Christian Jouhet searches for the root in his works. He enters into a dialog with his environment and in particular with his material. He questions its provenance and its history as well as its structure and condition, searching for a natural expression of the material itself.
Jouhet’s graphics, particularly his embossings, may look unnatural in their construction at first glance, but they adhere to the artist’s principal interest: emphasizing the condition of his material, mostly paper, and making it possible to experience its structure optically. The paper is just the means to an end here, similarly to Günther Uecker’s embossing graphics, in which he aims to convey light and shadow effects using a nail. Jouhet, on the other hand, emphasizes the structuring of the paper surface. The paper doesn’t show a work, the paper is the work. The observer’s gaze follows the sometimes soft, sometimes coarse lines of the embossing as they branch out, sometimes reminiscent of grids and sometimes bark.
“The key to my work [...] is a return to the principles of the creative process, which are so important and yet all too often forgotten: the line, the light, the stroke, and the texture of the material.” – Christian Jouhet