press release

Janaina Tschäpe. Blood, sea
Contemporary counterpoint #5

October 21, 2020—February 15, 2021

For the fifth contemporary counterpoint of the Nymphéas (Waterlillies), the musée de l’Orangerie has invited the Brazilian artist Janaina Tschäpe.

Janaina Tschäpe’s project is identical in its aim to Claude Monet’s declaration: “My only desire is a more intimate fusion with nature, and the only fate I wish for is, in accordance with Goethe’s precepts, to have worked and lived in harmony with its laws.” Her work – videos, drawing, performance and painting – takes its inspiration from contemplating nature, its elusiveness, and its metamorphoses. “To me painting means feeling something right up close, being physically in the present with body and soul. I could never explain to anyone this intimate dialogue with the canvas. My painting doesn’t come from pictures. It arises out of my observations, which can be observations of nature but just as well observations from fantasy.” With its strange, dreamlike atmosphere, her video Blood, sea immerses us in a colourful organic world, which is a free affirmation of her Brazilian culture.

After a childhood split between living and studying in Germany, where she trained at the HFBK art school in Hamburg, and São Paulo, the artist is now based in New York and has achieved international recognition for her work from institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, and the Musée national d’art moderne where she exhibited at “Elles@centrepompidou”. Janaina Tschäpe has produced a series of drawings for the Musée de l’Orangerie reminiscent of the notebooks which Monet filled with quickly sketched observations by his pond at Giverny. The artist interprets this work as a mind-body dialogue: “That comes more from my need to stay a bit longer with my canvas when the major work has been done. I often have an urge to still fondle my canvas for a while, for example with the pencil, to flit over the colored skin like a caress.”