Claudie Laks, the explorer, out at first light. Ulysses cast as a feminist casting off from the Odyssey. Islands in the crossing lights, and sirens of bright color. A cosmos with no beginning and no end still idling, still spinning. The line invents its labyrinths, its perpetual avatar, its nest of curves, meandering creeks, its speckling of moray, its swarms of coral. Fluid and grounded Claudie. The scent of plants of her atolls. Ulysses has never wanted to go back home. Everything goes round in the clearing of Circe’s, the daughter of the Sun.
This freedom is consciousness. The trip is wide, wide awake. A vision in painting and in color that magnetizes Claudie Laks’s trajectory. Watching out–listening. Vigilent. Let’s listen, let’s wait, all the currents, all the coasts, everywhere. All the iridescences of the mirages. You have the feeling that there is simply no calculation; no constraint. But nothing is more dangerous, more exciting than just to let go of the line. To free the line and the color without giving up any of the clairvoyance. Be flexible, concentrate, light, hide yourself, alert, on the lookout, deep, gathered in and projected out, curt in your cords, your knots, your turns. Meandering or rupture uncovers the feeling. Whirling eddys everywhere. A spinning top! Free your fin and your wing, turn, cut, cross, dig, break, hang in the air, show yourself, back out, hurl yourself forward. Exhaust your inexhaustibility. Always right at the edge of chaos. Here is the volcano of forces and voltes. Not to sink, but to turn, to grab that great energy, to be dazzled by the void, fly, live around the abyss. Swallow flying by the edge. Claudie’s first name, the wingèd gutteral, the circle, the loop and the stroke that dedicates. Laks, lace. A swallow that forks again and again and betrays the omen. Tiresias can read the hen’s entrails as long as he wants, he will never guess your next gesture. Because your colors of Semiramis only appear in the gardens of desire.
Claudie Laks takes a leap into the vivid void, this breath that carries her. Adopt the energy of the world. Where is Claudie’s ego in these nomadic wanderings? The ego tied to the appearance of painting, ego taking off in the light, eye of a sparrowhawk. Swoop down on what it finds.
What is striking is the science of the raw stroke and the pure color. The nuances, the marvelous connections. The whole incredible rainbow, the links upon links upon links upon links. The vast Amazon of colors after the monsoon. The superpositions of the genesis, the excavations one after another, the scale of the quickness of the strokes, the reverberations between the layers of creation. Go deep, cover up, reveal the other texture. A thousand scenes are born and are lost in the material. All these effects without ever leaving the essence. Without depiction. Without abstraction!
Spontaneous arabesques and shooting volutes, subtle scribble but with nothing ornate or decorative. Nothing ostentatious, nothing showy but then there it is, emerging from its rings, its spindles, its arches. The dynamics of streams flowing from the abysses, crossing each other, plunging, danced up to the surface. To the squals, there and back, to the Leviathans of colors. Krill, small fry wriggling. Monsters glimpsed, fantastic combinations, « tropisms », as Nathalie Sarraute calls them, in the aquarium of arborations and materials. The dizzying hothouse of painting.
Looping gives in to crosshatching. A colored canine. Harrow of reds, of greens, of yellows, of blues, of blacks, of browns. An alchemy of Rimbaud’s colors, yes. Primitive. Vowels ! Wild adolescence. An animal of color. It will jump on you. It devours. The joy of devouring meat. All culture, all civilization scraped off. Off its leash. Bristled in the brush. Cézanne’s hatchings but removed from all reference, all landscape, everything. Just touch, and the enchanted circuit. This swift and nimble attack of the wildcat who is musing at noon. Never to abandon the principle, the power of the source. The effect of the active precipitate. Always hold on to the thread. Still see, still dance, choreography without a score to dance from. Life, and that’s all. Seeing. The power of color. Its own wildly intense will. Its happy science. »The virginal, strong and handsome today. »
Claudie risks. All that she possesses. The violence of color, its latencies, even gray, ashes, whites, the evanescence »Dissolving in air, weightless as air. » The raw touch, instinctive, relentless. Variegation, light or ready for war. Oh! What a lovely painting! These hornbills, these toucans caught in the nets, hooks of a fairy’s wave. The euphoria of the jungle.The volte of a sarabande. The color of a sword that is drawn suddenly coming forth from its humus, of its stunning compost. Its tactics, its intuitions. Its carefully considered chaos. Heroic and pioneer color. Lush anxiety. Dizzy! The amazon carried off …Spin, twist, let the colors explode! Pedal to the floor! Orchestrate the cadence of the nuances and the stridences. Dare to go all the way without capsizing. A beautiful chaos is the harmony of the exhorbitant. All the art that you could want for those that are hungering, frantically seeking beauty. And so the great baroque joy. That of ecstacy. Wanted: words to make the whole world explode.
…or else more tender tones, smoother. The intimate, the tangled secrets of a face all wound up and faded out, of a diluted countryside, of a scrambled story. Just stuff, scratchings, as Leiris said, hopscotch of the subconscious of painting…Another scene arises, more dreamlike and faded. Because color has its phantoms and its mirrors, its spirits without a cry, its exquisite nostalgias. Its cool gardens and its flowers from the other side. Anything is possible, nothing is taboo in the paradise of beginnings. All of color’s dawns, all of its sunsets, all of its migrations inbetween, in imagination. Its trance and its fainting. Its operas and what is in the wings. Its beyonds and divine messages. Its buried depths, its reminiscences of the depths, its frontal enchantments. Its sinking marshlands covered in flowers. Its immense mangrove swamps steeped, glowing with nuances. Its reflections of a proustian Vivonne. Its monochrome of cattleyas. Its speeded up profusion of color or its child-like sketchings. Its wand of color. The great, insatisable anarchy, the cosmic bacchanalia or the almost nothing. But who gives the totality? The simple line or the saturated whole? Color has its royal extravagance, its wastefulness, like Saradanaple, and the angel that might pass.
Claudie Laks always passes. A riot of colors and an ascetic. Indeed, we could also say that nothing is permitted so that the other freedom is born. Let the impossible youthfulness explode. The original palette. »A suit of lights » made of matter.
I do not know why Claudie Laks is not, as I see it, an abstract painter. Her paintings never give me a feeling of abstraction. They fill me with liaisons and syncopes of pure sensation. Nor is she an abstract-lyrical painter, because there is something more radical, more primitive in her work. But she is not simply a painter because she is totally conscious, a heightened intuition of painting. We often use the term ‘doodling’ or ‘scribbling’ in connection with her work. But nothing of the sort we would associate with a child, nothing naive, elementary, clumsy, charming or evolving. So? If we absolutely need to affix a (necessarily imperfect) label, Claudie Laks is an original painter.
A beautiful madness of painting. Color is some crazy weed. Taking over, captivating, abundant. Claudie Laks or the orchestration of the dandelions. Painting is the extreme, crazy love. Claudie Laks releases the lucid dreams of colors.
To leave. Ulysses or Jason, but not tied to the mast. Go through the isthmuses, the earthquakes. Smile at the sirens. All of the craters of color lavished on the sea in its lethal shimmering.
To find. Toss off all the bags to fly higher, to lighten the invention, to arrive, to be totally there in the moment.
Claudie Laks advanced in her studio, steps back, turns, waits, watches, waits again, surprises. Painting is athletic. Like Artaud describing an actor, »this actor of the heart », and murmurs. The painting consumes its maker in a spatial confrontation. Claudie, tireless bee, queen of distances and incredible corollas. Look for what has been traced, find the corner, the pigment, the gold, open the colored solution in the fishtrap of the work. The riddle holds its counsel. What must be done is to rend the seals linking the message to its meanings and its gods. Nectar! …To hear space, time, the rumor of all the possibilities. The tremendous sound of chaos keels you over. That’s seduction! Disappear in a swarm. The grand voluptuousness of capsizing. The instinct for life and for death melted, smelted. So take the helm on the propeller of the gaping maelstrom. The studio as boxing ring, till you lose your breath. Leiris’s bullring host for its bullfighter-artist! Wander. Choose.
A creator feels the direction right away. There he is! He is carried, carried away. To get by with neither eyelashes nor eyelids. Run off. Appear. At each moment the gamble, the thunder, the fairy. On the wire. At the tip of the diamond. Burn the priestess of Bacchus! Strike out, scratch out the the path in every direction with his blades of vair. See forces and gestures through the text of magic. Probe the incredible spring brambles. It’s coming in, yes, thousands of thorns of color. It’s there! What sudden fullness? Not Plato’s flower, »missing in every bouquet, » as Mallarmé said, but the multicolor hawthorn of the blossomed work.
Incandescent. Star of color. Venus in the morning. A thousand flowers. Thousands of sedimentary signs. Palimpsest covered with giant red women and midget white women. Interlacings of comets. Choreography, constellations, meadows. O distant Big Bangs! These tangled echos of gestures born of the cool of the morning.
The ballerina leaps, shepherdess of firmaments and forests, the protuberance of its wing. Fire, the beautiful, the robust…A shepherd’s crook from virgin painting. Today it is everything. Today it is wild.