Nora Kapfer, Pretty Serious Stuff, 13 April – 18 May 2024

Pretty Serious Stuff is Nora Kapfer’s second solo exhibition at Édouard Montassut. The artist presents a body of new works—four oil paintings and one piece rendered in bitumen. Linked by recurring motifs, notably silhouettes or outlines of flowers and rustic amoeba-like ornamentation; they are all structured by underlying grids. The grids are either part of the structured paper mounted onto the surfaces or painted.

In one painting, the strong outlines of a pansy, a recurrent motif within the artist’s oeuvre, provide a frame against which an array of different flower silhouettes emerges from a dissolving grid, adorned in hues of pinks, beiges, greys, and cerulean blue. In a second painting, this same pansy silhouette has fallen over and filled in with a forcefully light bouquet of brushstrokes.

Hard edges and soft surfaces, along with an intrepid application of colour, seem to have led to the emergence of new painterly events within the exhibited works. They continue to be about making and letting the paintings emerge from their materials. However, this time, there appears to be less emphasis on the process of becoming a painting. Instead, they talk bluntly about having materialized as pictures.

“The word stuff […] caused me to stumble, because I realized I’d lost whatever control I thought I had in the conversation when he used that word.”