Ariane Fruit, from photography to printing

Crime scene, 2018, Lino cut, 2,15 by 2,75, photo Rebecca Diaz

On opening night, Ariane Fruit was very appropriately stuck in the subway, one of her two favorite themes with crime sites. Fascinated by thrillers and detailed descriptions of police crime scenes, this very complete artist started with drawing and argentique photography when it was still a demanding physical and scientific art. With the growth of digital photography, she felt the urge to go back to technique and apprenticed as an engraver and a printer. She now uses photography for the preparation of her printing and has developed a very personal style.

Ariane Fruit engraves the lino floor of her studio, photo Laurent Lafuma

Ariane Fruit first started with subway scenes. She photographed the “Meute”, the running packed crowds and sculpted them into linoleum. The prints that come out of this reproduce a movement that is unusual for black and white art. They are closer to dark cinema. Their vertical format is super efficient. When Erik Desmazières warned me that I would be surprised by this new show at Documents 15, I did not expect such technical adroitness nor dark imagination. The artist’s obsession with crime scenes pushed her to engrave the linoleum floor of her studio, which she then used as printing ground for her vision from above.

The engraved floor (detail) will be used as a printing press, photo Laurent Lafuma

She photographed her room full of tools, furniture, computer, plants, drawings, etc. and applied the photograph on the floor, square by square, six all together. She then sculpted the lino floor which she used as a printing press. It took her three days to print the large crime scene while lying in the middle of it. The result is quite spectacular. And if you are reminded of a photograph, it is definitely a print inspired by Police stations records of crimes. “Graveuse en série” serial engraver, is the name that philosopher Anne Sauvagnargues gave her in the beautiful text she wrote for the invitation pamphlet. Make sure, if you go to the gallery, to ask for one.

Crime Scene, fragment 4, 2018, print, photo Laurent Lafuma

With this new exhibition Documents 15 takes us deeper into the art of engraving and printing. At 43, Ariane Fruit represents a new generation of artists who dig further in this old art and rejuvenates our vision of black and white prints. She is truly original.

Ariane Fruit, in front of “Meute” one her subway scenes

Until January 5, 15 rue de l’Echaudé, Paris 6. The prints range from 400€  to 8 000€ for the large crime scene.

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