Everything seems to fly over the surface. Like a cloud of gold dust blown by an alchemist’s chubby cheeks. Until that surface is cut by a straight line, with geometric angles that put the shapeless chaos in order. This is the dialogue produced by the new series of paintings and object-pictures created by Laura Benchetrit.  Her works of medium size format conjugate blurry undefined colors with the rigor of straight lines.

 

It is not difficult to associate this work to the tradition of oriental painting and its western mediators; it distinguishes from them by the diluted gesture on the surface she alternates with powerful gestures in graphics. There are significant changes in her last production, maybe influenced by her latest incursions in engraving.

 

That blurry thickness of color, that which evoked the atmosphere of a William Turner, the chromatic haiku which characterized her paintings today faces a new spatial dimension that does not have to do with the virtual space of the representation, but rather with the soundness of what is real. The pictorial support, the panels, is superimposed in an order that can alternate between symmetry and asymmetry, or between an octagonal disposition and a freer one. This superposition of  panels, the sum of surfaces resemble the accumulation of minute steps in a pyramid that was never construed, and the picture turns into a thin object that can be related to the start of a mock up like those made by the artists of constructivism or the Russian supremacy. Laura grants peculiar importance to the intermediate spaces, as in Sombra Secreta (Secret Shadow), a piece where the plane that interrupts the continuity among the other planes, occupies an uncommon leading role. Not less significant are the negative spaces, the drilling of the surface of the picture by polygon geometric forms. These polygons, (usually with four angles) cut the panels through and become portals to a secret darkness, a chromatic infra world that the viewer can slightly guess. These “holes” remind us of the importance of vacuum proclaimed by Lao Tsé in his Tao Te King: “with earth are the made pots but the utility of the pots depend on their emptiness; to build a house doors and windows must be made; and those empty openings are what allow to use it”. The doors and windows that Laura incorporates to her works precipitate us onto a metaphorically infinite zone, the “behind the picture”, provoking a sensation of secret curiosity. The disposition of some planes, partially covering the “holes” predisposes us to think of a semi hidden access, as if she invited us in, although with a certain ill feeling. In previous works, Laura would immerse us in the womb of a storm of color; in this new series she builds a bridge between two well defined dimensions, between a universe that is unpredictably unfolded and a reasoning that orders it through geometry and the straight line, a link between the immediately visible and the adjacent invisible. The poetic titles: Geometry of light, Secret shadow or Unbearable lightness, confirm the intention of showing a reality that is somewhat difficult to compr, almost a paradox between that which is in itself and this which we can perceive.