with Marie Jacotey, Héloïse Rival, Peter Simpson 


Ballon Rouge is pleased to present Daylighting, an exhibition with works by Marie Jacotey, Héloïse Rival, and Peter Simpson.


A term used in the manifestation and construction of a physical space, ‘daylighting’ is the practice of placing windows, skylights, or any kind of openings or reflective surfaces throughout a space in order to provide the maximal and most effective lighting. It’s working with nature to improve sheltered living - to illuminate. 


It is the impulse toward light, the impulse toward nature, toward openness. And, it is an impulse that has existed in the construction of both spaces, and the self, for centuries. With it, comes the illumination of an interior, imperfections and all. Whether it be through the literal representation of windows, doors, and frames, or through suggestions and metaphors of looking inward, or the proposal of inner lives and life brought to light, each of these artists is a kind of 'daylighter.'


Marie Jacotey’s practice is defined by the transposition of personal and private moments into the everyday and relatable. Her works, most often soft pastels on paper, are a diary, exposing moments of intimacy, and the doors and frames that allow the peak into them. Her depictions of flowers and patterns act as a still life taken from a larger moment, a small frame from of a scene, a metaphor and a memory.


Héloïse Rival subverts the utilitarian pretext of ceramic as a material in order to parse the intersection of painting, narration, and ornamentation. The consideration of the frame is omnipresent in her works. Within the frame you find the narrated scene, and sometimes the work itself is only a frame studded with its very own story. Her work is self-reflective, a negative space is created, a structure or a body is hinted at because of the nature of the material and its content. 

In this way, her works are expressions; they are gestures toward an alternative space and reality - her works become like a window.


Peter Simpson is a narrative process painter. He works on several paintings at once over an extended period of time, allowing for an organic process of addition and erasure to show within each work; instances like a character’s arms changing position, the old position remaining vaguely visible. The compositional devices and perspectives are loosely influenced by the designs of metopes on Greek temples; everything is altered to fit within the frame, creating a surreal depth found in the mixture of objects and figures fitting sometimes abnormally on the surface. The works are his own diary, his journey of finding his place within the canon of painting, with nods toward his personal heroes of the medium; Barnett Newman makes an appearance in a small boat alongside the artist himself. 


In this exhibition we see the way three different artists working in three different mediums play with the idea of ‘daylighting’ and the idea in turn, of the distinction between outside and inside, public and private, and the idea of space itself, both literally and metaphorically. Each of the artists do this with a nod toward classicism, their works like a piece of a frieze from their personal structures, a singular story that is part of a larger narrative - a window or a frame in order to bring the light in. 


Marie Jacotey (1988, Paris) is a Marseille based artist. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in London (2013) after graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (2011). Jacotey’s work draws inspiration from the gathering of people together, the expression of emotions in their many and varied interactions and the contexts and details in which these engagements take place - architecture, landscape, or place; picking out wallpaper, furniture, clothes, and zooming in further to detail pattern, patina, texture... Her works – though insistently manual in their making: paintings on plaster and dust sheets, pencil drawings, soft pastel on Japanese paper, sewing and fabric - make use of perspectives that reference the world of cinema and slow-mo, the photographer’s point and shoot. 


Her first animation short movie co-directed with and written by Lola Halifa-Legrand, Blue Fear, was just released as part of the official Cannes festival competition 2020. Her latest eponymous solo show opened at Hannah Barry gallery in London this summer where she exhibited a selection of 57 of the 325 drawings made for the short. Amongst recent shows, she presented a new series of textile works in a solo in New York in March 2020 with Ballon Rouge Collective. Other recent exhibitions include Superzoom (group show, Octobre 2019, Paris), Absinthe (group show, May 2019, London), Wild Love Me (solo booth at NADA art fair, Miami 2018), Goodbye Darkness (solo show, Paris 2018). Her work can be found in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Jacotey is also represented by Hannah Barry Gallery, London.


Héloïse Rival (1990, Paris) studied at ENSAD (Strasbourg) from 2010 to 2011, and continued her studies at La Cambre in Brussels, where she obtained her degree in graphics in 2017. Her practice initially focused on screen printing, distorting and manipulating data. Recently she decided to focus exclusively on ceramics, investigating the bas-relief as a functional object as well as a carrier of narratives. Rival combines mythological scenes with biblical stories and botanical motifs into an imaginative and vivid visual language. Her practice blurs the lines between art and applied crafts. 


Peter Simpson (1989, Liverpool) is an English artist and writer from Liverpool who studied at Wimbledon College of Art, London and currently lives and works in Brussels. His practice is mostly focused on Painting and Sculpture and he has exhibited in a number of exhibitions and residencies across London, Madrid and Brussels, such as Intercambiador Acart Madrid and Generation Brussels, 2019, among others.