Blue Water

Anne-Lise Coste

Apr 21 - May 16, 2015

In this selection of recent works articulated around the colour blue, the interplay of objects, words and images reflects her unique visual language.

NoguerasBlanchard is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Anne-Lise Coste. This is the artist’s fifth solo exhibition in the gallery and he first in the gallery’s space in Madrid. In this selection of recent works articulated around the colour blue, the interplay of objects, words and images reflects her unique visual language.

Blue has been used frequently in the artistic practice of Anne-Lise Coste with a variety of intentions: the political aspect in the works that allude to the colors of the French flag (bleu-blanc-rouge), the referencial in the works that explore the recent history of art (Matisse, Picasso, Klein) or the biographical, when evoking moods of nostalgia, melancholia, obsession.

The exhibition Blue Water has evolved out of Coste’s personal experience, after living in a megalopolis she returns to a small village in southern France, to an environment of rural landscapes, near where she grew up. If the works made whilst living in New York can be seen as a harsh critique on society and on the self, then her latest work is a meditation on these same parameters. Delicate, ethereal gestures have taken over the canvas and the deep dark black of her New York period is now replaced by muted still lives and art historical references. As in most of her previous work, her messages are a perfect synthesis of her universe and interests, an archaeological site of the sentimental.

The exhibition takes as its starting point a small installation Blue water consisting of two glass jars, one containing water and the other blue pigment mixed with water. Water, a precious commodity, the element that generates life and that also plays a key role in geopolitical strategy, is shown in this work with two different but equally recognizable aspects: as it is, and as it is represented. Coste makes us aware that in both cases it is water that we’re seeing, as if emulating the Surrealist Magritte, drawing our attention to the processes by which we see and read the world.

A polyptych of works on paper becomes a homage to the poetic still lives of Giorgio Morandi. Arrangements of bottles, vessels and vases depicted in various tonalities of blue act as a return to the classic still life, to the origins, eliciting affinities to the artist’s personal situation and return to the calmness and beauty of the French countryside. Here, the blue palette and the quiet atmosphere of the still lives impart a mood of melancholy but also suggest peace, understanding, maturity.

Another work that illustrates Coste’s focus on the essential is FREDERICHOPIN (2014). Subtle shades of blue and pastels pulverized on the canvas (a churning sea? a stormy sky?) and the word FREDERICHOPIN spelled out twice in capital letters. Different intensities of color and font sizes suggest the range of moods and feelings conveyed by Chopin’s nostalgic compositions. In this work Coste evokes the poetic style of Chopin’s music at its most expressive and passionate and celebrates his figure as one of the great Romantic masters.

In the work Poem, the emotive nature of Coste’s paintings is further implied by the use of repetition and a monochromatic colour scheme. Here the written word is totally absent and in its place, one of the most minimal forms of written expression: the full stop. Endlessly repeated to form a hypnotic grid of dotted lines the gesture marks a point, a water drop, an end or a beginning.

Anne-Lise Coste (Marignane, 1973) lives and works in Orthoux (France).

Her recent exhibitions include: Blackboard-White page! Kantonsschule Zürich Nord, Zurich (2014); Critical Episodes (1957-2011) Colección MACBA, Caixaforum, Barcelona (2013); Let Your Hair Down, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam (2013), noir, noir, noir, Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Santander y Cantabria, Santander (2011); Voici un dessin suisse, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland (2011); Collection 3, Fondation Salomon, Alex, Francia (2010); Salon du dessin Contemporain, Carrousel du Lovre, Paris (2010); Professionalization is Killing Art, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen (2010); Beginnings, Middles and Ends, Curated by Vienna09, Viena, curated by Gianni Jetzer (2009); Institutional and Poetic violence, Fundación Serralves, Oporto, Portugal (2008).

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Selected Works


Anne-Lise Coste
Stone with black dots


Airbrush on stone

15 x 8 x 8 cm (5 2932 x 3 532 x 3 532 inches)


Anne-Lise Coste
Blue Water


Glass jars, water, pigment

16 x 110 x 11 cm (6 516 x 43 516 x 4 1132 inches)


Anne-Lise Coste
Blue Poem


Airbrush on canvas

155 x 144 x 2 cm (61 132 x 56 1116 x 2532 inches)


Anne-Lise Coste


Airbrush on canvas, glass jars, water, pigment

281 x 156 x 2 cm (110 58 x 61 1332 x 2532 inches)


Anne-Lise Coste
True Blue


Airbrush on canvas

201 x 155 x 2 cm (79 18 x 61 132 x 2532 inches)


Anne-Lise Coste


Airbrush on canvas

155 x 166 x 2 cm (61 132 x 65 1132 x 2532 inches)


Anne-Lise Coste
Many Blue Bottles


Airbrush on paper

232 x 174 cm (91 1132 x 68 12 inches)