nancy Art’stom 22: Lorraine’s artist fair brings a bit of humanity to this world of brutes

Christine Hoffmann’s little swimmers cling to its base, obviously ready to plunge. They are certainly waiting for the opening to start. In the background, stoic, the great clay women born from the hands of Céline Laurent Desort rise up with a dignified and tormented patience. The cartonero, for his part, only cares about the brush that Jacques Koskowitz puts in his hands, very indifferent to the little ceremony that is being prepared. Waited for more than two years!

very popular exhibition

The 127th edition of the Lorraine artists’ association salon, now known as Art’stom, has suffered two years of pandemic deprivation. Two years in which some members put their brushes to sleep, “paralyzed by distressing news”, while others, on the contrary, “took the opportunity to create in high doses”. Says Francis Mangeot, president of the association, delighted to reconnect with this key meeting. “And getting this great machine back up and running was not without its challenges. But there you have it, it’s done. In addition, I have the impression that we have made a qualitative leap. The selection was probably even more difficult than usual…”

The profusion is however flagrant, since some 130 artists have ended up finding their place on the bases and walls of the Alstom site, to which are added the studio work of dozens of students from the association. Without forgetting the important contributions of five invited artists.

The panel of techniques is diverse, even if watercolor is a good advance. Sometimes very modern, like Donna Acheson-Juillet’s hanging or Viktoria Prischedko’s fascinating trilogy.

The range of styles is compound, the multiple inspirations, the heterogeneous materials… It is up to the exhibition’s curator, Claude Semelet, to achieve unity.

However, there is clearly a guide line, or rather a silhouette… human, necessarily human. If not omnipresent, she is asserting herself as the owner of the place this year. Art’stom 2022 is a very well attended exhibition…

Emblematic of this observation: the space assigned to Jean-Marie Cherruault. Such compelling movement animates each of his powerfully theatrical scenes that the characters seem to threaten to tear themselves away from him.

Spoonbills and horned beasts

Further on, in the salon, dozens of human stories are whispered in miniature under Alencrenoire’s pen, while in the main salon, by “magic”, one of the faces imagined by André Hoblingre becomes visibly younger in eyes.

If man invests the place, animality also has its part to defend, it reminds us of Stéphanie Abscheidt’s metal horse, so fiery that it has forgotten its half.

Graceful spoonbills curl with fluffy precision under Françoise Buisson’s brush, and Olivier Claudon’s horned beasts sometimes display their backbones, sometimes their snouts with surprising realism not devoid of sensuality.

Each hanging, with two or three works per exhibitor (much more for the guests), thus opens up a unique clearing. We enter it, we catch a ray of light, a feeling, we feed on it… or not. But inevitably, there are some whose crossing will leave traces. sustainably.

Alstom headquarters, every day from 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., until June 26 (€2)

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