Simon Le Ruez: Paris can stay in bed

by Vane | Gateshead
Date of event: 03/10/19 - 02/11/19
Artist: Simon Le Ruez (Sheffield)

The title of the exhibition is taken from a line in Leo Carax’s 1991 film, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (The Lovers on the Bridge). With grim radiance, the film charts the story of two fractured individuals discovering each other on Paris’ oldest bridge, upon which themes of abandonment, freedom, desire and redemption are played out with the city as a backdrop. Le Ruez’s new work aligns itself with these multifaceted and fragmented themes. Potent relationships are key to the experience of his work and whilst these may be explored through form, material and structure, a deeper, more complex introspection permanently resides.

Hand blown glass forms permeate the artist’s new work injecting refinement; exquisite digressions and qualities of tension. Like a precarious, revealed interior of communal space within an apartment building, the work Between Brooklyn and the Bronx (2019), hosts a fevered collection of objects and arrangements, which might allude to misfit characters or inhabitants. A hierarchy is at play, with the pinnacle of the piece reserved for a sweeping glass form, which sits there surveying and emanating with all the will and secrecy of a silent concierge. High Holy Days (2019) is a work that takes this sense of refinement further. Two glass forms lay ceremoniously alone on a marble platform, one penetrating the other with a charge of illicit joy. Yet one may wonder if it is a mutual act of celebration or something altogether untoward. Possible conflicting relationships and a sense of brooding are further explored in The Monk (2019), where a bright yet nostalgically coloured structure plays host to, among other things, a muted grey vertical board and a protruding bulbous glass form.