Alain Berthoz, Fabienne Verdier

Thought in Action A Painting Session Between Art and Science Publication date : September 28, 2022

Alain Berthoz is a neurophysiologist and honorary professor at the Collège de France, and member of the Académie des Sciences. He has written a number of bestselling books including Le Sens du movement, La Décision, La Simplexité, La Vicariance and L’Inhibition créatrice.
Fabienne Verdier is a painter. She went to study at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in China in 1983 and spent ten years there. Since 2013, she has been exploring the movement of shapes through her own personal technique of walking painting. Her work was displayed in a retrospective exhibition at the Musée Granet in 2019.

- What can art tell us about our brain and mental perception? The idea to create paintings together to question the relationship between art, the body and the brain, was born from the meeting of an artist and scientist. This unique book, illustrated with lots of photographs,
documents a painting session in Fabienne Verdier’s studio, as she introduces Alain Berthoz to her creative process. The artist lays a canvas on the floor and holds a brush over it, from which the paint drips. The artist therefore becomes a ”body-paint brush-thinker”, to quote Alain Berthoz. Together, they created Ressac, Soleil noir and Vortex.
- This painting session is also an opportunity for the artist Fabienne Verdier, neurophysiologist Alain Berthoz, mathematician specialising in the cognitive foundations of geometry Daniel Bennequin and art historian Valerie Hayaert to discuss the creative act.
- “The idea was to closely observe the artistic process in the studio, to focus on the body in movement, the geometry of postures and the balanced paths that reflect this movement through space. The underlying hypothesis consists in imagining that artists paint with their own subtle geometry, based on the creation of a form inhabited by movement. The idea of a deep relationship between perception and action guided these exchanges.”