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The quest for color

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Energie libre - Uranium 1960 - Claude Bellegarde

Energie libre / Uranium
1960, 15 x 19½ ins
oil on canvas
Coll. Jacques Mercier, Paris

Chromatic magnetism1958–1964

Transfiguration 1960- Claude Bellegarde /  Hanina Fine Arts, London

Transfiguration
1960, 51 x 71 ins
oil on canvas
Hanina Fine Arts, London

At the end of 1957, an iridescent color was to be gradually born from white, as the snows melt in the springtime. I thereby found a certain stability, a more balanced way of living, a hopefulness… CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL

GÉRALD GASSIOT-TALABOT « VERS UNE CHROMO PSYCHOLOGIE DE GROUPE » MUSÉE DE POCHE, 1970 (extracts)

From 1958 until his first typograms in 1963, Bellegarde underwent a period of chromatic re-adaptation. Of course, his fauvist period at the very start of the 50s had shown a true liberty in his use of color, but nothing could be ever the same again after his long experience of white.

No doubt Bellegarde, more then anything, bases his expressive power on what he calls matter’s potential energy and radiation. For, chromatic radiance is amongst the most penetrating: it transpierces the body, of course, via the gaze of the onlooker, but just as easily permeates the blind, and solicits our most delicate and hidden receptive faculties.

Morocco... A sentimental relationship would lead me to this country, by which I was utterly dazzled. More particularly, the artisan tradition of using pure color in the various cloths enchanted me. I recall these skeins of white wool which the craftsmen soaked in barrels and which emerged in the light of the sun, brilliant, regenerated by the vividness of the colors. … CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL