Self-Portrait with a Hood (pink)
Acrylic on panel
76 × 51 cm (29 15/16 × 20 1/16 in.)
In this painting, it is the artist herself who faces us... And yet her gaze seems to be fixed on a distant point, beyond the frame, out of the viewer's reach. With this work, Claire Tabouret follows the pictorial tradition of the self-portrait, “a presence that speaks, without words.” What touches us is this paradoxical intensity, between presence and absence, an enigmatic appearance with electrifying colours. The opposing forces of the gaze course through Tabouret's painting—everything is there and, at the same time, seems to escape us.
The artist speaks of self-portraits as a “studio ritual”: “It's a face-to-face process. I start with my reflection in the mirror, which has a strong relationship with painting. For me, it's like confronting my choices, my will, or my determination every day.”
An orange light—that of the hoodie, lit by a side light—is almost fluorescent on the painting. The canvas edge, turned over against the frame, is also highlighted by a fluorescent yellow-green that casts its acidic shadow on the wall. With this exercise in luminist painting, Claire Tabouret draws on the mannerist colour tradition, the lesson of chiaroscuro, of cast shadows, from Giorgione to the Caravaggisti, from Pontormo to Goya and Monet.
Self-portrait with a Hood (pink) is also rooted in Marlene Dumas' Skulls series, a work whose impact is drawn from the ensemble formed by these thirty-six individual images, each representing a human skull. It is the attention paid to the details of each skull that profoundly affected Claire Tabouret, who, in a singular act of painting, imposes the same requirement of representation on herself.
This work is first presented in 2021 by the Pinault Collection in the inaugural exhibition of the Bourse de Commerce, entitled "Ouverture".