The shapes are oblong, yet they sometimes turn in upon themselves, instead of stretching out, and henceforth a density takes over the innate grace. They are shapes that remind us of ... we can't say quite what. They are biomorphic, certainly, but here, it's of unknown plants, even more than bodies, that we are reminded. Without certainty.

And therein lies the essential quality of Isabel Michel's work: its quality of uncertainty.

An abstract painter but of an abstraction that we sense as being extracted from the world: not in the sense of being cut off, but, on the contrary, because, for the artist, extraction is a concentration which does away with the exterior appearances of life the better to express its very pulsation, its beat.

Covering, uncovering, spreading out the paint, giving shape, rounded and enclosed, to colour, painting thinly and working the surface. Thus Isabel Michel's work advances, in an oscillation between doing and undoing, not a hesitation, but rather an extreme consciousness of the precariousness of the act of painting itself.

Pierre Wat, historian and art critic, 2006 (translation by Erin Lawlor)
Isabel Michel