Inès Longevial Reflects on Dualities in ‘Pourfendue'

Inès Longevial‘s paintings transcend self-portraiture. For the French artist, paint is the primary means to transcribe her fleeting emotions, much like one writes down an entry on their phone or in a diary. On view at Almine Rech London, Pourfendue (split in French) comprises of a series of new paintings that she created to reflect on the theme of duality.

Similar to her last show Perchée at Ketabi Bourdet, Longevial took inspiration from the novels of Italian writer and journalist, Italo Calvino. The Cloven Viscount tells the fictional tale of Viscount Medardo of Terralba, a nobleman who was split in two by a cannonball during the Turkish Wars of the 17th century. While one half goes on to live a nefarious life, the other returns to represent virtue, as the two squabble over their love for the same woman.

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If flesh is the element that defines humans, as noted by French novelist Line Papin, then Longevial “captures it, with paint. She tackles the subject and shapes it with colors, shadows, and lights.” Within the exhibition, Medardo’s twin personality is captured through the diametric color choices Longevial renders on canvas, where her paintings ask the viewer: “what are we to do with this body,” Papin adds, “how do we twist it, deform it, transform it, transcend it?”

Pourfendue coincides with the artist’s first monograph, recently published by Rizzoli. For those in London, the exhibition will be on view until December 22.
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