Grace and spirit

Marie Rosen looks just like her paintings. Shy with words and with demonstrations, she keeps to her quiet life, in order to remain in her fertile bubble.

Her world is a world of the afterlife. It is a playground that urges her to share gems in bits and pieces, from one painting to another.

Without ever going beyond a way of seeing, of saying, of painting that would contravene her natural inclination towards a minimalist expression, Marie Rosen plants banderillos without the need for the bullfighting décor.

She tells herself stories that she then inscribes on wooden supports with the patience of a silversmith, one that weaves and braids, detail after detail, discreet treasures – alike a spider in its inexhaustible realm.

Marie Rosen’s art is a domain penetrable not to all. To savor its charms, one needs abnegation, modesty, a boundless love for the ‘almost nothing which says it all’, a sensibility equal to hers – otherwise it is best not to venture her way.

Neither naivety nor clumsiness. On the contrary, a formulation that knows what it wants, where it wants to go, and that sets her apart from other enterprises, more or less similar but, in most cases, light years away.

We remember discovering her a few years ago – or was it a dozen? It does not matter! when for the first time she exhibited her paintings in Stavelot. As soon as it was seen, it was adopted; Marie Rosen intrigued.

And intrigued, because her paintings themselves were intrigue. It was emotion as never brought to life before. Since then, she has not failed the path tracing her entry into the running. A path in which the symbolism of its subject-matter and details confided its fertile unreality to the painted impact, with a minutia of a medieval nun all with its objects of meditation.

Well of her century, however, Marie Rosen paired grace with the development of ideas which, since then, have made their way throughout the years to refinement, each painting requiring from her a heap of patience.

At this point in the tale, it would seem that I have told you everything. However, I have not said much about the object (the subject?) of her patience. In the way of her scenes, of her small character games amid the four cardinal points of her surprising oil images.

Surprising images which are themselves stories that she could have lived or dreamed, or both, and we are back in this interior universe that weaves her whole, unalterable.

Her decors? In fact, situations that, far from being decorative, tie the plot by polishing arms, and constitute the essence and the space of her delicate interventions in our imagination, troubled by her flying-blind inventiveness.

In the backgrounds of her painting, sometimes, wallpapers that she punctuates with softness, flowers or geometries. To toughen them, sometimes, characters in search of an author, at times sitting or standing in a surprising emptiness, as if the seat was mere pretext.

Sometimes facing portraits, empty looks or deeply interiorized, object of lust and of reflection. Because these paintings, as simple as they may appear, are the registers of infinite thoughts.

Often spaces reinforced by geometries, sometimes in trompe-l’oeil. Sometimes also spaces devoid of humans (sometimes in ambush), sealed as if their surfaces were barricaded, of obstacles, of empty holes, of unexpected foliage.

And, above all, an unusual omnipresent force. The unusual in our lives when situations, like objects of the fourth dimension, superimpose on all-too obvious landmarks. Such inertia just waiting to come alive.

And to toughen, to sublime, there is her culture of detail and of precision, with which she paints a flower, a rug of nature, a face, a depth of field.

There are her colors, often quiet, subtle, skilled. Her paint touch, infinitely delicate. Her culture of geometry distributed in space, shortening or developing. There’s her art to impress with humble means. A minimalism that touches the depth of our being.

Roger Pierre Turine