Frédéric Poincelet has invited twenty-one artists to present a work—and sometimes several works—on the theme of the bouquet. The bouquets are exhibited on the walls, in a dense, rich, and heterogeneous display.
‘The silent beauty of flowers’, and, by association, the ephemeral splendour of nature, the fragility of human life, and vanity—it is this hackneyed theme of the still life that Frédéric Poincelet has chosen in order to go beyond the very issue of the subject. And this is what interests him: to showcase drawing as an art in itself, without making statements, leaving it unadulterated as the foremost element of the work and this approach. This is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, which is evident in the very title of the exhibition, ‘Des fleurs pour Valentin’ (‘Flowers for Valentine’). One accepts the cliché, the convention of the bouquet, and the idea behind the exhibition, together with the language of flowers and their symbolism, and even the customary climax of the programmed love and affection of Saint Valentine’s Day, on 14 February, the date chosen for the exhibition’s vernissage.
Frédéric Poincelet, who is an experienced curator—an activity he has been involved in for several years through editorial work and the associated exhibitions organised by Frédéric Magazine—has coordinated this ensemble, which he has exploited and tried to mould, as part of his approach. Each artist, in attempting to address one theme, has tackled another, as no one is under any illusions about their contribution to the project, and even about how a draughtsman tackles this non-subject. Showcasing contemporary drawing—to be understood in a broader sense that also includes engraving and watercolour—is something that Frédéric Poincelet finds very interesting and stimulating.
The attention paid to the work of the exhibited artists, some of whom have made this motif a recurrent theme in their work, led to a desire to bring together artists’ ‘bouquets’ and add his message: the aim is to create a dialogue between the drawings—which have many objectives—, like a single language.
Most of the works are original works created for the exhibition, while other, older works were brought together for the project, such as a 1942 work in Indian ink by Geneviève Asse, a 1995 engraving by David Hockney, and a lithograph by Bernard Buffet. Amongst the artists invited to take part in the exhibition are figures from the worlds of illustration and comic books—Blutch, Floc’h, François Olislaeger, and Fabio Viscogliosi—, and draughtsmen and painters: Abdelkader Benchamma, Marc Desgranchamps, Stéphane Calais, Tal R, and Cristof Yvoré.