Modele (a Revision) n.42 Green, 2013
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Hugonnier’s series Modeles (a Revision) was designed in conjunction with her series of newspaper collages. They possess the same vibrant shades, for instance, as the blocks of coloured paper used to obscure all images in Art for a Modern Architecture series. Where those colour blocks were small and contained, however, the Modeles are immense. Made from two layers of heavy, silk-screened Rives paper, they reach over a meter in height and two in length, and their cut-out components project outwards to provide a considerable depth. All this renders the Modeles somewhat abrasive: they encroach upon their surrounds and upon their viewer.
The almost brash indefatigability of the Modeles may seem at odds with the more moderate newspaper collages; but, in fact, their scale only assists these works’ advocacy of a principle which also underscores Art for a Modern Architecture. The principle in question is that art should serve some kind of structural function. The works in Art for a Modern Architecture — by adopting the newspaper as their basis — serve the social structures which frame our everyday life. The Modeles — whose astonishing physical presence seems almost architectural — serve the physical structures in which they appear.
Given the emphasis on structural function here, it is unsurprising that Hugonnier adopts the iconic palette of Le Corbusier’s notoriously functional architecture (itself drawn from a standard Kodak colour chart). The slightly muted green of this Modele has a somewhat hypnotising effect: under close inspection, the tone can seem to fade before the eyes—as if obscured by mist—before recovering its vivid intensity once more. In much the same way, the work’s protruding triangular folds have something oscillatory about them: though the form is, in reality, strong and rigid, it seems to bulge and compress intermittently. Together, these features create a work of art which is at once disorienting and captivating.