Recent work

The quest for color


1967 Sagitarius - Claude Bellegarde

Sagitarius - Zodiac series
1967, 39½ x 45 ins
acrylic on board

Espace-Rite-Couleur- Steve lacy performing Myrtho et free music, Galerie Annick Le Moine, Paris

Espace-Rite-Couleur, 1975
Set design and stage performance produced by Claude Bellegarde.
Music « Myrtho et free music » performed by Steve Lacy
Galerie A. Le Moine, Paris

Human nature1967–1976

In praise of madness 1969 - Claude Bellegarde

In praise of madness
1969, 51 x 78½ ins
nitrocellulose on canvas

The body of the color had become the color of the analogical body. The symbolic no longer acknowledged materiality. The corpuscular color, undulatory and boldly allied to the substratum, no longer had a purely mythic function. At the heart of darkness, the mystery of life illuminated flesh laid bare. A colorful imagery of effigies in splendor, sort of ‘ejaculatory orations’… Eros is no stranger to these burning days of May… CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL


What Bellegarde proposes is indeed the establishment of specific relations between the subjective values (because he never ceases to be a painter) and collective or even cosmic values. In the most recent stages of his work, the human natures organize the chromatic discourse by conferring upon it a new unity that, on this occasion, could even be moral.


Claude Bellegarde’s colors are right there in front of us, they draw us in with their materiality. We are blue, yellow; we are sentimental, mad. The town lives on the colors that burst forth at junctions, in people’s cries, in the silence of evening homecomings. It’s not a question of reds or greens, of liking or rejecting.

We are the colors, their rhythm, their throbbing or their coldness. Bellegarde comes in search of them at the deepest level of ourselves, in the recesses of our intimate organs, in their electricity, their propagation. They unfurl, wrap around our bodies, from eyes to erect organs, through broad waves that spark off the quake, or pass by, slow and distant.

Whether facing anguish or pleasure, when man clings to life, when his body overtakes him, the universe, in a stranglehold, opens up to vibrations and colors that engulf it and bring about its metamorphosis.

… I don’t know if the eye listens or the ear sees, but how many times has such a harmonic overlapping helped me to apply just the right tone on the canvas! The colorist painters, from Kandinsky to Matisse, have all understood and felt this interplay, these undulatory relationships. Without disowning classical music, which I appreciate, I opted for the music of my times: jazz… CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL