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Déplacement d'espace Temps F 1957  - Claude Bellegarde

Déplacement d’espace (Temps F)
Displacement of space
1957, 55 x 35½ ins
crushed paper collage on canvas
Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne

Le seuil - The threshold, 1955, Claude Bellegarde

Le seuil - The threshold
1955, 51½ x 39½ ins
oil on canvas
Musée d’Art moderne, Centre Pompidou

La ligne bleue 1957

La ligne bleue - Blue line
1957, 93½ x 71 ins
oil on canvas

Exhibition Achrome Galleria Apollinaire, Milan 1955

Achromaticism1953–1957

Le temps perdu / Lost time 1956: Claude Bellegarde

Le temps perdu - Lost time
1956, 31½ x 39½ ins
oil on canvas

In hindsight, the works of this period seem to me to describe the phases of a primal therapy, an experience of rebirth lived through and in the painting, through distinct zones of abundant fermentation that are not imaginary spaces, but are rather the psycho-physiological expression of the discovery of an individuality… CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL

JEAN-CLARENCE LAMBERT « JEAN-CLARENCE LAMBERT : THE QUEST FOR COLOR » SOMOGY, ÉDITIONS D’ART, PARIS, 2006 - extract

With fifty years of hindsight, while the illusory priorities of the day have gone up in smoke, Claude Bellegarde’s White Period (1953-1957) appears better for what it was: a striking step in this great quest for a new dimension that was the abstract art of the mid-twentieth century.

PIERRE RESTANY« L’ESPACE PROFONDEUR: MONOGRAPH CLAUDE BELLEGARDE » ÉDITIONS KAMER, 1957 - EXTRACT

A Bellegarde canvas remains, above all, a space that is full, over-extended and super-activated. Internal tension reveals itself here, in full force, in the skin-like concentrations that comprise the emergences of white.

ENRICO CRISPOLTI « L'INFORMALE » STORIA E POETICA PAR E. CRISPOLTI, MILAN, EDITORE BENIAMINO CARUCCI,1975 - extract

From informal lyrical abstraction has sprung neo-Romantic positions, so that suddenly paintings done by, for example, Bellegarde or Laubiès in 1953, 1954 or 1955 are inserted into that horizon, enabling us to place them alongside those of Ryman and company. Take Bellegarde for example; he was doing gestural painting that was resolved in white matter, paintings that are, moreover, very beautiful. He will be seen as a forerunner.

JEAN–LOUIS PRADEL « LA PEINTURE BLANCHE » 1977 - extract

The presence of Bellegarde’s paintings today is decisive, like Malevitch’s famous White Square, Duchamp’s Fontaine, or Klein’s Vide exhibition; an unavoidable reference, a beacon for the eyes to show us that everything is once again possible.

RAOUL-JEAN MOULIN « AQUISTIONS CATALOG FDAC, MUSÉE D’ARTCONTEMPORAIN DU VAL DE MARNE » MAC-VAL 1989 - extract

Re-situated in the spiritual and existential crisis he was going through at that time, Bellegarde’s gesture was probably metaphysical, but it was and remains first and foremost a physical one, since the painter—and especially Bellegarde, whose work is a testimony to the fact—takes what he paints as a starting point for reflection, and not the opposite, to paraphrase Aragon.

JEAN LANCRI « CONCERNING THE PAINTING LA LIGNE BLEUE 1955 » 1995 - extract

In Claude Bellegarde’s studio there is a painting–one of his own–that the artist displays high on the wall, suspended under the ceiling above the entrance. It confronts whomever crosses the threshold at the precise moment when one turns around to face it.

Seeming to levitate, this painting gives the impression of loftiness, both visual and existential. In our opinion, there is no better entry into Bellegarde’s œuvre, no better way to access the “being in the world” of an artist who has throughout his life deliberately combined an ethical approach and an aesthetic approach in the same point of view…

…This psychological introspection, materialized through the act of painting, took me back to the primeval, alluvial source. It is there, in these supple, white, monochrome events, that the elements of a language of colors—this “speech through seeing” of sensations and feelings—would develop.… CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL