Lucia Bru, ‘(cages)’, 2001, Axel Vervoordt Gallery

Lucia Bru's work bears the traces of time, meticulously spent with the art works. She spends it in continuous experimentation, developing a form and returning to it, patiently, allowing it to take its place, giving it its due scale, its colour, its matte-ness or brilliance. She takes care of every detail, without haste or agitation, following its evolution through its successive stages. Nothing is left to chance, at the same time she never banishes the effects that chance introduces.

Proceeding by successive touches, in an accumulation of tiny gestures and gentle displacements, the artist constructs and unfolds ensembles. They are neither series nor unique pieces, but rather communities of which every element differs but nevertheless participates as a member of the same group, with a common DNA… This familiarity is also found in the materials used and in the geometry of the pieces. She claims an emphatic simplicity, where the proximity of the real stands in service of the stubbornness of an aesthetic practice.

Whenever Lucia Bru uses clay, glass, porcelain, metal, paper… or is interested in various different media such as drawing, video, collage or photography, it is to better affirm sculpture as a discipline, in order to claim, beyond categories, that she is practising it. The apparent eclecticism of her artistic research keeps guiding us back to the central premise in her work: the body. The artist's body, felt as both a discrete presence and one that imposes objects in space, that circulates, that encounters fluidity and tension… The whole approach revolves around these issues and every intervention gives a possible response. It continually actualises the dialogue maintained with time, form, space, the sense of place, intensity, the full and its opposite, light, verticality, the sharp or the blunt, the surface or the depth… These are major questions! And each time, offering tiny answers, step by step, attempt after attempt, modestly, but never relinquishing the ambition of her practice, the works of Lucia Bru confront us with this « metaphysics » of volumes and offers possible answers.

The recurring presence of the cube, the triangle, the prism, the grid and a number of other figures - signs of an apparent geometry - refer back to the plain measurement of the space. They appear as a catalogue of instruments that is forever being revised. A closer look reveals there is not a single right angle in sight. There is not a single rectilinear figure or perfect cube to be seen, no shape that does not seem to be slightly out of kilt… These « defects », the deformation of objects, are the sensitive traces of the relationship the artist engages in her practice. They stand for the limits of her threshold of intervention. Free reign is given to the expansion of materials: Lucia Bru lets them breathe amongst those dangerous variables of temperature, humidity and experimentation. In brief, the external factors which could be mastered, but which are voluntarily integrated into the process, are claimed and at times amplified.

This relationship with the material and its qualities and constraints lends Lucia Bru's works a particular tonality, be they ghostly, realistic, imposing or miniscule. The sculptures have their own intensity. They are fragile and savage, elegant and brutal, massive or invisible, self evident and incongruous at times. Above all they provide their measure, taking their place and displaying themselves in space like those little white pebbles pointing the way that activate the gaze, enabling the necessary flux between the dynamic of the pieces and the circulation of bodies in a space.
All of Lucia Bru's art resides in the tension that is maintained between simple forms and their materiality, their consistency and their presence in space, their capacity both to encumber or to be on the brink of disappearance. It consists of the particular attention she pays to every element so that all its qualities are revealed and to every phenomenon in order to experiment with its potential, up to the slightest gust of air…

Lucia Bru, exh. cat., Axel Vervoordt Gallery (05/09 - 13/10/2013), Antwerp : Axel Vervoordt Gallery, 2013.

About Lucia Bru