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Georges Nadra and oblique vision

Giorgio Segato, art critic

Georges Nadra is a true painter who treats color as the living and impulsive material of his existential experience; dense and incandescent magma which tries to make its way towards the surface frozen by a calcined white.



DAt the same time, the materials of his mixed techniques on canvas or paper merge with the colors and the atmosphere of his visions, his dreams and his most immediate memory, down to the most distant layers, engulfed in the bottomless abyss of the collective soul. His painting is above all the expression of a desire, a need, an interior and vital necessity, a sometimes exalted search. It restores, beyond objective reality, and through explanatory gestures, the oblique gaze of poetry, which allows the perception of fragments of a truth belonging to the other reality, that of the tender and mobile tissues of the wasteland of the psyche, of the sometimes frightening complexity of biological inheritance: extraordinary mosaic of relationships, circumstances, combinations and coincidences.


Shis most recent paintings resemble old walls, places of memory overflowing with voices, signs, symbols, erasing or scratching, graffiti. On these walls, erected as metaphors for impenetrable and elusive reality, time has deposited several layers of voices, odors, noises, figures, traces of life and thought. The different layers which make up the surface become confused under the effect of natural phenomena (sun, rain, etc.) and by the occasional interventions of street artists: children, young protesters, elderly people who leave their marks , their signatures, to set benchmarks in an increasingly anonymous urban context.


EIndeed, current events, current tastes, the demands of everyday life, relaying the action of atmospheric variations, gradually erase the content of memories by passing a white hand over signs, signatures and graffiti. News requires constant refurbishment, daily offering its empty, clean and white page, which is preparing to receive, in the spaces designed for its deployment, new advertising, political, censorship, collective communication messages and more. more emphatic, and pompous to the point of losing all meaning. It creates and maintains a semblance of order, chimerical and illusory, where the community is forced to find an identity by conforming to proposals and responding to suggested signs and requests, whether political, sporting, advertising or displaying. consumer products.


Mbut the artist “scratches” the surface and transcends it, suspecting beneath the charred white of the walls and of his own memory a world that is always vivid and pulsating. He discovers completely different traces, paths, fragments, rhythms belonging to collective memory but emanating from an individual expression and language; he also finds and recognizes his own footprints.


IHe knows well that he could not restore to the “wall” of his consciousness, in the same moment, the entirety of his self stratified by the continual sedimentation formed by the succession of his collective and individual experiences.


VSIt is in this sense that Georges Nadra works like an ancient painter. His canvas is designed as a listening ground, a place of investigation where he cuts deeper and deeper to restore deep and distant visions. He sometimes emerges, to erase or veil with the help of a calcined white, or to better focus a fragment which interests him and which he frames, such as a small section cut out from an area of archaeological excavations undertaken in his privacy, either to push back into his deep memory everything that he does not yet like to understand, to accept, or what for the moment does not participate in the rhythm of his dialogue with the color material. His way of proceeding, free and professional, maintains the level of poetic imagination (without ever violating it by sliding towards descriptions) where nothing truly experienced is lost, because all the fragments carry within themselves the suggestion of total vision.


Oblique vision awakens the resonance of circular vision.


GGeorges Nadra is an ancient painter who harshly experiences the awareness of present time and lost time, that of poets who denounce the loss of immediate, tactile, gustatory sensations..., the ignorance or forgetting of the names of trees, flowers, birds, insensitivity to all the rich modulations of sounds, voices, smells (that of wind, rain, snow, herbs and fruits). Nadra opens windows onto the abyss of consciousness and memory by crossing the polyphony, or better the cacophony, the acoustic and sensory pollution of everyday life. It pierces skylights, access routes to hope, at the dawn of suggestions of light, of mental landscapes in which visions, perfumes, resonances mingle in the material/color in chromatic modulations.



En releasing poetic memory and establishing a lyrical vision, it engages the spectator in an emotional, sensitive and clairvoyant participation: an oblique vision, which allows him, at the same time, to see forward and backward, and to maintain his roots in tradition and to anticipate, to combine memory of the past and nostalgia for the future.


NOTAdra hears voices. He listens to the voices and tales of the past, to transpose them into the living material of a painting rich in premonitions and projections and in transparencies which suggest a sort of spatio-temporal continuity, between interiority and exteriority, the psyche. and reality, experience (traditions, past, childhood imagination) and the dreamlike, where the ardent call of a still uncertain future rises.


GGeorges Nadra, like any true painter, transforms form and content, knowledge and expression, all his inner tensions, his weaknesses and his fragility into language; but also his energy, his desire for contemplation, his rhythmic and chromatic inventions, his desire to be present today, as an artist exploring the past which surrounds like a setting the appearances of the future.


Giorgio Segato, Sharjah, April 1995 Art Critic

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