in Influences | 07 OCT 16

An Artist's Eye: Marguerite Humeau

'A grid for understanding the cosmos'

in Influences | 07 OCT 16

In a new series, artists exhibiting at Frieze London selected works at Frieze Masters that spoke to them. Marguerite Humeau - who has a solo stand with C L E A R I N G (Frieze London H17) in the Focus section - chose a ledger drawing from the Lakota people (c.1890)– 460 BC) at the stand of Donald Ellis Gallery (Frieze Masters F17). 

Drawing from Loendorf ledger (page 131). Lakota (c.1890). Courtesy: Donald Ellis Gallery.
 Is the bull a God? Is it a spirit? a spectre? Is the bull being killed? Has the bull stolen the snake? What is the relationship between the birds, the squirrel, the human figure - and the bull? Is the bull running away? Has this situation really happened? Is it a mythological account? Is it a diagram, a depiction of a possible scenario, or a real story as witnessed by the artist?  I was struck by how the human figure is the one that is cut out of the frame. Maybe there was a will to depict a non-human world?  The artist has used the ruled lines on the page as a kind of measuring system. A grid for various forms of life, for understanding the cosmos. The drawing looks like a diagram of an ecosystem, mapping relationships between the various beings involved in this situation. They all seem to be able to communicate together. There is sound - screams. And bodily fluids - blood? - which connects the figures too. A very strange mystery emanates from the page. I got lost trying to understand the role of each creature at stake. The enigma won't be resolved. 
Marguerite Humeau solo presentation with C L E A R I N G in Focus at Frieze London 2016. Photo: (c) Linda Nylind. Courtesy: Frieze.