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Mireille Martin took to painting after keeping sketchbooks, in which she would cut out geometric shapes with scissors. Fascinated by the Abbey of Fontevraud and the magic of its black and white stone, she intentionally oriented her own painting style toward opting for stark motifs and basic “non-colours”, which she tirelessly explores in her series “Allers-Retours” (“Comings and Goings”) by opposing contrasts.
Drawn to Abstract Expressionism, the artist works in the spirit of Geometric Abstraction. Originating in the first quarter of the 20th century, the movement is currently witnessing a remarkable revival thanks to painters such as Mireille Martin, whose art is based on combining and diversifying abstract shapes. Assembling well constructed and radically simple elements allows her to divide and to accentuate space with black and white solid fills, whilst simultaneously playing on right angles and the diagonal line. Going beyond merely a strict mathematical representation, she demonstrates with extreme sobriety and very sparing means (in both her acrylic and Indian ink paintings) her ability to create formal perfection through astonishing plays of balance and simple contrasts of non-colours.
She describes her conception of art as follows: “For me, geometry has always been a source of poetry and a pretext for escape.” Her trips to China have also been decisive in her artistic career, which is very marked by Chinese philosophy. Her approach is as much an aesthetic reflection as a genuine pictorial meditation. Mireille Martin conveys a style that exudes rhythm, energy and harmonious perfection in ever-renewed forms.
Francine BUNEL-MALRAS, Historian of Art