Since 30 years, her work has questioned modern architecture as much as our natural environment. She most often works in situ. Her practice spans painting, embroidery, sculpture and integrates natural and vegetal world. Her work questions the complex and evolving relationship between humans and their environment.
Architecture plays a central role in Isa Melsheimer's work, particularly the forms and leading figures of modernism, notably Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, evoked in the exhibition through the paintings he created in 1938-39 on the walls of Eileen Grey's Villa E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.
For her exhibition at MAMAC, the artist delved into the rich history of the Côte d'Azur, a territory of experimentation in modern architecture which today leaves a legacy of villas, sometimes unsuspected, nestled in the heart of the hills and palm trees. This intertwined destiny of adventurous patrons, opened to the innovations of their time, and innovative architects, intersects with the imagination of an eternal Riviera and its desirable landscapes. The palm tree, although introduced during the 19th century (massive plantations of tropical species date back to the 1860s), at the time of the development of international winter tourism, appears today as an indigenous plant and a symbol of the French Riviera. The artist proposes a hybridization of this dreamed and fantasized Riviera and the transformation of the shoreline due to the infestation of palm trees by the red weevil. The gallery is transformed into an oniric and metamorphical landscape in which ceramics of the worms of the insect and evocations of modernist architecture intertwine, creating the perhaps fertile ground for a story to come.
Text: Hélène Guenin