Laurence ALAUX explores the space between abstraction and figuration. As a writer uses words to tell a story, she expresses herself through art to recreate an reality. An alternate world, where what she feels, shapes. Reality is not enough to her. Her desire for elsewhere is immense; the very one she faces, when emotion overwhelms her, when deep feelings overtake her. One only way out for her, to make what is disappear, to draw, paint, sculpt, do create. Like history for the reader, Laurence’s work is, for the gaze of the other, a representation. That of a felt ideal, of a trace, like an imprint of her “lyrical journeys”.

How to depict an emotion? By drawing human things? Obviously, a landscape, a view of the sea, a character could evoke it. Probably… But what if this emotion is beyond human? When the words, the pictures no longer match? How to bring it alive? Laurence’s emotions are deep, commensurate with her exceptional sensitivity, well beyond feelings. To explain them, to show them, to describe the story of what she sees in this way, words are not enough, much too human. She could have hidden how she feels, not showing it, not sharing it. She couldn’t, she didn’t know how. Everything was too dense, too intense. She had to express it, give it a form, an existence…

Year 1997. Life, overseas, remoteness, too distant landmarks. Questions. Difficult. Many. Overflowing. The overseas blue attracts her. A canvas passes within reach, like an encounter. Aimlessly, she draws. Time stops. The visions grow. Without knowing why, without understanding how, she continues. Something is at work. She feels it. No need to learn. No need to rule this. The lines impose themselves to her. No need for a guide or just at the very beginning. To be accompanied. She has so much to say. She is 32 years old. There she starts…

School. Painting the sea, characters, clinging to reality. Simply. An initiator. Because time is already speeding up. Very quickly, she practiced alone. Even simpler lines shape a whole. The whole evokes. Much more than details. And they fade away. And the lines disappear. In turn… The human realities that she deciphers, already, seem different. The impression, the form, exist by themselves. Matter is energy. The light is there, present, everywhere. Unpredictable. Rebel. It comes from elsewhere, spreads at will. Without law. Physics for her, give up. No need to explain anymore. No more constraints. What she does, what she shows is unreal… Horizon, atmosphere, sky, earth, sand, stone and even movement. Everything merges. Reality fades away. Inspiration sets in. The visions impose themselves, crystallize. Emotion is ‘Space’, her first gallery. An improbable sea view without sand, without sky, without beach, without sea. The sky merges with the earth. Water with rock. A symphony of shades in near monochrome. White, beige, light grey, deep black. No matter. And for the observer, a question: What is this place? A seaside? No, obviously it’s something else…

Between 1997 and 2007, Laurence ALAUX works far from public and salons in which she rarely participates. She flees reality in her studio. And the hours go by, canvas after canvas, by the dozen, accompanied by the material, guide and partner: acrylic and oil, sand, cement, plaster, pencil and walnut husk, canvas, paper… Everything is a pretext for shape. Each emotion is a motive to do. Next to the ‘Spaces’, naive linear bodies. Studies. Her work is growing. A few installations and already, she has her audience. The one she met here and there, and conquered. He accompanies her. He wants to be on this path. And, in a way, he pushes her. She wants to go further… But the paradox is within her. How to be both here and elsewhere? When the unreal and emotion rule. The confusion is there. Taking her. Questions always. But a philosophy is emerging. Art fills her life. She needs a passage. Connect the spaces. Being able to switch from one emotion to another. To exist in a whole, to dream, to feel and then right after, to come back…

In 2010, Laurence already received a couple of awards and distinctions. Warm feedback or prizes when she collaborates with traveling galleries to show her work. Drouot accompanies and references her. The works follow one another. The desire grows. Soon, the ‘Spaces’ open up. Lines, breaks appear. They settle on the canvases. Multiply. Before her, the real, visible, embodied, material. Installed. Behind it is calm, deep, purified appeasement, fullness. The ‘Imposed lines’ were born. In November 2017, Laurence unveiled Archetype, a large format quadriptych (194×194) half painting, half structural form as an optical illusion. In acrylic, thickening and walnut stain, it formalizes duality. It structures her search. A dark and rigid symbolic evocation of reality. Grid hampered by geometries, keeping a door open to deep space. Between them, the light. Springing, opposed to the dark part, upsetting, and its form and its expansion. A passage to cross. This time the path exists… It will direct and organize her expression. If the two worlds exist, they are necessarily the theater of movement and exchanges. The spaces confront each other, at the same time, through this matrix of exchanges. Laurence then focuses on interactions, influences, confronting what is real and what is not, and revealing energy flows.   

December 2017. The scene widens. Laurence exhibits around 20 paintings in the rue de Seine, in Paris in Etienne de Causans’ gallery. A formidable challenge. Unlikely encounters. Propagation and interspace interactions are now dominant. Oxides enter the scene, revealing forces and intrinsic tracer of the influence of time. Iron, copper, and bronze, dropped on the canvas, mingle with the pigments and diffuse in color according to reliefs, hygrometry, exposure. Spaces communicate, get energized, become remarkably unique. These are the ‘Passage and propagation’. In February 2019 in Toulouse, half of the booth is reserved to them. Works that seize by their balance and their telluric force. The gaze of the public galvanizes her. It is now a lever, powerful. 

The work expands. Raw and solid metal inserts appear. Isolated and divisive on the canvas, or integrated and melted into the matter, they resonate with strength and energy, directivity, and contrasts. Beyond the spaces, the possible representation of what is human remains a subject; forms and emotions. Beyond the line, and realism, she seeks a pure evocation detached from reality that she can introduce into her works between spaces and lines. What was marginal at the very beginning, the sculpture, now takes its place and become essential. Around drawn studies, paintings, ceramics, she captures the essential living movements to show and reveal emotion, while preparing the conditions for her first “grand oral”.

June 2020. For 2 months, the 300 square meters of the Sainte Eugénie Crypt in Biarritz are offered to her. This is her first major museum installation: ‘Alternances’. Designed in collaboration with Didier Arnaudet and Benoit Maire. Objects made up of structured assemblies, realistic by their very existence, but abstract since shaped and without functional reality. Photographs, in chromatic harmony, facing their abstract representation (spaces). Fifty works organized into aesthetic islands, in a simple and complex contest, between realistic abstraction and abstract realism, in an open path that invites the mind to wonder about what is real and what is not, and about the modalities of passage between the two universes. Accessible, visibly rooted in the Basque country, vector of emotion and distant perspective of painting, ‘Alternances’ is an invitation to share emotions and, while offering an established conceptual framework, a plea which reconciles artistic expression with the common theory and vision of what is aesthetic or not; a major and energizing event that will definitely influence her artistic practice. Alternances marks the beginning of an acceleration, and will redefine the content and the nature of the exchanges between Laurence ALAUX and her public and with art professionals (galleries and academy).

September 2021, the representation of human forms and emotions takes on a broader meaning, driven by the desire to explore the foundations of movement and the kinetics of living things. ‘Figures and Movements’ leads the way while waiting for the complete body of the search, and a collection of ceramics devoted to women in the broad sense. It is also the first private exhibition organized to welcome its public and institutions at her workshop. For the first time her painting and creations assembled in a museum like selective environment resonate like a ‘Scripture’. For the fisrt time she also start to address pure conceptual designs reverting her emotional prism.

October 2023, sculpture work now takes an essential place and stands out as a natural extension of painting. Metal, stone, plaster, clay, fit together to form various allegorical expressions which seem to vibrate in unison and resonate with the flat areas. As a continuation. A first bronze completes the search for movement and establishes pure and essentialized lines of life freezing a step in the creative time. Painting concentrates, takes on a new force and visibly progresses towards a striking expression of a founding triptych: lyricism, hedonism and reason, giving birth to coherent creative waves: Writing (2022), Covalences (2023), Morphisms (2024). Everything evokes the crystallization to come between a suggested figuration and an absolute lyricism.

« L’art est ma vie. Il me porte. Le sujet est prétexte. La forme, l’idée, l’endroit sont complices. Le travail est espace. Un espace fait de lignes, de mouvement, de hauteur, de matière et d’envie… »

Laurence Alaux


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