Nathalie Cuvelier Abstraction(S), the art that arises from a totally instinctive approach

Nathalie Cuvelier Abstraction(S), the art that arises from a totally instinctive approach

Olimpia Gaia Martinelli | Apr 9, 2022 5 minutes read 0 comments

The artistic production of Nathalie Cuvelier Abstraction(s), totally instinctive and dominated by color, is the result of an abstract dialogue that has developed between "floating" paper collages and ceramic sculptures...

sculpture creation (© Kolet)

What prompted you to become an artist? What is your background ?

Fascinated by the musicality of the forms and the splendor of the colors of the lithograph by the painter Maurice Estève at the entrance to my room, it was as a child that I began the abstract painted collage, under the influence of my father, himself. same amateur abstract artist and excellent colorist. I continued in the path of abstraction by following, at 15, the studio of the visual artist and friend of my parents Pierre-Yves Bohm, at the School of Fine Arts in Tourcoing (59). In 2014, the Visual Culture course on Contemporary Art by Maniasuki Frezin and the Plastic Experimentation workshop by François Martinache, at the Center for Plastic and Visual Arts in Lille (59), led me to enlarge my formats and introduce more lyricism and intuitive gestures into my compositions. In 2015, alongside collage, I started clay modeling at Garage 47, with Élisabeth Halloo Joye (Villeneuve d'Ascq - 59). To better understand the volume, I followed, in 2018, a master-class of ceramics with the plate of Gisèle Buthod-Garçon at the Kéramis center of La Louvière (Belgium), and I was introduced to sculpture in the mass with of Joël Strill, in Vannes (56). Since then, I have continued to deepen my personal research in modeling in Caroline Chopin's sculpture studio in Saint-André (59), with whom I have shared a space since the summer of 2021 within the artists' collective Les Ateliers Jouret. in Roubaix (59). This prompted me to become a professional artist in October 2021, especially since I followed a parallel training course in art entrepreneurship (Cohorte ArtxTerra 2020).

The Dance - © NC

What are the 3 things that differentiate you from other artists?

The abstract dialogue that has been established between my "floating" paper collages and ceramic sculptures, in a totally instinctive approach, where color reigns supreme. A totally abstract universe for the collages, while a kind of "abstract figuration" frequently invites itself into the sculptures. The close relationship between plastic creation and words that we often find destructured to the point of becoming abstract motifs in collages and titles that often create an "image", based on artistic, cultural, humorous references...

Where does your inspiration come from?

All I have to do is put myself in a "state of flow" (which Anton Ehrenzweig identified as "unconscious scanning") and let myself be carried away by a music album (jazz, opera, baroque, tango, rock, variety…) so that the lines, shapes, colors can be combined easily and spontaneously. This applies to collages as well as to sculpture. I like to establish "barred & baroque" correspondences with other artistic or cultural forms: music, mythology, archaeological objects, romantic imagination, childhood imagery...

Tell us about the conception of your works, do you have a long preparatory work or is it quite spontaneous?

I never do any preparatory work. I trust my intuition, (remotely) guided by unconscious scanning. And the hands are moving!

collage creation (© Marc T.)

What do you want to show through your work?

NOTHING: it is a purely aesthetic work on the relationship between shapes and colors! A certain personal idea of aesthetics claiming a certain affiliation with modern art and the great abstract artists (Estève, Herbin, Poliakoff, Léger, Nevelson, Moore, Bram Van Velde…). With, in hollow, my deep lack of interest in contemporary or conceptual art.

In your work do you use techniques or materials that are out of the ordinary?

I use very "humble" and finally quite ecological materials: recycled paper, clay. More naturally, acrylic, crayon, ink, markers, pencil… But I fix the collages on a material that gives them a more contemporary connotation: the lacquered aluminum plate, Dibon style. I make "Floating" collages that I don't fix entirely, to play on the shadows and slight reliefs, so that they free themselves to "unstick the paint" and "get out of the frame", everything by escaping confinement because I generally refuse the essential mats!

Do you have a favorite format? Why ?

My sculptures "ceiled" for the moment around 25/30 cm high because I was unfortunately "formatted" small formats in the 1st modeling workshop where I was initiated... Concerning the collages, I do not exceed 1 20 mx 80 cm for convenience.

And poof! - © NC

What difficulties do you encounter in your work?

I do not wish to fall into the "seductive", the "decorative", the "narrative" or the "flashy", which currently seems to sell very well… and maintains a rather deleterious confusion between art and decoration. Without false modesty, my creations are aimed at amateurs sensitized to a certain artistic culture.

How do you work? At home, in a shared workshop, in your own workshop?

In several workshops at home: one for collages, another for sculpture. At the Ateliers Jouret and in Caroline Chopin's sculpture studio.

Does the work of an artist lead you to travel a lot?

No. But I have often traveled to satisfy personal cultural needs.

Wor(l)ds in Piece 6 - © NC

What was the best moment of your career?

When my father and the visual artist and professor at the Fine Arts of Tourcoing Pierre-Yves Bohm encouraged me to pursue collage when I was only a child.

How do you see your work in ten years?

Like a deepening of what I have been experimenting with for more than 40 years: abstract collage, with an extension in semi-abstract sculpture which will have reached great maturity. With, why not, an incursion into NFTs?

What are you currently working on? Are you planning an exhibition soon?

Currently, I am working to "expose myself more" by spreading my creations more on social networks, the web! While continuing to create: floating collages and colorful abstract sculptures. I have several participations in collective exhibitions which are "in the pipeline" in the Lille region... And one in Belgium: in June 2022, collective exhibition "Timeless II", at the Château de Bourgogne in Estaimbourg.

MicMac - © NC

If you could have created a masterpiece of art history, which one would you choose? Why ?

A real talisman that decided my artistic destiny: the watercolors of Maurice Estève who have accompanied me since my childhood. Because it was because I couldn't be Estève that I started this desperate quest for art!

If you could invite a famous artist for dinner (dead or alive), which one would you choose? Why ?

Daniel Spoerri, to stick and then take away the table as a souvenir, witness to our feasts!

View More Articles


Receive our newsletter for art lovers and collectors