Painting - 80 x 60 x 3 cm
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Painting : acrylic 130 x 97 x 2 cm
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Artwork location: France
About the seller
Professional art gallery • France
Artsper seller since 2018
Painting - 80 x 60 x 3 cm
Print - 40 x 30 x 0.3 cm
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Painting - 80 x 60 x 2 cm
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The ways of art are impenetrable. The one followed by Gauthier Bruel, a 38-year-old Mendois artist, is indeed. Behind a singing accent and a sincere smile, hides a crack, a breach, in which the light of art springs. For ten years, his artistic practice has seen the light of day, has hatched in his hands, although it has carried an artistic fiber in him for a long time.
From childhood, Gauthier Bruel felt animated, inspired by creativity. It was however at the age of 28, following an admission to the Paul Eluard psychiatric hospital in Mende, that he was revealed in his practice by his occupational therapist, as part of a practice of art therapy.
A place steeped in artistic history, since this hospital housed several underground intellectuals during the Second World War, including Paul Eluard himself. Between his family origins and this fertile artistic past, Gauthier Bruel is very attached to the territory of Lozère and Mende, where he seems to have found his promised land.
Gauthier Bruel then begins painting, a technique to which he remains faithful.
He first worked on cloth, then moved to painting on canvas in large formats then medium formats - which he still favors today - and finally paper. The use of linen or cotton canvas, paper, is important in understanding the work of the artist since it is natural, simple materials, like his work. Naturally, his beginnings are closer to Art Brut, but his curiosity and creativity push him to discover other artistic currents and other artists. His attention then turns to Helen Frankenthaler. It's an artistic shock. The "fluid" painting, on large formats, the flat colors of the American painter from abstract expressionism breathe her inspiration. He thus produced a work inspired by the artist, hung in the corridor of the Paul Eluard hospital in Mende.
Gauthier Bruel discovered over the years other artists whose aesthetics gradually came to permeate and forge his style. This is how he was inspired by Hans Hartung, but also Soulages, by attending the Soulages museum in Rodez. It is through these different figures of inspiration that Gauthier Bruel works to develop and assert his own aesthetic. Black quickly takes a prominent place in his work. Despite appearances that might lead one to believe that the artist is trying to paint "in the manner of", his canvases emanate another symbolism, another aesthetic. The artistic and spiritual approach which pushes him to use black and colors, to treat shapes, is quite his own.
Gauthier Bruel works on minimalism: reducing colors, reducing shapes, “to say only the essential". The use of colors refers to him as a personal mediumistic maieutics. For him, the choice of black is justified for its elegance, its intensity and because it represents the divine breath, the spiritual. He puts it against each other with colors chosen for their “mystical poetics", following his inspiration: orange refers to dawn or sunset, evoking for him a messianic seal; blue, very present in his work, symbolizes depth and “oceanic feeling" according to Freudian theory (taking up the psychological notion of Romain Rolland editor's note). Finally, green refers to nature, which in itself embodies a manifestation of the divine. In front of his multiple inspirations, Gauthier Bruel works by different series according to the choice of his tools.
Sometimes, his works thus evoke the abstract representation of a landscape. Although he only paints at home, his excursions into the abundant flora that surrounds him lead him to creation.
In his latest works, Gauthier Bruel has also integrated natural elements within his creative process by using broom branches, a plant very present around him, to apply the paint directly to the canvas. Although Hans Hartung inspired him for this creation, the divine meaning which is so important to him is very present in his approach.
Gauthier Bruel's past and psychiatric present have helped shape his work. Ten years of self-taught study of the three monotheistic religions, philosophy and mysticism nourished the artist's spirituality, leading him to the idea of the omnipresence of God and giving him the irrational dimension of faith. This research took him to the extreme of himself, leading to certain psychiatric disorders. But his work today is imbued with this research: it is marked by a very strong spiritual, symbolic, mystical and religious meaning. The realization of a work for Gauthier Bruel thus seems to “spring from his unconscious". Creation is at the same time instinctual, an outlet act, then soothing once the work is done. His artistic expression is based on "mystical and emotional states" that he needs to formalize in a work, to transcribe on the canvas. His practice remains for him a therapy that he has appropriated and of which he has finally made his identity as an artist. Beyond the psychiatric illness, Gauthier Bruel knew how to make of his fragility and his isolation, his delirious outbursts and invasive thoughts, his addictions and past suffering, a creative force. From its parts of shadows and lights, powerful works are born, between glare and darkness, where the spiritual is embodied.
In this, the artistic practice of Gauthier Bruel reminds me of the Nabis, these prophetic painters, whose mysticism, their spirituality and their religiosity pushed to fulfill the prophecy of painting.
Gauthier Bruel today wishes to continue to give body and identity to his works, to identify and forge his own aesthetic style. His artistic quest and his individual prophecy are still in their infancy and only begs to be followed closely ...
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