Recent work

The quest for color


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Sonorous matter

Sonorous matter
1988, 39½ x 39½ ins
nitrocellulose on canvas
Private collection

1987 Lumière de la couleur - Claude Bellegarde : Coll.Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val–de–Marne

Light of Color
1987, 51 x 38 ins
nitrocellulose on canvas
Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val–de–Marne.

Sound and color1986–1988

The Sound of the Sea, 1989 - Claude Bellegarde

The Sound of the Sea
1989, 38 x 51 ins
nitrocellulose on canvas
Private collection

To see, to follow the fluctuations of the light in the imperceptible passage, in the cadence of the hours of the day, from a slight glimmer dawn to the blazing solar zenith as far as the falling dusk.… CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL


When I presented an anthology, covering approximately sixty works by Bellegarde, to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (ARC) in April 1971, there were numerous works therein from the 1960s, particularly the typograms, which began in 1963 and the psycolor cubicles (1965).

Perhaps today the development of a new point of departure is underway, on a canvas traversed by a powerful, curving rainbow indicating the primary energies linked to the four basic elements of life: air, fire, water, and earth; vegetation, flowers even, seem ready to unfold, according to a tension that charged color with a maximum of kinetic vibrations.

The rainbow with the iridescent phenomenon has always been one of the preferred themes of Bellegarde’s paintings. Let us not forget that it remains charge with symbolic signification, thus when Ferdinand de Lesseps was in Egypt, he had a sudden vision in which a rainbow joined together the Occident and the Oriental, giving an integral, initiatory meaning to the building of the Suez Canal.

For color simultaneously acts and expresses; it is a force that overwhelms the physique and the psyche joined together and, at the same time, it emits a message. For this reason, color is in part doubly linked with deep ecology, understood as maintaining the equilibrium of the individual and the society in their harmonious concord with the cosmos.

The entire painted oeuvre of Claude Bellegarde, all his research into color, is simultaneously a universe of sensorial ecstasy, of suggested meanings and models, and so many matrices for rediscovering a proper individual and social use of colors.

…To reach beyond, between and within, fleeting movements, inexpressible movements issuing from the translucid and combustible elements air and water, gas and fire… CLAUDE BELLEGARDE: JOURNAL