Gravas' practice is inspired by modern masters such as Miró, Klee, Picasso and Matisse, as well as by everyday elements including postcards and polaroids. From this inspiration emerges a unique practice filled with organic forms, executed in a rich and deep colour palette. The artist refuses to limit herself to either figuration or abstraction; both styles find their place in her work. Colour, form, and material consistently take center stage. The works of Gravas often exhibit an intriguing duality, whether in the form of two faces in contrasting colours, partially merging into each other, or the juxtaposition of a face and an animal. For instance, Birds appear as a recurring motif in her work. In other pieces, she immortalises the face of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke.
Aurélie Gravas, Three Faces and a Green Hand, 2023, Kristof De Clercq gallery
Gravas' painting process is preceded by a period of reflection, and the artist also encourages the viewer to contribute their own interpretations. In a 2012 interview with Estelle Spoto for Bruzz, Gravas stated:
“Painting is a medium that requires patience from the viewer and is therefore in contradiction with our times. Today, we are used to being served now or never. Painting is neither now nor ever. I find it an absolute act of resistance. It's like gardening and waiting for a flower to grow, like making a baby, like being in love, like playing a musical instrument or even listening to music. Painting, has always - and I believe, forever - is a medium which can produce the best and the worst, but in any case whose limits we will never be able to explore. Whatever we say, whatever we do, we will never be able to get to the bottom of painting.”
Naast schilderijen maakt de kunstenaar ook collages, waarvoor ze uitgesneden en beschilderde vormen combineert tot nieuwe en speelse assemblages. In sommige gevallen maakt ze daarvoor gebruik van magnetische elementen in plaats van lijm. Voor andere werken kiest ze voor materialen als houtskool of spuitverf.
In addition to paintings, the artist also creates collages, in which she combines cut-out and painted shapes to form new and playful assemblages. In some cases, she uses magnetic elements instead of glue for this purpose. For other works, she opts for materials like charcoal or spray paint.
Aurélie Gravas | Faces, Kristof De Clercq gallery
Gravas was born in Paris in 1977. She studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Marseille and later settled in Brussels, where she continues to live and work. She has participated in various residency programs, and her work has been exhibited in France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Her work will be featured in a solo exhibition at the blue chip gallery Almine Rech in the fall, following its introduction during last year's Frieze Week in their London space as part of the group exhibition 'Celebrating Picasso Today: Infinite Modernism.' In June, her work will be showcased in New York at Thierry Goldberg gallery. Alongside her artistic practice, Gravas is also active as a musician in the pop band La Femme d’Ali.