Les herbes folles du vieux logis is the title chosen by Joël Andrianomearisoa for his latest series of works. A title borrowed from the Malagasy poet Maurice Ramarozaka and from his collection, the one who considered poetry as a way of being and living across multiple geographies.

This new series in three steps – pastel drawings, textile paintings, squares of golden silk threads on cotton fabric – is an opportunity to once again evoke one of the constants of the artist’s work: the alliance and the dialogue with this original material that are fabrics, linked to his homeland, of which he makes himself the heir.

First step: pastel drawings of colored grasses. If the black, so dear to the artist, seems to invade these wild grasses, other plants intertwine, almost repelling them.

Their chromatic ranges attenuate the darks, obscure the lights, determine a set of vibrant tones.

All are endowed with a gushing energy.

The use of pastel plays on the light as Joël Andrianomearisoa dreams it should. With his drawings, the artist transcribes two combined violence, movement and color, of which he knows the powers.

These pastels are followed, in a second step, by large textile paintings. They represent the artist’s fascination for these almost unusual supports for plastic creation – fabrics, tissue papers… – to which he conferred a new nobility throughout his work and in particular in the installation of thin black veils hanging from the ceiling of I HAVE FORGOTTEN THE NIGHT, at the Venice Biennale in 2019.

The canvases of Herbes folles are superb variations where the artist inscribes a whole semantics nourished by almost geometric shapes evoking skyscrapers and nourished by the darkness of the night.

In height, the colors worked in vertical bands obey an almost serial practice. Golds, beiges, browns, greens have bright and fragile tones and play on transparency effects amplified by the nature of the material.

The artist intervenes at the level of each colour, thus developing a range of attenuated nuances, a mixture of soil and more sensual substance.

The textile bends magnificently to its variations in relief and forms incisions and colors where a reflection of the matter is revealed and a soul emerges.

Third step Volamena (gold in Malagasy), smaller works created by assembling golden silk threads. Their volume evokes crazy hair, intertwining cut locks, yet framed in a square, or rather in a rectangle, of an almost terrifying rigidity. A contrast desired by the artist who is a master in shaping these changing, almost mobile surfaces, captured in the heart of their movement, even minimal, and by the continuous play of matter with light.

With this series, Joël Andrianomearisoa plays on elegant plastic alliances, kept as breaths unfolding in an almost musical space.

The artist combines transparency with painting and invokes, without failing, the freedom to try, test and experiment that he is used to.

The violent, patient and powerful alchemies of the three phases of the work have a silent splendour that, once again, prove the vitality of his creative spirit, the constantly renewed liveliness of imagination and a poetry that pays homage to his roots.

Françoise Docquiert