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claire beaulieu








Les Tulipes", installation view     photo: J.Rivera


"Mimosa", installation view    photo: J.Rivera





Dress #1", watercolor on paper 10" x 5.5"   photo: J.Rivera











"Les mouchoirs" fabric, glass metal, 10" x 20" approx.  photo:J.Rivera


"Los Manos" fabric, found objects 24" X 24"







Chambre des fragilites

The French word "tissu" means fabric, whether it be silk, cotton or linen. In my work, the fabric refers to cellular tissue, to microscopic fiber or to the structure of nature itself. It also suggests the organization of society as in the expressions "tissu social" (social fabric) and "tissu urbain" (urban fabric).

I use the word "tissu" as a concept as I intertwine the different levels of meaning. In the light of this poetic image, life becomes a delicate fabric. Layering is also important in my work. I use it as a material reality, for example, by superimposing coats of paint or layers of fabric, and as a conceptual reality to speak of a complex web of relations between the material and the meaning.

My iconography is inspired by a vocabulary of the female universe, including clothing and jewelry, and by the structure of the natural universe: botany, biology and astronomy. Transparency, contrasts of scale, the emptiness and the use of delicate objects speak metaphorically of the complexity and the fragility of life. My work evokes both the profane and the sacred, the macroscopic and the microscopic, social rituals as well as intimate life, while it remains in constant dialogue with art history. 

During my stay at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, I have created assemblages and wall installations. Two of these installations, "Les tulipes" and "Mimosa," primarily refer to the concept of the dressing room and incorporate found objects, paintings, watercolors and scuptures. Another installation, "In vivo," consists of suspended blown-glass spheres. A version of this piece has already been presented at the Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo Yvonamor Palix in Mexico City. It evokes a group of living cells as the light passes through the spheres to create shadows on the ground inviting the viewer into a dialogue with the intimate living space of different organisms.

I have also realized a series of collages, as well as watercolors. In "Tribute to Agnes Martin" I have used old transparent scarves, tule and drops of glass to build, in several layers, an ambiguous and subtle space. The space between each layer of fabric, and the superimposition of these evanescent fabrics, evoke the minimalist grid. In another series, "Les mouchoirs," "Les jupons d'Anne" and "Tribute to Stuart Arends," the emphasis is on transparency, as layers of glass and fabric create a space where frontal space and perspective space are merged.

Claire Beaulieu 2001