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From Earth, 2015

herman de vries
Ground soil on paper

70 x 50 cm


Walking on colours. Treading the rainbow. Embracing the surprise at one’s feet, the gift of down-to-earth colours.

For Herman de Vries, nature is a work of art which he merely passes on. His sole ambition is to give it a frame. In From Earth, he sprinkles a small amount of earth onto a sheet of paper. Then, with his fingertips, he spreads it and lets the colour seep into the paper. Pad on pulp. A simple gesture. A minimal intervention to respect and reveal nature. Purely and wholeheartedly.

The Artist

His studio is outdoors. The work has already been accomplished. There it is, within one’s gaze and one’s reach. herman de vries sees nature, experiences it. His approach consists in sharing this experience, by rendering it as loyally as possible, with neither intervention nor transformation.

To achieve this, he collects, samples, displays what already exists, has grown, withstood the seasons and the years. From his trips outdoors, he thus brings back the diversity of forms and
colours on offer. His ambition to collect the earth, to constitute a museum in its honour developed with his expeditions outside, until he formed a catalogue containing over 8,000 hues, that constantly grows and that the viewers add to by simply contemplating it. The winter vegetation, the shape of bamboos, of leaves or the huge variety of stones, everything is conducive to the fulfilment of the plan he has set for himself : namely to renew the immediacy between nature and Man, to be aware of the sense of belonging and of the necessary connection, by shedding a new light on earth matters
with the aid of art. A sanctified presence at the time of Anthropocene. Born in 1931 in the Netherlands, his life as an artist began in 1953, following horticultural training and research work in scientific institutions. During those years, he learned to compare, to recount the data specific to each species studied, to objectively lay out their distinctive features, and this approach still distinguishes his practice and his quest today. The art of cultivating the love of the world and of passing on its poetry.

Exhibition Poussières d’étoiles (Stardust)
From 26th May to 15th Decembre 2018
Under the creative guidance of Garance Primat Curators: Hervé Mikaeloff et Ingrid Pux