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Nathanaëlle Herbelin
solo presentation at Musée d'Orsay

12 March—30 June 2024
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

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A regular visitor to the Musée d'Orsay collections since childhood, French-Israeli artist Nathanaëlle Herbelin is invited to put her paintings and sources of inspiration into perspective. A descendant of the Nabis, the artist has brought her favourite subjects - daily life, domestic interiors and intimacy - up to date, in compositions that are nonetheless resolutely contemporary.

This presentation at the Musée d'Orsay is directly in line with the museum's cultural project to extend the "polyphony of Orsay" to less classical artistic figures, in this case by presenting an emerging artist who has already won rave reviews from the critics. Her meteoric rise since graduating from the Beaux-Arts in Paris less than ten years ago has been the subject of much comment, and will also be an opportunity to showcase the Musée d'Orsay's attention to the artists who attend its neighbouring school, and those among its artist alumni who are passionate about its collections.

The spring 2024 contemporary exhibition will highlight the artist's sensitive engagement with the Nabis movement. While the artist's subtle touch, chromatic palette and preferred motifs remind us of Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard and Félix Vallotton, other figurative details bring us back to the most contemporary of realities: thanks to the presence of current features (cell phones or electronic power cables) in these updated genre scenes, but also by transposing contemporary concerns onto these compositions. For example, the intimacy of the mother's body in the toilet sometimes shows the model waxing, or gender is questioned by the transposition of a nude male model in the bathtub; another canvas even presents an intimate scene centered on female pleasure, or the staging of the familiar in a bedroom is illuminated by the nocturnal blue light of a laptop placed on the knees of a bedridden figure.

This update should undoubtedly resonate with the paintings by Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard and Félix Vallotton permanently on display in these galleries, without clashing or feeling like a pastiche, as Nathanaëlle Herbelin's universe remains sensitive and singular.