Philippe Favier

Yvon Lambert

Philippe Favier draws minuscule figurines or borrows tiny images from encyclopedias, then paints or glues them under glass, appropriating a popular Central European tradition. His subjects are thus painted backwards; and though they require the viewer to examine them closely in order to decipher them, the glass becomes a screen that displaces the figures to far-off regions, where the eye cannot follow. Each of these little tableaux—from the series entitled “L’Archipel des Pacotilles” (The archipelago of junk, 1991–93)—placed all around the gallery—renders a solitary, focused pleasure to the gawking spectator/wanderer: when we stop before the image, we recognize certain things, but cannot perceive all the details. We find ourselves faced with the enigma of an interior landscape that belongs only to its creator.

L’Archipel des Pacotilles” evokes the trinkets brought by seafaring voyagers to

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