Using light almost exclusively as the vehicle for her site-specific artworks, Nathalie Junod Ponsard takes us on expeditions in space and time whose destinations sound like captivating promises. “Hypnotic Capsule”, “Vertical Wandering”, “Floating Horizon” and other such journeys punctuate this atypical body of work that we might place at the intersection of several movements. Coloured Field Painting, Light & Space, Geometric Abstraction, Op Art, Land Art and Minimalist Art all suggest underlying affiliations, though her work cannot be pigeonholed within a past or present artistic movement.

Nathalie Junod Ponsard has created an artistic language of her own, where space, geometric volumes, colours-in-light and movement endlessly coalesce. These introspective, contemplative, atmospheric artworks, where interior landscapes merge with exterior worlds, have radiated outwards and reached the four corners of the globe: the artist has left her mark in major cities including Beijing, Hong Kong, Tangiers, Rome, New York and Los Angeles. Every time, her art alters the viewer’s perception, blurs the perspectives of buildings, softens the outlines of objects, accentuates spatial volumes and makes us experience unexpected physical sensations. Spaces seem to be given a new skin, which we traverse in a state of semi-consciousness.

Whether it be the impressive Piscine de Pontoise swimming pool in Paris, the Jantar Mantar site in New Delhi, the Maison Hermès building in Barcelona (a permanent artwork in the Hermès Contemporary Art collection, 2022), a multi-use space at the Pompidou Centre or the main staircase of the Elysée Palace (the Odyssée carpet commissioned by the Mobilier National), Nathalie Junod Ponsard always imbues the space with the same dreamlike energy. She creates unique atmospheres bathing the buildings in a kind of ether that causes feelings of numbness, dizziness or bedazzlement.

A masterful sfumato that leaves nothing to chance underpins the design of these artworks, which are always the result of meticulous calculations, complex analyses of space and in-depth knowledge of physics and biochemistry. It was in this spirit that, at Maison Poincaré, the recently opened Museum of Mathematics, Nathalie Junod Ponsard created two organic sculptural works made of coloured gel undulating, shimmering and reflecting the space and the light in infinite variations, like a mirage.

Another reflective material is glass, which, with its transparency and coloured glints, has been used in artworks such as “Light Under Skin”, panels of glass and light exhibited in 2023 at the Jinji Lake Biennial in Suzhou, China. The “Substance” she presented in the spaces of the Maison Louis Carré in 2022 comprised coloured glass sculptures reminiscent of pharmaceutical capsules.

Now it’s the turn of the Maison Triolet-Aragon, home to the incandescent love that united the legendary literary pair Elsa Triolet and Louis Aragon. Here, the artist plunges us into a “reflection of fire”. The title of the exhibition pays tribute to a poem by Louis Aragon from the famous collection “les Yeux d’ Elsa” (1942). In this former watermill, instead of a fireplace, an amazing waterfall glitters in the centre of the living room. Focusing on this rushing water with its countless reflections, creating a kind of osmosis between the elements of “water” and “fire”, Nathalie Junod Ponsard offers us a journey into an intimate space where we can allow ourselves to be overcome with sensations.

Through site-specific installations made of coloured gelatine and sensuous glass sculptures, the artist invites us to explore the house. From the kitchen to the bedroom where the famous lovers slept and Elsa’s office, Nathalie Junod Ponsard invites us to experience the wavelengths shared by two people who shone with their own inner light. She rekindles the flame of this legendary couple who were only separated when Elsa died on 16 June 1970, a date never to be forgotten within these walls.