Emmanuel Saulnier has been developing an essentially sculptural body of work, in a constant dialogue with the practice of drawing. Even though glass is his preferred material, the artist explores the potential of matter in the broadest sense. His work confronts such issues as collective memories, presence and disappearance.
Entitled “Black Dancing” and organised in three phases, Emmanuel Saulnier’s show at Palais de Tokyo provides visitors with the possibility to activate, by their presence, the particular rhythm of each work or series of works. The first space, whose floor has been covered with pieces of tarmac from a public building site, contrasts thanks to its darkness with a second space, which is vast and luminous.
In “Round Midnight”, a new series of pieces specially devised for this exhibition, the artist pays homage to the jazz standard of the same name composed by Thelonious Monk. As an allusion to the pianist’s famous improvisational style, the sculpture escapes from its constraints to become a free, spontaneous gesture; it mutates into a drawing in space, on the scale of the site. Poetic correspondences are woven between the transparency of glass and sculpted wood, asphalt or else dried ink, whose darkness evokes the night of the soul.