6542 - 20170304 - Irene Laub Gallery - Brussel - Jessica Lajard - 13.01.2017-04.03.2017


Jessica Lajard, The Seven Smokers, 2014-2016, Glazed porcelain and faience, Variable dimensions.
The works of Jessica Lajard engage with the moment, with the immediacy of perception.
Hers are images that strike the retina and seize the distracted eye; they seduce, and then retain.

What first draws the attention in the ceramics and mixed installations of Jessica Lajard, is the taste for materials and colors. A manifest pleasure of working the material and playing with textures is evident in her work. The reading is further completed with references to the domestic world or anecdotes from her own daily life. She subverts them with a destabilizing, sometimes biting, sense of humor. These hybrid images evoke the pop creations of Tom Wesselmann, such as for instance The Seven Smokers, a set of porcelain vases from Jingdezhen, topped by mouths holding burning cigarettes, whose motifs combine Chinese tradition and tobacco swirls. Her practice functions like a rebus in the sense that the understanding of the whole is based on each separate element and each separate element can alter the reading of the whole. Combinations with evocative powers such as the ones in Eye Candy offer a decidedly erotic vision of whipped cream and the interlocking of positive and negative forms. Hangover, on the other hand, is a rather visual and literal translation, with its remains of the night before ‘hanging over’ a lounge chair.

The ambivalence of senses, through a clever distortion of materials and textures, and the ambivalence of meaning, evident in both the personal and collective report, partake in the creation of a confusing but familiar universe.

As points out Jean de Loisy*, Jessica Lajard «always cleverly organizes the discomfort of our perceptions by using a language that seems so everyday that we cannot immediately grasp that it is a protest against the whole idea of aesthetics.»

After growing up in the Caribbean Jessica Lajard moved to Paris to pursue her art studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris where she recieved her diploma in 2010. Jessica Lajard’s work is a repertoire of shapes freely inspired by popular imagery which are often combined with sexual illusions that flirt with the grotesque. Sometimes thought out in advance through drawing, her installations spread out in space just like they did during the 59th Salon of Montrouge (2014) where the artist plunged us into a textured post-card scenery, where she blended textile, ceramic elements and marble in a fizzy, pop and surreal atmosphere of shells and crustaceans. For her nomination at the Révélations Emerige 2015 she captured us in a more intimate and domestic installation with Somewhere Where the Grass is Greener. She has participated to many group shows and fairs and, after her residency at Ensa Limoges, her work was shown at the Musée National Adrien Dubouché - Cité de la céramique Sèvres & Limoges. In 2016 she had two major solo shows, Soft Spot at La Traverse, the Contemporary Art Centre of Alfortville (FR) and Out of the Blue at the François Mitterrand Cultural Centre in Beauvais (FR).

*Director of Palais de Tolyo, Paris (FR)
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