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Norma Bessières

France Born in: 1964
With unwavering determination, like a Buren of the animal sculpting world, Norma Bessières experiments with the infinitely rich motif of the zebra. With its naturally graphic properties, it has been a source of inspiration for a number of artists (think, for example, of Alain Jacquet or Victor Vasarely) faced with the question of art versus nature, or how nature encourages artists to draw upon geometric and symbolic concepts. The zebra is, indeed, a strange and fascinating animal, situated on the fine line between design and the living world – a reflection that has endured since antiquity.

For over ten years, Norma Bessières has been formally drawing upon these elements in the most diverse forms, adding colour here, bringing out the natural elements there, multiplying her perspectives and framing. She has pursued them to the point of unsettling abstraction, plunging us into the living eye of the animal and taking us back to our own humanity. But it is in her new series that she explores the background to these issues, positioning her brush strokes, sculptures and installations around a simple theme that she succeeds in enhancing with intelligence and sensitivity: the living and the inanimate. The living zebra, with its grace and amazing geometry, its very existence a form of miracle, almost sacred, is contrasted with the inanimate painting, the geometric lines drawn from this image by man, and his propensity to translate reality through signs and symbols: a possible definition of art.

Norma Bessières is right to stick to her subject – we are in no doubt that it still holds many future inspirations
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