56 HENRY is pleased to announce Feelings are transitory spaces, the gallery’s second solo exhibition by Paris-based artist Pierre Bellot, on view from September 6 through October 22, 2023, at the 105 Henry Street space. The show presents six oil paintings made in 2023. Whereas Bellot’s 2022 exhibition at 56 HENRY, Weekdays, featured contemplative small-scale watercolor works, Feelings are transitory spaces transitions toward a more sizable set of equally meditative oil paintings.
A significant work is The Dream at the Hotel. This extensive canvas captures a fleeting moment infused with an otherworldly aura, painted, like all pieces in the exhibition, in a subdued, minimal palette of hazy greens, yellows, grays, and beiges. It has the quality of a collage, divided into three parts by white vertical lines. While most of the composition seems like an abstract play of lines and color fields, perhaps indicating fuzzy and obscured landscapes or architecture, we find a figurative element in the upper-right corner consisting of three painted pages—a mountain, a blurred letter, and a mask—evoking a brief encounter in a dream that never clarifies its specific symbolic meaning.
Bellot skillfully employs the unique qualities of oil paint, layering it thickly and with texture. White backgrounds often extend beyond the edges of the canvas, creating an uneven and visually engaging border. This technique lends itself to a serene ambiance that is also present in another substantial work in the exhibition, Mangrove (Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil). Here, the artist’s fascination with nature becomes utterly evident. His soft and harmonious color palette, combined with diffuse lighting, evokes a sense of timelessness; the canvas becomes a meeting place for light, memory, and sentiment. Our eyes wander through the twisting branches of mangroves, seemingly reaching the sky and then melding into abstract forms. Only the title offers a knowing nod that the work might draw inspiration from Paris’s botanical garden and is perhaps reminiscent of Claude Monet’s water lilies. Melatonin’s Risotto is a divided canvas featuring the profile of a woman on one side and a collection of circles or bubbles on the other. Again, we encounter a dreamlike quality in which fragments of imagery resist straightforward interpretation.
Another striking work is Thrown Flowers, a canvas adorned with an array of blooms that appear as though hurled into the realm of our unconscious. Dandelions, strawflowers, daisies, and dahlias intermingle, their forms hazy and elusive. Nestled in one corner we find fragments of a musical score—notes that bear a striking resemblance to flowers. This imagery invokes a contemporary of Monet, Erik Satie, whose enigmatic composition Gymnopédie No. 1 (1888), with its undulating procession of quarter notes, suggests both flowers swaying in the breeze and a sensation of drifting through the currents of time.
Pierre Bellot (b. 1990) lives and works in Paris. He graduated from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2015. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Art Concept, Paris; Galerie du Crous, Paris; and Galerie Premier Regard, Paris and group exhibitions at Noah Klink, Berlin; Collection Lambert, Avignon, L'Espace Tajan, Paris; and at Bastille Design Center, Palais des Beaux-Arts, La Villette, Progress Gallery in Paris. In 2019–2020, he was a member of the French Academy in Madrid, at Casa de Velázquez.