November 11th - December 30th 2023Add to Calendar
Opening Reception Saturday November 11th 6 pm (Subject to change)
In a practice spanning site-specific installation, photography, olfactory media, and various methods of drawing, French artist Manon Bellet seeks to make visible the unmediated expressions of vital materials.
Manon Bellet is interested in revealing the creative agency of uncommon, found, or obsolete matter—evident in works that comprise, for instance, the delicate sprays of iron fillings which interact with magnets, the textured imprint made by solar-heated metal plates pressed to thermal paper, or the linear path drawn by fire along the burned edges of silk paper. As an artist, she has come to approach her studio practice almost like a chemist in the laboratory—experimenting with the raw states and residues of graphite, light, scent, and fire to investigate how these materials or elements undergo processes of transformation and change. Importantly, Bellet’s primary interest lies in animating—not manipulating—her materials; she often removes the authority of the artist’s hand from the act of mark-making and composition, allowing organic and chemical elements to perform freely and autonomously.
In her recent series, Captures (2022) Bellet produces a suite of drawings using ferrofluid on clear glass. The sepia-toned liquid is composed of ferromagnetic nanoparticles which become activated in the presence of magnetic objects. After applying the fluid to a panel of glass, Bellet utilizes a small magnet to draw the pool of liquid into trails of abstracted filigrees and linear patterns. Due to the strength of the magnetic attraction, she is unable to fully control the motion of the ferrofluid, which spontaneously renders a web of tributaries and feather-like coils. Bellet performs this experiment on both sides of the glass panel, ultimately creating a sense of depth and visual complexity through the sensitive interplay of opacity, transparency, and organic form.
— Allison Young, PhD (2022)
Manon Bellet (b. 1979) is an interdisciplinary artist native of Switzerland has lived and worked in New Orleans since 2016. Bellet holds a BA/MFA from the University of the Arts, ECAV Switzerland. She has been awarded residencies at Paris, Citée des Arts, Paris, France, International Studio Residency Program, Berlin/ International Studio Residency Program, Warsaw, Poland/ and more recently at The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, Monroe Fellowship at Tulane University, New Orleans, US/ Studio in the Wood residency program, New Orleans, US. Joan Mitchell Residency, New Orleans, US, and Art Residency at Ferme-Asile, Switzerland.
Her works have been shown at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, The New Orleans Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, Good Children Gallery (New Orleans), The Atlanta Contemporary, and in many Art institutions In France, Germany, and Switzerland. Among them, Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), and Musée Jenisch (Switzerland).
Bellet has a broad teaching background, giving workshops in various schools and art academies in Switzerland and Germany. She first visited New Orleans in 2013. As an artist with an outside perspective and European background, she finds it stimulating to work in such a specific environment, helps in broadening her own practice, as well as develop projects that are directly related to the city and its specific geographical and environmental contexts.