contemporary art / history of art

Séverine Gambier

Born in 1956 in Paris, Séverine Gambier grew up in an artistic environment. Despite, or because of that, she never had a classical artistic education. After her high school graduation, she frequented the cinema world and dreamt of making films of her own. During practicing different kind of jobs, she pursued writing, painting, drawing and made collages. Confirming her predilection to outsider art, she visited exhibitions of “art brut” including the historic show “Les Singuliers de l’art” at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1978. At the same time, she discovered the works of Adolf Wölfli and Aloïse Corbaz.

A painful cut in Séverine’s life was the premature death of her husband. Revealed originally during hiding a hole in a bathroom wall, the mosaic became essential to her work at the end of the 1990s. For the artist, it is a medium of fragmentation, fracture and splinter, but at the same time an expression of reconstitution and reconstruction. Herewith she could express her emotional chaos. It was an artistic translation of her confused feelings, her wounds and scars. By the time being, the feelings got more universal: How can one connect the chaos of the world with the need to create harmony in one’s internal disorder? How to weaken the symbols of power? How to point to the absentees, the forgotten, the unheard?

As answer to these and other questions, Séverine developed her own language. For example, she shatters ancient plates with portraits of past politicians and assemble them in a new context, like in our artwork of the month March 2022. She embeds the fragments of porcelain in splinters of flowers and ornaments to introduce beauty. Here, red flowers are a symbol for rebellion. Besides the destruction of the ancient powers, she refers to the people who created these and other ceramics long ago and today unknown, bygone for our awareness. Herewith, she returns grace to these people to calm down the anger.

Séverine had her first exhibition in 1988 at the Galerie Caroline Corre, Paris. Since 2006, she is represented by the Galerie Béatrice Soulié, Paris then Marseille. The gallery regularly participates with Séverine’s works at the Outsider Art Fair, Paris. In 2019, her oeuvres were part of the HEY! 4, a recurring show of outsider art, in the Halle Saint-Pierre, which is a centre of art brut in Paris. In 2021, Séverine worked with the French drawer Mad Meg for the exhibition “Dell’ Ornamento” (From Ornament) in the Galerie Gasparelli Arte Contemporanea in Fano, Italy. This was the departing point for further shows in Italy. For a cooperation between the Galerie Gasparelli and the Gallerie D406, the original exhibition was enlarged. The result was displayed at the Art Verona in October and The Others Art Fair in Turin one month later. From November 2021 to March 2022, works of both artists were on view at the “Marginalia” in Pavia and will be shown in May 2022 at the BOOMing Contemporary Art Show in Bologna by the Galleria D406. A newly created tryptic will be presented in June 2022 in France. It will be exposed in the Fondation Bernardaud in Limoges, city of porcelain.

Séverine lives and works in Paris.


Artwork of the Month / March 2022