« We make our own mysteries. Life is much less complicated than it is believed, and it unravels what seems to us to be entangled. » Maurice Leblanc
Painting as any form of art is part of a work of dissimulation and recovery. It is a matter of masking and retracing the impressions that the real gives us. Diderot has often, as we know, lambasted in his salons the search for « verism », a perfect fit between the canvas and what it was supposed to reproduce. In this painting by Jean-François Huleux, the gaze is immediately stopped, as prevented by the threshold of representation. Two paths open to the field of our perception, a kind of door with an irregular structure that gives a timid whiteness and then a second opening made of thick layers of yellow paint, in the form of louvres that allow no light to pass. The impediment is radical, almost redoubled, for these two perspectives do not succeed in piercing the surface of the picture. A too neutral surface, to be truly effective. Even the yellow bands do not offer any stability or chromatic coherence. Indeed on the right side of the picture, the yellow bands seem almost erased, in a perfect indistinctiness with the beige and blue background. The impurity and imbalance of colors take hold of the canvas. The left-hand part seems to stand guzzling against the white door. But is it really a door or any opening, synonymous with a saving flight? The loss of confidence in the objects accompanies the color leakage. The elements lose their authority, entanglement of forms and lines, absence of line of demarcation between Inside and outside. The picture of Jean Francois sparkles with an insoluble anxiety. Where can we go yet? Have we exhausted all possibilities, as in Beckett’s dedalian narratives? Are not these openings simply artificial? Paint to maintain the field of vision and expression simply. At least in Rothko painting still vibrates with a tragic power, there is perhaps the reassuring possibility of weeping over the human condition and living the passion of blood. Here it is all escape that suddenly left the world. And this line of demarcation between the two chromatic alternatives, does it propose a splitting of the painting? An acceptable threshold where the choice would still be possible.
As with other paintings by Jean-François Huleux, it is the very signs of painting that seem to be absent from the world. Like the yellow room, forever condemned to mystery, the picture is tautegorical, an indefinite circulation of meaning, a narrative maze that never ends.