-shapes: stop needed, otherwise you could stumble on an invisible surface; they indicate the dangerous proximity of the edge.

No stars, no people, no plants…The night of Anastassia Bordeau is urban and deserted at the same time, yet it lacks disquiet or unease. Quite the reverse, this night is pretty snug, bringing back the intimacy of mother’s womb, where you can hide and escape all troubles. Here we are plunged into the shadow, stay sub umbra, as Hugo put it; but the obscurity of this shadow (Umnachtung) keeps its affable spirit.

It’s neither the night that emanates discomfort, nor the eyes of street lights and cars. Uneasiness is rather the effect of broad, sharp light that illuminates half-naked, often dismembered bodies: smooth, cold and beautiful, but frigid; those bodies on display are often inappropriate, excessively lush, overly academic. They look like the candid advertising images exposed not for pleasure, but for sale.

A recurrent motif in Anastassia Bordeau’s works is a transparent glass cage where the bodies are enclosed whether it is a telephone box or a bus stop shelter. Despite the welcoming whiteness of a bench, those cages reject any possibility of encounter. The Temple of Present Tense, the Temple of Today Life - it’s the place where there is no place for true sensuality, whilst insolent luxury runs the show. It is the Temple of Heartless Symbols and Love Profaned, the Temple or, if you wish, anti -Temple of Luring Lust - anonymous, for sale together with the neon lights of a big city. This cult – “to appear, but not to be” - seems to have torn away from things all the tokens of intimacy and turned them into mere illusions. Extract from the text Flowers of the Night by Baldine Saint Girons, Professor of the Universities in the University Paris X – Nanterre

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Anastassia Bordeau

Anastassia Bordeau

Anastassia Bordeau was born in Moscow in 1979. She lives and works in Paris where she graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 2003 (Ateliers Vincent Bioulès and Pat Andrea).
Anastassia Bordeau has produced a style that refuses the triviality born of routine, the myopia that triggers the habitual or a context that simply adheres to sterotype. This is why her scenes are so often nocturnal, or represent spaces that, by their uniqueness, seem enclosed. For night is the time when logic is forgotten or absent, where imagination chases dreams, where the impossible no longer applies, where opposites meet in improbable circumstances, and where the depth of meaning is revealed. The enclosed space, as if a night cut off from the world, thus forms its own universe.
These works are centered on actions in progress—benevolent actions, or anecdotal, but in which the enjoyment and anxiety of living are fully mixed—in indefinite expectation, evidently actions suspended as to the question of why, or to where, we are heading.
The influence of the teachings of modern painting, of that of Hopper in particular, or even of surrealist views in that they solicit the imaginary and suggest emotions beyond images—or even of Duchamp—is willingly represented, and which, allied often to a discreet humorous dimension, allows the artist to affirm her engagement to continuity.
For over a decade Anastassia Bordeau has in her painting alternated and intertwined urban night spaces—spaces almost closed, mostly underground, and mainly places of circulation—as well as nudes or undressed bodies, such scenes quite often composed of advertising imagery. By Jean-Paul Blanchet.

2015 / Galerie Artrial / Perpignan, France
2013 / « Pensé(z) cinéma » / Centre d’art contemporain, Meymac, France
2013 / Galerie BOA / Paris, France
2011 / « Femme Objet / Femme sujet » / Centre d’art contemporain, Meymac, France
2011 / Lauréate Fondation Colas / Boulogne-Billancourt, France
2009 / Salon de mai / Paris, France
2008 / Exposition personnelle « Fleurs de Nuit » / Musée d’Arts Moderne de Moscou, Russie
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