top of page

Shapes on transparencies

Léo Rosshandler, art critic

"(...) "In her art, Nadra combines materiality and immateriality in a surprising way. Let's explain. His works, seen as a whole, are at first glance adorned with a surprising effect of transparency. Of course, the gaze collides with a surface, but it immediately feels compelled to continue on its path. It seems to him that he must land beyond the canvas. This same gaze, however, sees its journey hampered by stopping points. Moments of painting, i.e. lines, brush strokes, concrete visual effects appear on this evanescent background. The viewer is caught up in the game, because Nadra succeeds in making two contradictory data coexist on her canvases. It is close to one of the great themes of Chinese aesthetics, that which combines emptiness and fullness.


Nadra gives us a real abstraction. The forms he offers us are unrelated to recognizable things or beings. However, they assume a solid material presence. By standing out from the painted and unpainted background, the latter tinted by the color of the raw linen canvas, these forms turn into objects suspended on an appearance of emptiness. They are the result of a pictorial gesture charged with energy.


The more we look at Nadra's paintings, the more they take on a striking, even dramatic appearance. What we can call his subjects have no fixed limit. Their perimeter is crumbled as if it were being torn away with great effort from the bottom, although it is immaterial. Their surface bears traces of colors applied by the convulsive movements of the brush or painting knife. Everything seems to be done through injuries. Without it being a precise message, Nadra's paintings recall the title phrase that Joseph Beuys, the great German anarchist artist gave to one of his exhibitions: "show your wound" or rather "make see your wound” (“Zeige Deine Wunde”).


Yes, it is appropriate to speak of expressionism, of a gesture halfway between spontaneity and calculation. The painter speaks to us from his innermost being. The impression of rawness emanating from the colors is not due to their chromatic purity, but rather to their juxtaposition. The meeting of tones almost transforms into a story. Nadra also knows how to vary formats by going beyond the usual rectangle of the canvas. These irregularities of the perimeter highlight formal or coloristic elements that the artist wants to distinguish." (...)"


Léo Rosshandler, AICA, Montreal, February 1998.

Extract from the exhibition catalog of the Château de Chauffailles (71) and the HAN Art Contemporain Gallery (Montreal)


bottom of page