Achaintre works across a diverse range of media that includes watercolours, linocuts, textiles and ceramics. Her drawings, hand-tufted wall hangings and sculptures are colourful and potent, evoking the subversive spirit of European carnival and creating an atmosphere that is both playful and absurd. Including German Expressionism, modernist sculpture and Primitivism among her influences, the artist also references more contemporary subcultural genres such as sci-fi, the heavy metal scene, cartoons and horror films.
Drawing is the foundation of Achaintre’s practice. Made with watercolour and ink, the artist’s delicate works on paper oscillate between the abstract and the figurative, revealing compositions that often recall the shape of a face or figure, like a series of ghostly portraits. Recent works use latex, wax and bleach to mask out patterns and remove colour. Monochromatic linocuts refer more directly to the primitive, with heavy expressive lines and shadowy forms.
Extract from the text for the exhibition GATESHEAD, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art & Frac Champagne-Ardenne, curator Antoine Marchand. 2016
“I am interested in primary sensations. This is why prehistoric art inspires me: everything is simply said and the superfluous is excluded. It is a very powerful art. Primitivism is visionary, at the heart of everything. My interest in European carnival folklore has its origins in the age-old tradition of masks, as much as in the caricature of society that carnival represents.” – Caroline Achaintre
Vue de l’exposition / Exhibition view Vue Liquide, Fondation Thalie, Bruxelles, 07.09. 2020 – 13.12.2020
© Laetizia Debain