The Visage of Nature
Looking at my paintings a few years ago, I began to feel I should take some of my characters off the canvas, and make them real and tangible, facilitating their acceptance and understanding for the public. Convinced that I am always in the process of changing, I had my first experience with sculpture back in 2010, creating a piece in clay I discovered during a modelling course. I realized immediately that the transition to third dimension depends upon the choice of the right material. The softness of clay also inspired me in my creation and process. Soon after came the mould and finally the piece in acrylic. At that time I used the color red to symbolize fire and achievement.
After this first experience, always with the idea of developing a series of sculptures, I was invited by curator Ricardo Fernandes to a first sculpture exhibit in 2015. I found it a great and it fulfilled a lifelong dream. After selecting the characters, I started to make them in my studio in São Paulo. I tried several experiments with different materials and finally deciding the best to do would be to work in clay, I made some moulds and finally created some very personal bronze works. This whole process of creation took six months of intensive work, which of course incorporates many years of thought, research, studies and design. In fact, the creation of sculptures and works in a third dimension, have been part of my dreams for many years. This is therefore the continuation of my creative process, which culminated in my new series entitled: The Visage of Nature.
Lilian Bomeny, 2015
The Visage of Nature (Semblante da Natureza)
Lilian Bomeny (1941) is known for her intense artistic production. Her development of three-dimensional works is accompanied by the mention: … I am in constant mutation. Mosaics: reliefs, composed of colored pieces of glass and clay modeling, are the premises of her new project. The desire to make bronze works, following the classical process of lost-wax casting, was at the origin of the series Semblante da Natureza. What can there be in this face?
It probably contains multiple experiments and the construction of an artistic profile. Parallel to this series, there are discoveries and realizations that range from paintings on ceramics, fabrics and canvas, to drawings and murals. Lilian’s poetic metaphors are linked to femininity and enchantment. In her aesthetic, there is the search for a universe of forms in metamorphosis that establish bridges between the visual world (organic, natural) and the expression of intuitions, through her protean forms (or forms in development).
Among her sources, there are elements like the sea – sometimes synthesized in cyclic forms, or even camouflaged in musical shells – represented by sinuous and repetitive lines – which return as leitmotifs in her production. As a whole, Lilian’s work, is a scholarly balance between different factors. Its origins count enormously. Her greatest school was Rio de Janeiro, her hometown. The sea with its waves and shells and the wonderful scenery that mingle with her reminiscences of a united family, friends and many trips. The inspirations from the East and the links that connect it to the West come to life through a personal and continuous investment.
Lilian approaches eastern artists, highlighting the role of the artist as coauthor. That is to say one who gives free rein to his reflections and emotions to the intrinsic contact with nature. This exercise inspires meditation (and enlightenment). To meditate, for Eastern cultures is to think, to reflect on the same (sacred) truth for years in a row. Fix an idea and examine it from all angles without allowing it to dissipate.
For Westerners, other aspects, such as the sensory effects: volumes, textures, colors, the apparent world that endures and the necessity for the observer to come closer to the visible world, can complement artistic observation. Lilian works this duality between the western gaze and the eastern gaze, through its leitmotifs and protean forms. These are exercises that bridge the two universes: that of meditation and that of sensory observation. Or, a way of being between the shapes that vanish and the touch of the plastic motifs.
In her series Semblante da Natureza – composed of ten works (nine in bronze and one in marble powder) – the plastic process has duplications that encompass the theme of femininity. These busts and their whole bodies, marked by curves, are elaborated: profile/face (with certain elements linked to Cubism) and shells that arise on certain parts of the body.
As in all her series, metaphors are expressed through certain characteristics: femininity – enchantment – seduction – elements that are always present in Lilian’s creative process and are exalted in her sculptures. Women, the central theme, is a reference to life and fertility. She is influenced by its traits (or tracks) which constitute a seductive presence that interlaces with the creative process. Appropriately, it is interesting to recall this sentence of Joan Miró: Art seduces, otherwise it is not Art.
However, one can also approach her works from the point of view of one’s own individuality, without losing connections with the artist’s trajectory. The main symbol of this exposure is the cactus – which indicates the presence of life in difficult areas or on arid lands.
On the other hand, by referring to other values, the cactus contains sap which feeds fibers used by weavers. It represents survival. In addition to the representations and existential signs it contains, the plastic proposition offered by Lilian, evokes metaphors and answers to these questions, without ceasing to focus on femininity. The other sculptures of the series Semblante da Natureza continue in this direction. The rounded, most voluminous and thin parts of the cactus express the idea of a hand, which opens and welcomes. The flower = femininity, is the symbol of motherhood – both food and tenderness.
Thus, the reading of each work is inserted in this context. The feminine image with a symbolic double meaning, allows new moments of interactivity with the observer. The bust, which stands out on the red flower and the leaves; The golden flower on top of the head and the character with a cat continue to emphasize the main symbol. The woman with a raised sheet, produces a slow spiral movement (in slow motion) – a proposal that must be accompanied with a gentle touch, like a meditation or an apprenticeship.
Then the observer is invited to admire the female characters wrapped in leafy twigs, further emphasizing the connection with nature. The svelte characters suggest ornamental and rhythmic forms. The two characters dialogue through the blue dove, the emblem of peace.
Faced with these works, one discovers a dimension of the creative universe of Lilian Bomeny. But the questions continue; Does this plasticity create riddles? Somehow, yes. Being confronted with a work by Lilian means always being ready to ask questions. One may ask, for example: do these characters refer to the human aspect or the ornamental aspect? Probably both. They are elements that unite and dialogue with the observer, they stimulate aesthetic sensibility and the quest for new experiences.
Lilian never loses sight, internalization and oriental sensitivity. From the west, extraversion and interrogations continue. Organic forms, textures, chromatic touches intertwined with rhythms, musicality and poetic metaphors are always present.
Lilian Bomeny lives and works in São Paulo – a city known for its noise, agitation and dispersion. In her Espaço Singular workshop, where she developed this series, she executes her creative process against the current: in silence – meditation and concentration.
The Exhibition of Natureza, assembled thanks to the care of the eminent art, Ricardo Fernandes, is an invitation to discovery and reflection. The Cultural Center of the Cloitre des Billettes, where this exhibition will be held, is an area renowned for its cultural and historical values. Located in the Marais district in Paris, it offers an atmosphere conducive to meditation which gives us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the plastic universe of Lilian Bomeny. It allows us to escape from the harsh routine of the big city and exacerbates our senses, thus creating a moment of surprise and emotion.
Elza Ajzenberg, Professor of Aesthetics and Art History at the University of São Paulo. Coordinator of the Center for Documentation and Research in Art Mario Schenberg, at the School of Art and Communication of the University of São Paulo – ECA USP.
Main Solo and Collective Exhibitions
aestival 07, Ricardo Fernandes Gallery at Cloître des Billettes Cultural Center, Paris, France
Expansão, Peintures, Galerie A Hebraica, São Paulo, Brazil
Le visage de la nature, Sculptures, Centre Culturel Cloître des Billettes, Paris, France
Artefacto Miami Collective Show, Miami, USA
Art Vidéo, Centre Culturel de Milan, Italy
Non Violence, Hotel de Ville de São Paulo, Brazil
Non Violence – Armas da Paz, Espace Culturel Singular, São Paulo, Brazil
Lingan Yoni, Casa das Rosas, São Paulo, Brazil
Calligraphies de L’Art Brésilien, Paris, France
Centre Culturel Marc Brinon, Barcelona, Spain
Galerie Slaviero Guedes, São Paulo, Brazil
Casa Talento Show – Casa Cor, São Paulo Jockey Club, Brazil
D&D Art Space – Casa Cor, São Paulo Jockey Club, Brazil
41º Chapel Art Show, São Paulo, Brazil
International Collective Exhibition, Ava Gallery, Finland
Casa Cor Gallery – São Paulo Jockey Club, Brazil
Mannequins Installations – D&D, São Paulo, Brazil
Hebraica Art Fair – Clube Hebraica, São Paulo, Brazil
Universo Feminino – Soirée signature, Librairie Da Vila, São Paulo, Brazil
Expo Art, Vila Daslu, São Paulo, Brazil
Olhares, Conjunto Nacional, São Paulo, Brazil
National Art Exhibition, Forte de Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
40º Chapel Art Show, American School, São Paulo, Brazil
Lugar, Galerie Slaviero & Guedes, São Paulo, Brazil
Impuro Belo, Musée de Beaux Arts de São Paulo MUBA, Brazil
Salon National de Beaux-Arts, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France
NUS Galerie Slaviero & Guedes, São Paulo, Brazil
Parintins – Duas Faces da Mesma Moeda, Soirée signature, São Paulo, Brazil
Casa Cor – Galerie Slaviero & Guedes, São Paulo, Brazil
Black Forest, Espace Culturel Silvana Mattar, São Paulo, Brazil
Women, Walentowski Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Darcy Penteado Art Show, WTC SA, São Paulo, Brazil
Peace Day, WTC São Paulo, Brazil
Peace Day, WTC São Paulo, Brazil
São Paulo notre ville, São Paulo Art Museum, MASP, São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil-India, Brazil-South Africa and Brazil-China, WTC, Brazil
Nos Jardins da Catedral, Soirée signature, São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil 500 Years of Art, Shopping D&D, São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil 500 Years of Art, Palácio Marques de Pombal, Lisbon, Portugal
Brazil 500 Years of Art, São Paulo, Brazil
Mulher, Canto das Artes Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil
Hommage à Vera Cruz Cinematográfica, MUBE, São Paulo, Brazil
Interiors Art Fair – MOAD, Campos do Jordão, Brazil
Flowers, Galerie Jô Slaviero Gallery, Brazil
Caminho do Sol, São Paulo, Brazil
Soirée signature et exposition “Caminho do Sol”, São Paulo, Brazil
Vecchia Cuccina Édition speciale, São Paulo, Brazil
Traços e Formas Collective Show, Galerie Jô Slaviero, São Paulo, Brazil
Gran Melia Hotel São Paulo, Brazil
Nus, Miami, USA
Vinho, Santo Colomba, São Paulo, Brazil
Espaço Feira de Hotelaria, São Paulo, Brazil
Christmas Trees, Santa Fé Art Space, São Paulo, Brazil
Teto de Oratório – Espace Culturel Silvana Mattar, Casa Cor, São Paulo, Brazil
Centre Culturel Santa Fé, São Paulo, Brazil
Centre Culturel Santa Fé, São Paulo, Brazil
Le visage de la nature, Lilian Bomeny, Ricardo Fernandes, Elza Ajzenberg, Paris, France
Nos Jardins da Catedral, Cassandra Rios Edition, São Paulo, Brazil
Caminhos do Sol, Cassandra Rios Edition, São Paulo, Brazil
Main Book Illustrations
2000 Nos Jardins da Catedral
1996 Les chemins du soleil
Main Galleries, Museums and Institutions Collections
Associação dos Amigos dos Autistas, AMA, São Paulo, Brazil
Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Georges Pompidou, , Paris, France
Galerie Ricardo Fernandes, Paris, France
Marquês de Pombal Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Walentowski Gallery, Berlin, Germany
World Trade Center, Santos, Brazil
World Trade Center, São Paulo, Brazil
Main Private Collections
Alexandre Barreto – Espírito Santo, Brazil
Amaury Jr., São Paulo, Brazil
American Express, São Paulo, Brazil
Cerâmica Smith, São Paulo, Brazil
Construtora Yasbeck, São Paulo, Brazil
Henrique Meireles, São Paulo, Brazil
Hiroki Nakahashi, São Paulo, Brazil
Hotel Hilton Paissandú, Paissandú, Brazil
Hotel Kampinski, Dresden, Germany
Hotel Sheraton, São Paulo, Brazil
João Nagy, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Luciane Sabbag Barattino, São Paulo, Brazil
Ludmila Barreto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Marcos Sirgio Rama, São Paulo, Brazil
Melia Comfort, São Paulo, Brazil
Melia Hotel, São Paulo, Brazil
Miguel Mofarrej, São Paulo, Brazil
Monica Barreto, Pará, Brazil
Restaurante Vecchia Cuccina, Campos do Jordão, Brazil
Royal Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo, Brazil
Sami Korhonen and Ricardo Fernandes, Paris, Brazil
Santo Colomba Restaurante, São Paulo, Brazil
Scarret, Palma de Maillorca, Spain
Sérgio Tadisco, Miami, USA
Walter Feldman, São Paulo, Brazil