After attending the Fine Arts School of Caen, Normandy, from 1996 to 2005, Fabienne Adal had the opportunity to consolidate and enrich her skills in the studio of Jean-Louis Longuet. She devoted herself entirely to oils, which she practises on different supports (wood, canvas, linen card or paper, and kraft paper). She began exhibiting regularly in 2006, and was rewarded in 2010 and 2011 with the “Audience Award” at the Autumn Salon of Sommervieu. In 2011, she took up arts training with visual artist David Lemaresquier in Bayeux.
After a period of favouring abstraction and colour, Fabienne Adal soon confirmed her artistic personality in masterfully minimalist expressive creations. In 2012, when by chance she discovered a photograph of New York cloaked in mist, she decided to turn back to figuration and to “paint vertical and perspective landscapes.” In order to better convey fog effects, she uses birds’ feathers for paint brushes, definitively banishing the latter from her studio. The resulting urban series (which is worthy both of Edward Steichen’s Pictorialism, which revolutionised black and white artistic photography at the very beginning of the 20th century, and of the German Neo-Expressionism advocated by Anselm Kiefer at the end of the 20th century) is a veritable tribute to architecture. It offers a painting world tour, reproducing subtly shaded and grandiose city atmospheres.
Fabienne Adal’s subjects are always bursting with vitality. While they might seem to escape reality, they in fact do not renounce the figurative world. Based upon her observation, her themes throw off the shackles of traditional realism and transform into very sober, evocative shapes that appeal to the eye. The resulting masterful compositions in medium and large formats exude a powerful energy. Besides her urban series, it is worth noting her characters in motion as well as her expressionist portraits with their innovative formal abstraction and intentionally provocative iconographic style, the inspiration for which came in part from the works of Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow. In a constant quest for harmony, the artist applies her emphatic brushstrokes in a palette of very limited yet vibrantly intense colours, essentially playing on the non-colour white to accentuate light and shade.
Fabienne Adal’s subjective pictorial expression, which is undoubtedly a reflection of the artist’s soul and personality, bestows her artwork with strength and a rare audacity. The world of mystery that it conveys is both surreal and poetic.
Francine BUNEL-MALRAS, Historian of Art