Featured Artist - Agathe Bouton
Biography Agathe Bouton is a French artist, originally from Paris. She moved to Philadelphia 4 years ago, and is now based in Wynnewood PA. She works mainly in various forms of printmaking, but also in painting and collage. She studied in one of the finest and most famous applied art schools of Paris, ESAA Duperré, and has shown her art in many exhibitions in France and around Europe, as well as Australia, Japan, India, Burma, West Africa, Turkey and the USA. She has won a number of awards for her work. Some of Agathe’s work is displayed at the Gallery Martine Namy-Caulier in Paris, and she also has work in the permanent collection of the National Library of Paris. Since leaving Paris 13 years ago Agathe has lived, and exhibited her work, in London, Rangoon (Burma), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Dakar (Senegal), and Istanbul (Turkey), before now settling in the US. Her work is inspired and fed by all her experiences and the cultures she has discovered during her travels. Her work breaks the boundaries of the traditional medium of engraving and etching. Her modern approach to this ancient technique means her work tends to be more colourful and pictorial, and less graphic than traditional engraving. Agathe is a Professional Artist Member at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford, InLiquid Creative Member, Artist Member at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists and Full Member of the 3rd Street Gallery in Philadelphia. Artist statement I have loved cities since my childhood : growing up in Paris; visiting my Grandparents’ Le Corbusier apartment; watching Jacques Tati’s films with their playful modernism. I continue to be inspired by the urbanism I see around me in Philadelphia. Whether the building be a new block of offices or apartments, or an abandoned warehouse, an old administrative center, or a half-demolished home – I am drawn to the history and lives they evoke, as well as their intrinsic beauty - whether that beauty comes from design or degradation, or some combination of the two. My latest artwork are interpretations of these buildings – sometimes in detail, sometimes with a broader view. These urban landscapes with their grand facades, their patchworks of broken windows, their color palette, the reflections sometimes of other buildings sometimes of the sky. These artworks are intended to evoke reflections on the lives lived within these spaces, and in finding beauty, making beauty, in the urbanism that surrounds us. As Leeza Ahmady has noted, in this way Bouton appropriates loss, decay, and deterioration as an essential physical aspect of the world, and transmutes or recycles it back into order, serenity and beauty. Color has always had an important place in my work, which has often focused on a modern approach to engraving and print art. Here I created monotypes and played with improvisation and superimposition in their creation, so although the work is monochrome (echoing traditional engraving and etching), the colour appears in different half-tones, shades and densities, in a way that can’t be achieved with traditional approaches. Archiving the color palette into an evocation of the original inspiration.
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