The Bite Magazine - Autmn/Winter 2020 - Issue 28

Jada Brookes is captivated by French artist Nathalie Boutté’s exhibition entitled Way Down South available through the online viewing room at the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York. B orn 1967 in Senlis, the northern French region of Oise, visual artist Nathalie Boutté was much inspired by the 1980s. This tur- bulent era was marked by growing global capitalism, mass media, discrepancies in wealth, and music and fashion epitomised by electronic pop music and hip hop. It was a time when iconic events like the African Famine, the end of the Cold War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall sig- nificantly changed and shaped the world. The 1980s also made way for the prom- inent art movements Neo Geo and The Pictures Generation alongside Neo-Ex- pressionism, which became well-known in Germany, France, and Italy. Phenome- nal artists like Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente, Jörg Immendorff, Anselm Kiefer, and Julian Schnabel climbed to creative heights.At the same time, Jean- Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf established street art and graffiti movements. Nathalie Boutté is an artist that has a close relationship with paper, a raw material that is preferable in her work. She cuts all types of paper, whether it is maps, novels, white paper, printed paper, tracing paper, even banknotes into strips and gives them a new lease of life in her creations. It was perhaps due to her previous career in publish- ing and graphic design when the process was still manual that she had not aban- doned her rotrings and cutters despite the advent of computers. Her work begins with the photo- graph, especially daguerreotypes and autochromes, some of the oldest pho- tographic impressions of the fixed image. Having a passion for these images and their histories, Nathalie is influenced by historical photographers such as Edward Curtis, Malick Sidibé, and Seydou Keïta. The artist then recreates three-dimen- sional reinterpretations of old silver prints by meticulously assembling each paper strip one by one to produce mind-blowing and voluminous artworks. She has presented her work in exhi- bitions at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Washington, USA; Lesher Centre for the Arts, San Francisco, USA; Domaine de Chamarande, France; and Museum Rijswijk, the Netherlands, among others. For her first solo show at MAGNIN-A Gallery in Paris, France, she revisited the photography collection of Rufus W. Holsinger, who moved to Charlottes- ville,Virginia in the 1880s. He eventually became the best photographer in town, renowned for the high quality of his prints. The American photographer used a wet-collodion process, an old pho- tographic technique that uses a solution-coated glass panel to allow great precision and a rich grayscale in the prints. Nathalie expanded upon his biteartistprofile Nathalie Boutté Way Down South Artist Exhibition © Nathalie Boutté, Kleinefenn. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York “Weh Down Souf is a beautiful poem sang as a gospel hymn. I like to think that those, to whom I’ve paid homage here, once sang it. Their voices accompany me in this travel toward the south” - Nathalie Boutté Nathalie Boutte Isaac Caldwell, 2019