Bruises & Stitches

Agathe Bouton

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Year Participated: 2022

How did showing in the exhibition impact your career as an artist?

“My participation at the exhibition pushed me to create larger works, monumental installations of prints, for the first time. Having the possibility to exhibit in such a large gallery and to photograph my work in situ was a great help in marketing my work. I was able to share those photos with my collectors as a well as with art institutions who follow me. It also led to discussions with interior designers and art consultants. Furthermore, since I expanded my work to larger sizes, I’m not afraid to experiment more in my art practice.”

Artist Statement

Through a modern approach to printmaking, I make monotypes, prints, installations, artist books, paper clothing, and paintings that play with improvisation and superimposition in their creation. My work draws on engraving and etching techniques, and uses color that appears in different halftones, shades, and densities. Color and textiles have always had important roles in my work because they create impressions of light, people, and pigment. I interpret and interact with the world around me through a well-honed visual language that incorporates all the continents, histories, and cultures I’ve experienced.

My artwork explores themes of identity, history, humanity, of progress of decay and deterioration – transmuting it all into beauty, serenity, story, and hue. Both the complexity and the element of chance of the techniques and processes I use echo the themes I strive to express.

Bruises & Stitches is an installation of 50 small panels of 5 x 4 in. In the gallery are a selection of 20 of them.

This new work is part of my “Seconde Peau” series, started in 2019. It’s an intimate series of work that refers to our skin and is inspired by how our skin renews itself and heals itself. In this particular installation the colors are inspired by the color of bruises and how the blue fades away as our skin heals and the stitches refer to our wounds.

The prints and papers I use are delicate and fragile, like our skin. The addition of metallic threads gives the impression that our skin is precious and must be protected, as well as referring to stitches, and how our skin repairs.

The works refer to the wounds that afflict our skin, our body, through our jobs and our daily lives. We cut ourselves, we burn, we bruise, and all this affects our skin and leaves traces, sometimes more visible than others.

Each panel is a collage of monoprints mounted onto acid free foam board with pins and metallic thread. Each panel is unique and can be purchased individually or as a whole installation.

Artist Biography

Agathe Bouton is a French artist living and working in Philadelphia whose boundary-pushing printmaking and paper works exhibit influence from living and working in international cities across the globe. Bouton earned BFA in Painting and Printmaking and her MFA in Arts and Textile Design from the prestigious ESSAA Duperré in Paris, France.

Bouton has lived and exhibited her work internationally in Paris (France), London (UK), Philadelphia and New York (USA), Rangoon (Burma/Myanmar), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Dakar (Senegal), and Istanbul (Turkey). Since moving to the U.S. in 2014, she has exhibited extensively in Philadelphia and New York.

Bouton has received numerous awards in France and the United States for her accomplished printmaking. Bouton’s work is in the collections of French institutions as well as American public collections. She’s represented by the Kismet Art & Co and Martine Namy-Caulier in Paris, France.