Five questions to Laurence Grave

Five questions to Laurence Grave

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Laurence Grave is a self-taught artist. She was born in France in 1970 and lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. Tell us your story, why did you become an artist?

My mother was a secretary, my father a skilled worker (jewelry) who discovered himself through psychoanalysis. Soon enough I began one of my own. Our relationship took on a rare complicity. Mediocre student, after the baccalaureate I decided to become an actress: two years of dramatic art studies in Paris, small roles here and there without much success. After fifteen years of wishy-washy acting performances I took a permanent job in a second-hand bookshop. It was there that I met the person I live with, who has been a painter for several decades. At almost forty, in 2008, I started painting. A hut that can withstand the storm.

When you create a new work, how do you go about it? What comes first?

I observe the material quite attentively, then out of the corner of my eye, passing by... It takes me a little time to grasp its own presence before starting anything. Color will make the shape. It's the color that prefigures and, in the best of cases, clarifies what I've recognized. The previous painting plays an important role in the choice of material.What can you tell us about your studio, what makes it special to you and how does it influence the way you work?

The studio/apartment I share with my partner is of little importance, apart from the usual factors: sufficient daylight, enough space for two people to work in the same room. What's special is perhaps that we share the studio, which means daily exchanges feed the work.
Is there a work of art in your life that has especially impressed you?

TWOFACETWO, a duo exhibition at Veneklasen Werner in Berlin in 2009, featuring Aaron Curry and Thomas Houseago. The discovery of Houseago's work, his ability to maintain a close relationship with the history of art, to give it a form whose expressive and accurate power translates the density of the living before art was named Art.     

Reach to the stars: where will you be in 5 years?

Making a painting that challenges my previous ones.Pics by Michel Carmantrand