Nicolas Roggy, Untitled, 2012
The exhibition is the place where different avenues intersect. It is hard to smell what has happened before getting there, as the title suggests (Difficult to Smell What Happened Today).
The 'smell' here suggests the imminence of a trap, or a problem (as in smelling a rat), or trouble… Like an ill omen, this title suggests that the absence of motif harbingers trouble-as it happens, as Nicolas Roggy puts it, "an inability to describe an emotion at a given moment, as much as the inability to analyze an attraction for a type of decoration, or above all to really see more in an abstract work than what it seems to be." It would be futile to look for a secret order in these paintings. Just as "constructed" abstract art saw itself as the elaboration of an order which was lacking in the world, anticipating what it might be in principle, so, here, all idea of principle is ruled out, with this anarchistic decision leading to an abstract allegory: a blurred, deformed image of the confusion of the surrounding world. The whole has the ambiguous character of something that is not accompanied by a written report. In the same way as interpreters in front of proto-historical paintings generally veer towards the hypothesis of a ritual function, here the material dimension of the paintings suggests that the process applied for their execution is as important as their final look. The accumulation (of layers and motifs), the repetition of gestures and lines, the time spent in doing, signifies as much as, if not more than, what is seen, but it cannot be deciphered. To express this kind of thing, which is difficult to express, artists have at their disposal a repertory of figures clearly identified by tradition (skulls, candles, various forms of decay) and henceforth sufficiently well-worn to be muddled with the imagery of video games, music for teenagers, and works formatted for enthusiasts short of historical references. On the other hand, the pictures on view here precisely make an abstraction of this matter, which goes to make the pictures which "talk", as we say.
Nicolas Roggy was born in 1980, he lives and works in Paris. His work has been exhibited at the Crèvecœur gallery in Paris and is currently shown at the Rodolphe Janssen gallery in Brussels for the exhibition "Rien faire et laisser rire" curated by Bob Nickas.