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"Eight painters honour the Commune at the Leonardo da Vinci Centre of the ENAC


Printemps 1871 - 1971
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At the Leonard de Vinci Centre of the ENAC, eight painters pay tribute to the Commune of 1871. We cannot congratulate them enough. Moreover, as lovers of freedom, they have voluntarily associated in their works the memory of the great communards with the action of the current heroes of the Revolution, while denouncing repression in all its forms. They wanted to be revolutionary painters. Such an attitude, in itself generous and sympathetic, is only effective among artists who sincerely adopt it insofar as they do not limit themselves to the simple anecdotal description of past or present historical events.


In this case, like Fourgeron and the mediocre painters of SOCIALIST REALISM, we end up with the most vulgar and, in a sense, the most gratuitous chromo style because it is the least meaningful.


On the other hand, the true revolutionary attitude in art seems to us to have been excellently summed up by a great painter, who knew how to assume it fully in his admirable work: MATTA. For him it is important to "seek more reality". It is a question of being aware of objects of all kinds in order to achieve both the social and economic emancipation of the world and that of the spirit. The aim of such an approach (which is "essentially revolutionary) is to find the true functioning of thought, without prejudice or moral or aesthetic control; to grasp and understand both the human being and the world.


THE SOCIAL AND THE SPIRITUAL


Such an approach, which encompasses the social and the spiritual, the conscious and the unconscious, is expressed in works which, like certain poems, cannot be exhausted in a single reading. They are works of true creation that also have a testimonial value.


RAMON, of the eight ENAC exhibitors, is the one who seems to us, in this respect, the most authentically revolutionary. He is aware, as he himself says, that his vision cannot be delivered straight away.


To reveal all its richness and deep meaning, it requires a reading on "several levels or at several heights", as P.J. JOUVE would say.


Thus, the most beautiful and greatest of his compositions ("Citoyen") only reveals all its tragic reality, only releases its magical evocative power after having been captured by us from different angles of vision.


RAMON, anxious to forge an effective and frankly contemporary language, rejects traditional pictorial processes and aesthetic concepts. In his effort to express a vision that is both single and multiple, he repeats on his canvas "the image in question" like the CREMONINI and the MONINOT and other current exhibitors at the Municipal Cultural Centre. While orchestrating subtle and transparent chromatisms, he uses very skilfully the process of photographic montage in order to confer more accent and presence to his strong and original creations.


RAMON, who is a worthy younger brother of the excellent painter CUECO, who exhibited two years ago in Toulouse, appears to be the most gifted of the ENAC exhibitors. He is undoubtedly the one with the most assertive personality.


VALENTINER, in spirit as well as in expression, seems to us close to RAMON in his striking composition "Police and Culture" whose title speaks for itself.


Claude CHAIGNEAU, whom we consider to be one of the most gifted of our young Toulouse painters, evokes hard and sometimes aggressive forms ("Cloportes") on intensely coloured backgrounds. It seems that he is aiming for a greater simplicity and even a certain geometrisation in the expression and above all for a more flexible articulation of the elements of the canvas. Let us hope that, in so doing, he retains his great frankness of accent and his beautiful earthy health. From the same CHAIGNEAU we have the pleasure of seeing again a beautiful composition dated 1967 and inspired by the Commune, which has lost none of its beautiful plastic dimension and its power of shock.


DESBONIGES cultivates violent and summary effects, and JUDE a humour that is both icy and grating.


CHEDAL evokes, in tender and sensitive harmonies, the eternal symbol of peace "The Dove".


Jacques FAUCHE, who is known to have an important body of work behind him, exhibits compositions of figures which, in their simple manifest content, have the appearance of decorative frescoes. In these, he returns to the imagery and narrative style that he had adopted in his previous historical series.


Finally, let us mention the posters and decorative panels by Gino GINER and a long yellow and black carpet in which the author's name escapes us.


Robert ARIBAUT

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