Diane Benoit du Rey hypnotizes Espace Richaud

The “Hypnose” exhibition promises a dreamlike journey through the former royal hospital founded by Louis

Originally from Versailles, Benoit du Rey graduated from the Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts (HEAR). It was while working on figurative art during her studies, painting the backgrounds of her portraits, that she discovered that she was more attracted to abstraction. Very quickly she sees “big”. In Vitry-sur-Seine she created a huge mural on the Touraine residence, which earned her the annual painting prize of the Jean-Collet municipal gallery in 2020. She also participated in a collaborative fresco of 800 painted tiles, on an artistic materials factory (Colart) in Le Mans in 2022.

The exhibition tour includes ten paintings and two installations. The paintings in the “CHROMA” series, hypnotizing and soothing, use soft luminosity, warm and cold colors, contrasting and gradients in half-tones. A sensation reminiscent of those of Rothko.

Diane Benoit du Rey, Hypnosis2023, view of the installation at Espace Richaud, Versailles.

© Pierrick Daul / City of Versailles
© Adagp Paris 2023

The Royal Chapel is the perfect setting for both installations. In the center of the circular room, under the dome, a circular sandy floor – which required 400 kg of material – is covered with pigments in variations of twilight shades. In the middle of this surface pierces a point of pure yellow, dripping from the frieze which overlooks it – like a reference to the sun of Weather project (2003) by Olafur Eliasson, whose influence de Rey claims.

A gigantic frieze painted on fabric covers the walls upstairs, echoing the floor: 50 meters long under the dome, which dominates the sandy area from a balcony. The scenography is intended to be immersive with a sound “frieze” by François Delamarre, broadcast behind the dye in cold and orange tones.

A final series, “Irisation” closes the artistic journey: a set of five canvases which take advantage of the luminosity of the large windows facing them, bathing the works in light at the right moment.

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