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March 25th 2024 - Guillaume Benoit

The Berthet-Aittouarès gallery is hosting the first solo exhibition of the young painter Sophia Fassi, whose recent canvases are snapshots of a vision capable of bridging distances and combining classicism and contemporaneity. While there are many clues of the location and temporality of the scenes she recreates, Sophia Fassi sows doubt by juggling social strata to ultimately extend the canvas of her gaze across worlds. Without hierarchy, from the seriousness of the fringe to the languour of quiet friendships, from soothing glances to worried frowns, the artist's palette turns each figure into a possible archetype to give shape to a reality of troubled proportions in which her painting is embedded.

Behind her taste for classicism and her ease in using it to offer a grid for reading the contemporary world, reveals itself in its breaks in rhythm, her way of playing with realism, choosing in places to make shortcuts in the illustration and even alternating treatments from one figure to another in the same painting. Volumes and masses become vectors of expression, and the sharp angles, reminiscent of digital modelling, create a singular shift in these everyday scenes, turning them into the picture book of a lifetime. It's a question of looking, of those fleeting frames that take shape on the edge of a pavement, in the corner of a carriage. Involving herself as much as she involves the viewer, she makes each composition the outline of a world that she encourages us to look at rather than see, to contemplate as if the better to embrace its silent pains, mute beauties and apparent fractures.

While she leaves room for interpretation through the gentle naivety of her sharp angles, the flashes of light that emerge from some of her paintings, like the almost unreal arm in the foreground of La Coiffure, reinvent their own style and the very function of their representation.Anchored in the universality of the human figure and resolutely contemporary, Sophia Fassi's approach, under construction, takes flight in the acceleration of gesture, in the leap of expression.

From the quietude of a simple gesture to the anxiety engraved in the hollow of a gaze, each member of the body is reborn and carries with it that rare intensity that contributes to the rich ambiguity of these stolen sketches. Stolen realities which, in this way, speak of the end of the world as well as the edge of the street.

Sophia Fassi, La coiffure, 2022, huile sur toile, 100x100 cm, ©Bertrand Michau, ADAGP, cou

Sophia Fassi, La Coiffure, 2022, oil on canvas, 100x100 cm

© Bertrand Michau, ADAGP, courtesy Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès

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