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A life of intensity

The evolution of Thoma Ryse’s artistic creation is intimately linked to his private life. The artist offers us a vision of how the decision to open up to the outside world (starting from Brittany, for example, towards China, particularly Peking) can foster an approach by “series” and help carry it to fruition. Ryse understands his inspiration: he acts on it and models it. As a result, the spectator enjoys a clear vision of the intelligence of the artist’s work as well as of how well the work, consisting in installations, sculptures, paintings and drawings, corresponds to its environment.

In general, the relationship of man to the world is represented as based on an experience – be it sensitive, tactile or physical, in other words, material. But there is no cause for confusion. The work of Thomas Ryse stems from his doctrine of intelligibility: it’s a question of fuelling a conscience which feels at home on Earth and which eludes inertia, or any kind of solidity or sordid industrial or instrumental pressure. Thoma Ryse’s logic is that of an aesthetical geometry, which glories in action, lightness and forward movement in an ever-changing variation.

Thoma Ryse offers us a chance to recreate life in thought through action on materials: aluminium, stainless steel, optical fibre, resin, canvas, wood or paper, to name just a few. And this by embracing the various aspects of an astounding production of plastic. No detail is left to chance: all of the effects are an integral part of the times and we can sense that every strategy, whether it be in sculpture, installation or painting, is a result of its era, its location, its finality. This is true of a series of canvases known as “Beijing Feelings” (2007) as well as of a painted stainless steel sculpture in modern-day Peking, mounted on the base of a fountain – or even of the 1200 huge multi-coloured balloons which set off another sculpture for the “Moulin de Blanchardeau” installation that same year but in a very different region.

Where does the artistic individuality of Thoma Ryse begin or end? The man seems to be one and yet several artists, painters and sculptors, oriental yet a Westerner; he is actually a very difficult person to categorize. He radiates an undeniable generosity, expressed by a selection of colours that shout “Fauves”; an agility in drawing that sometimes has us dream of a brief homage to Matisse, with a variety of natural shapes which lead us back to the life process; a biomorphism as revealed by theories of the living at the microscopic level or that cosmology intimates at on an infinitely larger scale. Most often, when the eye resigns itself to having finished its scrutiny, we discover other surprises and samples of the unexpected, such as the infinite series of sculpted, painted shapes.

There is therefore an implicit philosophy here, whose effects are far from accidental, local or transitory. Thoma Ryse is forever highlighting the opening that life suddenly forces upon us with no particular manoeuvre or repetition, a light that shines from the end of the tunnel to illuminate the universe.

No conceptualism per se nor arbitrary reconstruction of things. The artist finds himself up against the obligation to assume the world’s contradictions: curved or straight lines, mathematical opposites: circles and squares, contrasts: black and white. Not to mention the objective of refusing to imitate reality but instead to give a symbolic, syncretic version. Humility consists in creating sensitive images which are modelled on the bodies around us. No irrealism then, no free speculation either – just an effort to be fully integrated in reality so as to finally be able to dream… such is the paradox, another world! A world reconciled.

Creation, transformation: we are up against the master word of ancient Chinese wisdom. Figures of men appear in drawings or plants in certain paintings like greenery used to people an interior. The imagination breaks down the visible into dreams to structure the work.

Then, for he who contemplates, observes, seeks to palpate or touch, something mobile that questions knowledge and provokes speculation, far beyond the industry of men and well-established frameworks, snapshots charged with daily experience. Thoma Ryse questions the very essence of life, its mysterious operation, its depth, by superimposing plans of recent “Beijing feeling-2007” canvases. He offers us a representation that is vast, spontaneous and essential, transcending all the virtualities imagined by surveyors. And we arrive at a place beyond solitude. Happiness reigns, we free ourselves of old-fashioned forms of conscience. We regain vital health. We all come close to a sort of energetic fusion, to a vision that is almost substantial, very close to the luminous heart of the spirit.

Thus, evolves the work of Thoma Ryse, dancing with the rhythm of nature, intensely and without theory, inseparable from forces in the Creative process.

Pierre Givodan
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