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Eye-catching exhibition puts nature in the limelight
Review

Eye-catching exhibition puts nature in the limelight

by Gabrielle Antar 28.01.2022
Two artists have a different take on nature, through clay paintings and a play on words
Henry Chapman's paintings display a colour wheel, resembling an abstract flower on a dark background with four words on each side
Henry Chapman's paintings display a colour wheel, resembling an abstract flower on a dark background with four words on each side
Photo credit: Gabrielle Antar

In an eye-catching exhibition in the centre of Luxembourg City, two artists offer their interpretation of nature through three-dimensional paintings using clay and another using a play on words. 

The Valerius gallery selected the works of French artist Natasha Mankowski and American artist Henry Chapman. When entering the exhibition, a glance across the room is enough to distinguish the two artists. Mankowski’s architectural background becomes obvious through her choice of three-dimensional paintings. The canvases are somewhere in between the completion of a painting and the start of a sculpture. 

Natasha Mankowski's 3D paintings using clay
Natasha Mankowski's 3D paintings using clay
Gabrielle Antar

The earthly colours she uses in the clay are inspired by the landscapes around the Greek seaside, such as colourful stones, marbles and minerals. Mankowski applies the clay onto the canvas and her work reminds viewers of landscapes such as ground maps, rocky textures and water flowing and seeping a surface. 

Henry Chapman's paintings display a colour wheel, resembling an abstract flower on a dark background with four words on each side. The words are a poetic take on the shapes and Chapman's colours. 

Viewers see an adjective-noun pattern such as “green square, blue water” or “blue violet, violent pink”. Chapman does not use these words to describe the painting itself but to create an additional dimension: they switch between being the subject of the art work and describing it.

Both artists exhibit nature and movement in their own way. Mankowski’s work is rooted in a more grounded and heavier motion while Chapman’s depiction of movement is more airy and light.

Valerius gallery, founded in 2017, is a space that focuses on emerging contemporary artists. Established by long-time collector Gerard Valerius, the gallery is run by 28-year-old Lou Philips. 

She is also the founder of Young Luxemburgish Artists, one of the first platforms for pre-emerging Luxembourgish artists. 


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