ALAIN BERLAND, 2018
October 2018 is the month of “Creators of Expanse”, one of artists who construct areas that they have literally and geometrically conceived. The Palais de Tokyo will host Tomas Saraceno, while the Bertrand Grimont Gallery will welcome Laurent Ajina. The prior uses spiders to expose a myriad of gigantic webs of silk. The latter traces enigmatic artefacts in scores of ink, long vacillating and evanescent streaks of colour. Lines extend from a rigging point, a skirting board, the angle of a door, any point that can anchor the constructions that obsessively haunt the spaces. Abstract entanglements, fiendish and dissolute, that the artist builds with a near instinctual urge as if to offer us a potential refuge.
One must remember that Laurent Ajina previously studied architecture, and throughout the past decade has been developing this unique method of tracing on the surface of materials : walls, ceilings, canvas, paper. One may note that over the course of the years, the graphic and sombre lines in dense constructions that Ajina once favoured have given way to lighter, more rounded and aerial lines creating more space than composition, all the while leaving room for organic and mineralogical materials to be integrated into the constructions. Elaborating his works with calm and a more visible relation to his past, Ajina is perhaps revealing the cartograms etched in his mind from the numerous travels of his youth, as well as those of the present; cartograms engendered by his long walks in the mountains or promenades in the streets of Vienna where he lives and works.
The walls of the Bertrand Grimont gallery host vacillating lines traced exclusively with Ajina’s tool of predilection; a marker, filled for the first time with extra fine cyan blue acrylic ink enabling the artist to capture more light. The walls also host large canvases elaborated in the same manner, but this time with a more expressionist technique. The backgrounds have more colour, there are pentimentos, scrapings, and superpositions ; indications of wandering, markers of an increasingly nomad world where traceability triumphs over identity.