Sunday, May 6, 2018

Pierrette Bloch at Karsten Greve

When Bill and I passed through the door of the Karsten Greve gallery last Saturday and we were so excited by what we found that we had to come back for another look.
Come with us. We'll have a look together.
What we have here is a sampling of sixty years of work by an artist who was born in Paris and who died here last year at age 89.
Early in her career Pierrette Bloch made a decision to work with only the most humble of materials -- paper, ink, pastel, crayon and sometimes horse hair. 
She developed a repertoire of dots, dashes and lines.
worked to mesmerizing effect.
But every mark unique.
 The Karsten Greve gallery is a nice space. Lots of light.
Here's a closer look at that drawing between the windows.
Her drawings sometimes remind us of calligraphy.
Bill between an ink piece and a collage.
A closer look at that collage.
Bloch was very particular about her paper and her inks.
She said she liked to disappear into the work.
This piece of paper is only a few inches long but for me evokes a busy thoroughfare full of incident.
On the other hand the pastel on this tan paper evokes only the beauty of the materials and the quality of attention of the artist.
OK, now what the heck is this tiny strip of smudged paper?
Here's the whole thing -- ten inches long?
When I look closer I see landscape.
Bill particularly loved this long piece. How long is this strip of paper? Ten feet?
Bloch said she liked to stay "in the moment of doing, in the present -- in the present and also in a state of discovery, hoping that there will be a discovery. Or an encounter. This is an adventure that I love".
She enjoyed showing her long narrow pieces in groups. The pieces were actually sold separately. We say collect them all
One small example of Bloch's textile works -- this one of knotted horsehair
lightly pinned to the wall.
She also enjoyed extended curlicue drawings. This one is in pastels. Reminiscent of Twombly.
All of these tiny groups sold at the gallery. What tiny treasures!
A closer look at one of the groups above.
Bill bought these two catalogues with some 'birthday money'.
"I want to be rather than to capture... and to persevere. I am a perseverant person because I am 88 and still working." -- Pierrette Bloch. Portrait by James Caritey from one of our catalogues.

*  *  *

We'll let Bloch have the last word in this eight minute documentary filmed in her studio. Even if your French isn't up to scratch you'll get a good sense of this fascinating lady.

Pierette Bloch quotes from Pierrette Bloch: Un certain nombre d'oeuvres 1971-2016. Paris: Galerie Karsten Greve, 2017


  1. Thank you for introducing me to Ms Bloch. Wow!
    Striking work indeed.
    Glad you had a chance you could visit two times.

  2. Isn't her work amazing,Lisa?! So strange to discover someone who has had such a long, successful art career. I bought 2 catalogues of past shows. You must see!