UNE ANNÉE SANS ÉTÉ
Polymath artist Bruno Bressolin, who lives and works in Paris, often begins a project by making notes on disasters reported on the morning radio news. He began "SANG D'ENCRE" (which, in English, means "worried sick") following reports on Hurricane Sandy; a year later he had created over 400 large ink drawings which first took shape as a book, then were assembled onto a wall of images 7 wide and 5 high and presented in Paris.
He recently completed a series of color ink drawings titled "UNE ANNÉE SANS ÉTÉ", which refers to the year 1816, during which severe climate abnormalities caused a cooling trend that brought global drought, famine, and agricultural distress. In its book form, "UNE ANNÉE SANS ÉTÉ" (A Year Without Summer) presents a continuous progression of everyday activities combined with natural, manmade, social, political, and personal disasters. As teens surf coastal waves, forest fires engulf a stand of trees; a cougar howls; an earthquake takes out a multi-story apartment building; groups of people run; a bridge crashes into a river; men in masks hover at a corner; shadowy actions take place. Further into the book, the ink drawings turn to color; scientists collect specimens in a river; the river scene transitions to a view of space, then back to land, a forest, a highway wreck, an underground hideout from which a girl is rescued.
The abstract qualities of Bressolin's drawing lends an unbearable sense of foreboding. Further ahead images of votive figures come to life in a group of images that suggest the despoilation of land and the destruction of native cultures. But the collection is not without Bressolin's trenchant sense of humor. On one spread, a child's tree house casts misdirected meaning onto the scene of a car wreck opposite; at the end, a photograph of the artist's drawing table suggests that much blood is spilled in the making of art.
Selections of color ink drawings from "UNE ANNÉE SANS ÉTÉ" go on view this week in Paris, in a group show, Posture(s).
Peggy Roalf - Editor in Chief - Design Arts Daily.