Un été sans fin // Pierre BoncompainSaturday, April 22, 2023 — Monday, May 29, 2023
On Saturday April 22 the solo exhibition ‘Un été sans fin’ by Pierre Boncompain will open at MPV Gallery.
You are welcome to join the opening om Saturay April 22 at 3 pm.
PIERRE BONCOMPAIN’S HAPPY PAINTINGS
French painter Pierre Boncompain (1938, FR) is a modest artist, who grew up lonely and sombre in a literary family, and for whom painting is a way of finding harmony within himself. Pierre wanted to be a writer as a child, just like his father. He was sent to a Jesuit college in Avignon where he wrote short stories, and even a novel (which was never published). As a little boy, he was sent weekly postcards with pictures of paintings, which he coloured in the way he thought were Van Gogh’s or Modigliani’s colours. And he usually got it right, except with Renoir (he coloured his paintings very dark because of the ‘noir’ in the name). Proudly, not even ten years old, he organised his first exhibition in his boarding school room.
Pierre Boncompain studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 1958 to 1961. Immediately after his studies, he was noticed at the ‘Salon de la jeune peinture’ in 1961 by the art critic Georges Besson, who introduced him to the Parisian Galerie Guiot in a (group) exhibition. From then on, things moved quickly.
At first, his paintings were dark and subdued. “Youth is sombre. Only with age does one find colour. By making art, one compensates for one’s own shortcoming, a deficit. Painting was a way of finding harmony in myself, more so, conquering it. Thanks to painting, I learned to love the world, ‘à aimer par le regard’, to love it through the gaze.”
Pierre Boncompain’s work is often compared to that of Matisse and Cézanne. He himself does not so much call these greats his role models, but he is in the tradition of 20th-century French painting; of Bonnard, Cézanne, the Nabis, the Fauves, of Matisse and especially – though one does not see it – of Picasso. “I feel like a grandson of Braque, Matisse and Picasso,” he says.
‘THE RESEMBLANCE TO MATISSE IS SUPERFICIAL. THE WAY I WORK IS RATHER AKIN TO CÉZANNE’S: I USE FALSE SYMMETRY, FALSE PERSPECTIVES, ALL CAREFULLY CONSIDERED AND ARRANGED, VERY DIFFERENT FROM MATISSE’S POWERFUL AND SPONTANEOUS STYLE.’
In his paintings, Boncompain searches for beauty, happiness and harmony. He views his motifs from above, from the sky, detached from gravity. One of the recurring motifs is the female nude, for which his wife Colette is the model. The women in his paintings always seem to be just sleeping. “Reclining poses are simply less tiring. The relaxation allows the forms to unfold.” Although the paintings were produced in Paris, the sunny scenes suggest they were painted in Provence. Boncompain’s work is always festive; it shows the joy of life with a Mediterranean vibrancy.