MARIE DE VILLEPIN
THE LOST WEEKEND

23.04 — 12.06.2022


Eighteen months of breakups – the end of the Beatles, the separation from Yoko Ono, the relationship with May Pang – but also eighteen months of friendship, love and America with a capital A – from the New York penthouse to the Santa Monica beach house. Of lights, music and words. During this parenthesis, the musician lost and found himself. A bit of musical legend: this is John Lennon’s Lost Weekend, from which he returned with the gold of Walls and Bridges in his hands.

This Lost Weekend belongs to us all. It is the sweet escape, and the temptation of elsewhere; the past, dangerous and loved; and finally, the distance, felt universally, between the world of before, frenetic, delirious, and the world after lockdown, suddenly fragile, nostalgic, violently turned towards a future with little that seems desirable, a future made of wars, ideologies, walls.

In The Lost Weekend, her exhibition at the Galerie Charraudeau, Marie de Villepin sends us postcards from this moment suspended in time, a confrontation with the years she spent living in the United States, a mosaic of fragments from the past. So many things were lost, changed and found over those three years. Since her first exhibition, she has continued her journey, from America to Europe, from spontaneous drawings to oils on canvas, a technique that necessitates preparation, planning. Here she bears witness not to conserving her inventory but to transforming it into something new, in a ceremony expressing her respect for the flow of life that guides her work.

Lost and Found: this weekend is an appeal to reclaim possession of the past, to reconquer imaginary territories. Marie de Villepin re-appropriates her path, her journey, her hours of wandering. She asserts her mythical origins, her obsessions – but from which sky do all these birds fall, like meteor showers? – her forays into diverse domains, fashion, cinema, music… she has passed through everywhere like a gust of wind, head in the storms, leaving a footprint like a bird in wet sand, but in too much of a hurry to take it with her.

Her works seem to whisper of sunken cities that have resurfaced, of transported maquettes, of mermaids embedded in a colony of fallen angels. To make an appeal, you must prove that you can tame space. And not least of all, what is shown in these paintings is the strength with which space is held in them.

Music is interwoven, songs seem to melt together in a continuous melody, the punk’s escape from life; the rock song sense of explosion, the tension of an existential path in jazz. Everything blends together, as in life; and as in life, each era has its season, its tone, it's dominant. Her first Parisian exhibition three years ago started with a jazz rhythm, a bit unsteady but always picking itself up, a headlong rush towards brassy, warm, deep harmonies. In contrast, the Lost Weekend has a seventies tonality, made up of experiences, a wistful combination of joy and sadness, peace and momentum; in the corridors, we cross paths with the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Janis Joplin, and follow Jefferson Airplane’s white rabbit into the underground galleries.