The work of Anne Marie Jugnet + Alain Clairet arises out of their experience of New Mexico. Their approach is a reduction into a rare and refined essence that is subtle, yet invokes exuberance in the viewer.
Their “Square Roots” series are simultaneously drawings, paintings and evocations of feelings. Though one may challenge oneself to resist projecting meaning onto the bold jumble of lines and colors, one feels no guilt in doing so. The paintings are vibrant, graphic and animated, inspiring immediate emotion at first sight. Sustained observation yields deeper introspection.
The techniques that Jugnet + Clairet employ to produce the “Square Roots” series of paintings are a fascinating amalgam of old school, early tech and high tech processes. Their blending of these disparate techniques is seamless. Even on close inspection, it takes time to discern how these paintings were made. The draughtsmanship is loose and expressive, joyful even, merging into the roughly diagrammatic “roots”, yet shape and line are extremely precise in execution, pristinely digital, accurate to the millimeter.
Jugnet + Clairet revel in this kind of evocative dichotomy, which is also seen in their pairings of work in the side gallery: the atmospheric sense of light in a Lamy, New Mexico morning vs. evening, contrasted with the hard specificity of grammatical concepts that become inexplicably oblique when embedded into the surface of the canvas. A diptych, a subtle study in modulated color that takes some time to absorb, is soft, serene and dreamlike. The visual effect is sublime.
Even the hum of the large neon piece hanging high above can be apprehended, albeit irrationally, as crickets on a warm summer evening in Lamy—yet the hum is also rationally understood to be the vibration of 10,000 volts arcing through the glowing noble gasses confined within fragile glass tubes.
Experiencing the work of Jugnet + Clairet, one is acutely aware of one’s own cognitive processes at work: the interplay of irrational subjective interpretation moderated by rational thought; and sensation derived from mathematical precision.