Monique Orsini was born in Quercitello, Corsica in 1937 to parents who were teachers.
But Monique was raised in French Algeria (Oran).
Her father dedicated his spare time to painting, delighting himself notably by reproducing the works of famous artists.
From a very tender childhood, the young girl was naturally attracted by the visual arts, encouraged by a fatherly complicity at every instance.
As a student, she participated in numerous artistic training courses, and came into contact with art in general, galleries and museums in particular. This environment became indispensable to her.
Monique has been an Artist for more than 45 years
Self-taught, Monique Orsini will later teach the artistic disciplines as a civil servant and will start up many children’s studios.
The artist will gain a lot of experience from these teacher-student experiences, integrating them into the syntax of her own creative vocabulary
Through the circumstances of her artistic life, she meets and becomes friends with artists, such as Karel Appel, Olivier Debré, Bram Van Velde, Hartung and Pierre Soulages.
In 1987, Monique Orsini exhibited at Arlette Gimaray’s gallery along with Hartung, Soulages, Chu Teh Chun, Zao Wu Ki and Kijno. Chu Teh Chun became like a second father to Monique and helped her in her work and became one of her collectors.
Bengt Lindstrom becomes particularly close, as the Swedish artist supports her and pushes her to show her work
Some words of the artist: “Painting is indispensable for me, as important as breathing. It compels me to a free consented discipline, and at the same time stimulates and balances me”.
On canvas, or on paper, Monique Orsini works most often painted in series, giving each painting a task thus helping us to live better, proposes that we communicate with the same source of transcendental emotion.
Her world is an informal world. Besides group exhibitions that the artist takes part in, numerous solo exhibitions, in France and abroad – notably in Sweden – mark, gradually, the journey of Monique Orsini.
The artist lives and works near Paris
Lydia Harambourg, Art Critic and Historian, wrote about Monique Orsini:
Monique Orsini… a language for the life force and the dynamic of signs
The painting of Monique Orsini is informal, but does not break with the real and its hidden riches, which has nourished French painting from Hartung to Debre via Bazaine.
This was the source of lyrical abstraction, which was fertilized by a consciousness of space and light, the experience of which made the daily practice of painting a way of being in the world.
Sensible perception plays an important role in her engagement, which is receptive to wonderment, and its power of inspiration. The work comes to the artist in a twofold movement of accomplishment and transcendence. Gesture comes into play as the sole interpreter of a complex process in which inner and outer necessities come together.
Ample and resonant, close to the body, it captures the pattern of an elan close to that of the wind, water or clouds, following their sure yet unpredictable flection, always true, weaving correspondences that are not figurative but allusive in order to recapture in an original echo the rhythm, inner impulsions and lines of forces that write the Universe
From the outset, the work of Monique Orsini has sought osmosis with the laws that govern nature. Her approach, its sovereignty heightened by a constant mastery of the spatial problems posed by the surface of the canvas, places her art within an internalized apprenticeship of abstraction. It is a tricky exercise to avoid impoverishing a language based primarily on the life force and the dynamics of signs.
It is a fervent pantheism, regenerated by the emotion inspired by a landscape, a vision almost in the mystical sense of the term, which appropriates a world in which painting can plunge, before sharing it with us
Her taste for travel, the discovery of countries and their geological, chromatic and luminous diversity, is conductive to her serial practice.
Monique Orsini has developed a pictorial writing that, over the years, has become increasingly marked, which cannot be confused with another. Ever true to herself, she continues her explorations with unusual rigor, equaled only by her quest for s signifying form of painting nourished by the truth of her peregrinations, as recorded in the meanders of her thought, long after the place was left behind.
Her visual capture continues along its path in the intimacy of a memory open to the most vivid sensations. The signs, intuitively liberated by their mental gestation, come from lived experience – the stir of a tree, the wash of waves, the meeting of earth and sky. Visible or invisible, her brush endows them with autonomous visual equivalents.
Transposed onto the field of the canvas, these aerial traces are written within a gestural growth that is tirelessly reiterated.
Generous in their swathes of color, whether emphatic or fraying into fine parallel stripes, each sign, each form attests the internal tensions that are inherent in the vital drives. This dynamic, refined painting allows us to apprehend all the power and spontaneity of gesture. The quicker this gesture, the more assured and exact it is, Orsini observes.
Work in instinct and in time. This painting of the movement and the sign that instill an energy, by signifying a presence, is the expression of an inner life and consequently of a writing that imposes itself in a conquered unity, which Henri Focillon (French Art Historian) analyses as a higher quality of the work of art which enables it to escape time.
Monique Orsini’s painting exists in a sustained dialogue between her style and the void, the relation that links light and matter. Articulated around ebb and flow, between what is revealed and what is hidden, on what mysterious rule has it founded its language?
In the controlled impulsiveness of her recent series we can measure all its fervent maturity. Returning from a trip to Shanghai, the flora there triggered a new appetite for color. In her impatience to confront her impressions, with her gestural experience, Orsini summoned up pinks and mauves in a fiery calligraphy of tamed turbulence.
Such is the painterly writing of Monique Orsini; she travels and discovers countries, then relives the experience in the studio.
Recently a deep, velvety black assailed the virginal, silent layering with its emphatically visible, flexing lines. Combing rigour and refinement, these broad blades and curves came from the urgency of gesture caught in the battling torment of a graphic choreography expressing immateriality. This forces our gaze and plunges it in an unknown, vibrant with shadow and light, endowing her painting with an almost cosmic dimension.
Zones and vibrations fall into places beneath her brush as it experiments with new forms of resistance to the void in the form of iridescence, striated bundles and supple if arrested nervous flows. The gestural assaults are moved by a pure energy that seeks to master a space that works on the imaginary.
Monique Orsini reveals the abstract beauties buried in her soul and unconscious, beauties that belong to the artist’s complex relation to sensible reality, a lived experience transcribed by the immanence of light raised up by a gesture that precedes thought and reinvents the landscape.
Such is the power of Monique Orsini’s painting, which, confirming the steps taken by the postwar generation has succeeded in constructing a pictorial field based on a sensuous writing, and to contain a tangible luminous flux by means of a fully accomplished technique.
From the ordered chaos come signs inscribed in the spatial fluidity, vibrant forms whose obviousness suggests the prodigality of élan, the tones, modulated in wet acrylic and worked like watercolor, provide unexpected colors for these interior landscapes in which Monique Orsini creates a syntheses of the harmony and equilibrium of the cosmos.