Recent work

The quest for color

Documentation

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1967 History of the eye - Claude Bellegarde, Musee des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

History of the eye
1967, 59 x 59 ins
oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

The quest for color

la vie

La vie - Life
2005, 27½ x 35½ ins
acrylic on linen

Is to paint gray to depict the space of reality? That of the pulse of daily life in which, without light, the world is gray… CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL

PIERRE RESTANY, PARIS, 2003

Claude Bellegarde's position in the history of contemporary painting is both singular and audacious. A born colorist, Bellegarde was the precursor of the achromaticism of the early 1950s. But this artist would very quickly reinvent himself within color…a color of dreams…while his illustrious successors, Manzoni, Ryman, amoung others, where to make a trademark out of white.

In the 1970s, when azur blue was idealized, the Human lifes (as opposed to Still lifes) exposed inner personalities, while his Typograms, his Chromatic cubicles, revealed our interior landscapes. Then he undertook the melding of painting with organic materials in order to capture their colored vibrations in space. The whole of a lifetime encapsulating blue intensity, red potency, green reassurance, violet meditation, orange pleasure, yellow glory, so that the ephemeral instant of seeing, transfigured through art, defies time.
Today Bellegarde paints Gray, informed by his experience of color.

JEAN-CLARENCE LAMBERT - « BELLEGARDE: THE QUEST FOR COLOR» SOMOGY, ÉDITIONS d’ART, PARIS, 2006. EXTRACT FROM THE PREFACE

Does there exist such a thing as perfect visual perception? If a painter today possesses such a gift, such perfect visual perception, this painter is Claude Bellegarde.  But perfect visual perception is by no means a free gift of nature.  It is acquired, developed.  Bellegarde knows everything that one can know about color, and he has lived it.

…By being at the confluence of research and intuition, Bellegarde’s paintings are the products of genuine experience, they offer themselves to us first as works of art.  On the canvas, the color experienced is living color.