April 27 - June 15, 2024

Gourmandes vanités

Text by Amélie Adamo

For her new solo show at PARIS-B, Marion Charlet presents a collection of new paintings along with ceramics. The themes of interior and still life, central to the artist, are re-emerging under the sign of celebration and love, infused with a delightfully biting and quirky humor. The festive atmosphere is set by the colors, predominantly pink, yellow, green and blue: a palette sweetened in some areas, acidic in others, with quite pop fluorescent hues. But also by the patterns that proliferate on the surface, offering themselves to the eye by zooming in on table tops. A whole world of confetti, bubbles, and glitter, a swirling ballet of flowers, donuts, strawberries, and ice cream as seductive as the scarlet dance of hearts and lipsticks, kisses, and other Supercherries.

Delicious new works? Yes, undoubtedly.  With a sharp aftertaste, however, lingering in the back of the throat. Like a painful awakening after the grand ball. A feeling of emptiness in the stomach, in the kingdom of fullness for the eyes. This emptiness materializes through the composition and framing within a space focused on the inanimate life of piled-up objects.

An essential element of Marion Charlet’s latest series is indeed the absence of the human figure. Whether it’s an interior with a window in the background or plunging zooms onto a tabletop, all the works  suggest the enclosure of a space focused on a heap of various objects and delicacies. The human figure has left this space. It only appears in bits and pieces and subterfuges. Here, a piece of a hand holding a cake is cut by the frame. There, some drawings within the drawing, suggesting suspended, unfinished actions. Someone was here, but ended up leaving. Or never arrived. And if there is a love celebration here, a wedding or anniversary, the only bodies embracing, the only lips kissing, are only traces, deposited right on the surface of objects. Candy-pink fictional betrayals. Memories of deco love faded by the passage of time.

Hedonism of the good old days has been eroded, weakened and given a critical dimension. A look at intimate life and our love lives, of course. But also on society and our consumerist lifestyles, less in search of being than of having, overly attached to accumulating objects and various material goods. Marion Charlet’s retinal delicacies are greedy vanities. They show us the fragility of life, the futility of our passions. They are the vacuity of emptiness in the full.