Matter of Life
Matter of Life is the story of a six-month residency from French painter, poet and philosopher Eugénie Paultre written and illustrated by the artist and published in a colourfully illustrated paperback book.
In the spring of 2018, Paultre relocated from her studio in Paris to a workshop in the English countryside. Immersed in her practice with line and pigment, this intensive residency allowed the artist to enlarge the scale of her paintings and work on large canvases up to 4 metres tall – an assignment which presented physical as well as philosophical confrontations between the artist and the blank canvas.
A master of colour, Paultre’s abstract works feature carefully selected lines of colour that create beautifully balanced and evocative paintings. Matter of Life showcases a remarkable new series of contemporary paintings and features text written by the artist with ruminations on colour and its language as well as reflections on art, and by that very fact, on matters of life.
Recalling her personal encounters – from her conversations with artist and poet Etel Adnan and notes from the poetic works of Stéphane Mallarmé and Charles Baudelaire to observing antagonisms of the modern world and moments of clarity in view of natural landscapes – Paultre shows a profound connection to the world around her and, in this book, considers what it means to make something of life and to do something worthwhile.
210mm x 148mm
No. of pages:
About the Artist
Eugénie Paultre (b. in Paris in 1979, lives in Paris and Normandy) studied then taught philosophy at the Sorbonne, and since 2010 she has devoted herself to painting and writing. She is the author of numerous essays, novellas and poetry collections in English, German, and French published at Al Manar and Manuella Editions, Paris. Matter of Life is the second publication HENI Publishing, London, has dedicated to Paultre, following the release of Outline in 2018. Paultre has held solo exhibitions at the Institut français, Bratislava (2019), Gandy Gallery, Bratislava (2019) and Erna Hecey, Luxembourg (2020). She has recently taken part in group exhibitions at Castello di Rivoli (2017), Mudam, Luxembourg (2019) and Lévy Gorvy, Paris (2021).
With Matter of Life, Eugénie Paultre proposes a profound reflection on the metamorphosis of existence into works of art, of the darkest doubts into colourful lines, and on the necessity of discipline to get something achieved. Rigour, frugality and discipline of thoughts and body – the body constantly confronting itself to canvasses bigger than itself.
Paultre writes and draws lines, over and over again, searching for her own language, and the writer and artist she embodies tend to 'become' rather than disappear. And her hands work fast, whether on the keyboard or the canvas, as 'there is little time left in this life to become the eyes, the soul, the body that we are'.
Barbara Polla, May 2021