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ART SEEN - Bespoke art from Adrien Couvrat for Villa in Corseaux

ART SEEN // Events// Art & Culture // Sept. 6, 2017

Visiting the temporary exhibition hosted by the Villa « Le Lac » in Corseaux is an unusual treat, offering a combination of art, architecture and design, and a breathtaking setting by the lake with the Alps as a dramatic background. 

Uli Van Neyghem tells us all about it...

Photos © ULI VAN NEYGHEM / FLC, 2017

The villa was designed by one of the pioneers of modern design and architecture, Le Corbusier. 

Born in Switzerland and dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities, Le Corbusier was influential in urban planning and designed buildings in Europe, Japan, India and North and South America. Many of his buildings are inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

Photos © ULI VAN NEYGHEM / FLC, 2017
What makes the Villa « Le Lac » stand out, is the fact that it was not a commercial project. Le Corbusier designed the house in 1923 for his ageing parents, adding a very private, intimate perspective to the visit. The villa is a little gem of ingenuity and functionalism, created by a son, wanting to provide his parents with maximum comfort; his design framing the spectacular beauty of the surrounding landscape. 
For the walls, Le Corbusier implemented a subtle play of colours in which each hue had a function or symbolic import, creating unique atmospheres. 
Photos © ULI VAN NEYGHEM / FLC, 2017
The art shown in this temporary exhibition was painted by French painter Adrien Couvrat and curated by Patrick Moser. 
Created specifically for the setting, Couvrat took the original wall colours chosen by Le Corbusier and the dimensions of walls and windows, into account for each piece. Just as the colours on the omnipresent lake and mountains change depending on the light, time and mood of the day, the canvases show as many variations. In Couvrat's art, the colours do not allow themselves to be defined. They vary according to the angle of the view, changing completely as you move around them.  A canvas that appeared to be monochrome black from one angle will take on blue-green and turquoise, or red-orange, sienna tones according to the spectator's movements.
Our perception of things varies depending on our point of view and the angle from which we look at them.
Just as Adrien Couvrat is drawing attention to this in his abstract paintings, Le Corbusier pointed out in his own design of the summer room in the garden. By creating a wall with an opening, he "framed" the view of the lake with the boats and mountains behind. The framed view changes according to the angle the spectator's position. Le Corbusier also intended to lend significance to the scenery with this design trick, aware that an ever-present and overpowering scenery on all sides has a tiring effect in the long-run.  
Photos © ULI VAN NEYGHEM / FLC, 2017
In order to create the illusion of space in small living quarters, Le Corbusier almost abolished the distinction between interior and exterior through the design of this house. The landscape pours into the living room through the 11-metre-long window and the garden becomes an additional green living space. Adrien Couvrat picks up on that notion, by the vertically streaked surfaces of his paintings, inspired by the metal cladding on the outside of the house.
The positioning of the art work has not been left to chance either, but has been arranged with the viewer's perspective in mind. A visitor in the sitting room, looking at a wall of the guest room, will look at a canvas, reflecting the colours of the garden that is visible through the open door. The viewer is simultaneously here and there, inside and outside at the same time. 
Photos © ULI VAN NEYGHEM / FLC, 2017
Adrien Couvrat's abstract paintings become meaningful, because they almost seem to be aware of their surroundings. Come to discover this perfect symbiosis between architecture, art and landscape. A very unusual exhibition that is not to be missed. 
The practical details:
What:                    Adrien Couvrat - Le Corbusier and the reflections of colour
Where:                  Villa << Le Lac >> Le Corbusier
                             Route de Lavaux 21
                             CH - 1802 Corseaux (next to Vevey)
When:                   Until October 1, 2017
Open:                    Saturday and Sunday from 14:00 - 17:00
Entry Fees:           Adults CHF 12, Students CHF 10, Children CHF 6
Can't make it?
Take a look at this beautiful catalogue about the exhibition, edited by the exhibition's Curator, Patrick Moser, for more images of the villa and further information. 

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