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Natho’s ontological sensitivity

La république des lettres —
Natho’s ontological sensitivity

Natho renews the representation of the human body in art which, whether representational or not, has always sought to catch the eye of the general public by exalting the shapes of bodies. If we are still a long way from the harmonious aesthetic norms inspired by the Greco-Roman canons of perfection which Renaissance artists attempted to emulate, it is because the human body in Natho’s acrylic art penetrates consciousness. Her subject matter aims both at experiencing the universality of self-awareness and at reflecting on the human condition.

In this expressionism-inspired exhibition, the prominence of an essentially masculine, even gender-ambiguous body is paradoxically made visible through the general alignement of irregular, disproportionate, prostrate, static and heavy, if not cumbersome volumes laid down on canvas in uneven numbers. In other words, the body – though reproducible ad libitum – is being sketched like a singular bulky form which keeps evading motion.

Unlike the awkward postures of German expressionistic figures, Natho opts for a serene body arrangement particularly suitable for depicting rest (be it daily or eternal), reverence and renouncement. This philosophical and expressionistic outlook is best understood as transfiguring our rough and tough lives and fates whose inescapability instantly mortgages our existentialist choices, our decisions to move forward, our grip over our own lives.

Consequently, by becoming unnecessary, futility (such as our hands or brains) shrinks away or vanishes into thin air and makes room for the spectator’s empathy which resonates intimately with Natho’s mineral colours and the lines of her undivided figures, thus allowing her ontological sensitivity to be felt.

Jean-François Vernay

Exhibition preview on Tuesday 21 July, 6 pm @ LecLecTic Gallery - Noumea.

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