Annick Lizein

BLUE, 2008

The recent paintings of Annick Lizein open a new chapter in the history of her resolutely energetic work. Black hole (2008), an intense spiral describing a terrifying whirlpool, seems determined to suck us into some hellish journey. But despite the artist's cheerful determination, the work is still informed by distance and doubt, keeping the painting away from any dogmatic posture. Although her 2006 work was haunted by the presence of polar landscapes and northern lights, the repertoire remains unchanged for her Japanese¬-style subjects and the Disney characters. But what is surprising is Lizein's current emphasis on the eyes of the figures, which express the soul's different facets. Rather than subscribing to the traditional critique of the artificiality promoted by the American animation industry, she prefers to give the characters a greater humanity, playing with the value of contrasting feelings. While the drippings of paint seem to represent an instant travel by molecular disintegration and reconstitution in the style of Star Trek's teleportation rather than a fall, Alice (2008) reveals a place of curiosities to be reached, her eyes somewhat frightened. Her childish curiosity seems to have been transformed into a desire to move forward. Another gaze, this time imbued with covetousness, is also given particular attention in Blue, 2008. The innocent and fragile Snow White appears like a mirage in her essential features. She stares intently at the fruit of desire, a blue apple still smoking with magic. On a closer look, the hypnotic gaze is more reminiscent of the lustful eyes of her wicked stepmother, avid for her lost youthful beauty. Elsewhere, a few spirited lines represent the face of a young Japanese character, whose gender is hard to determine (Contention, 2008). Only the enigmatic expression of the eyes suggests a Samurai, sword raised, who would be about to strike the object of his rage. There is no doubt that Lizein is a master of the art of composition: witness the way the eye is drawn on the coloured background, here crossed by a strip of emerald green. The tension is concentrated, rupturing the tranquillity produced by the gradation of intense blues.

Cécilia Bezzan

Born in Huy, 1973


2007 RESTART, Maes & Matthys Gallery, Antwerp 
2006 Swing, A4 & FreeSpace Series, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels 
2003 Fondation pour l’Architecture, Galerie-1, Brussels 
2002 L’Orangerie, Centre Culturel, Bastogne 
2002 Centre Culturel, Marchin and Dans un Sens Muet, Galerie Flux, Liege


2008 Honorons Honoré, De Garage, Mechelen 
2008 Some Jokes, Maes & Mattys Gallery, Antwerp 
2008 Face it! How do you deal with reality?, Galerie Aliceday, Brussels 
2007 Pushing the Canvas, De Garage, Mechelen 
2007 Group2, Maes & Matthys Gallery, Antwerp 
2006 Vanitas, Espace Sol Gallery, Seoul, Korea 
2005 Ikob-Kunstpreis, IKOB Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Eupen
2005 Prix Biennal de peinture G. Collignon, MAMAC, Liege 
2005 Contre-points, Galerie Flux, Liege 

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