Gérard Traquandi, a reality felt !
Abstract or figurative? The question in terms of painting, having been asked so often, can seem sterile. As the boundaries of one another and are so fluid. Gérard Traquandi does not avoid the issue, his work shows that he confronts it.
Why are we painting since the dawn of time? Why do we want to see paintings ?
Gérard TRAQUANDI : We need to realize what we have already perceived by our senses. As if nature, in the broadest sense, what surrounds us is not sufficient. Paintings qualify life, and when they reach a certain quality, they in turn produce the feeling of frustration that drives us. I continue to do what painters have always done which is transferring perceptions on a canvas with colours. All of this in a historical context.
Your work never ceases to express a suggested reality. Could you tell us more about your experience of reality ?
Gérard TRAQUANDI : I do not believe that I suggest, I choose axes, I leave to photography its ability to present, or to cinema its narrative ability. I operate by subtraction. When the painter Helmut Federle said "the quality of the painting lies in what is not" I applaud.
With a colour scheme of your own, you create forms through which this reality comes to life.
Gérard TRAQUANDI : Frank Stella’s "You see what you see," is an extreme point in the attempt to touch a veritable abstraction. An attempt to emancipate the art of nature. I am very impressed by the stripe paintings of this artist, however for my part; I always feel the need to return to the landscape when a series leads to an overly mechanical work, to make a fresh start. My painting is not abstract ... Let’s just say that it is not figurative.
How do you live with colour, do you master it ?
Gérard TRAQUANDI: Instead of colour I would say "coloured matter," the nuance is important. I say "colour" because it is in accordance that they take all their richness. The relevance of a painting is largely due to the quality of its surface. I am more and more attached to this dimension to my work. Over time, I have realized that it is in praising the materials I use, that I could reach the praise of nature that I covet.
Why are you so attached to drawing ?
Gérard TRAQUANDI : Drawing is the backbone of my work. First is the most efficient technique I know, and economy of means is a virtue in art to my eyes. I know of no better way to attend closely the topics that motivate me. Drawing is a form of meditation, it requires concentration, to make choices and, finally, helps with self-forgetfulness.
You who are originally from Marseille, a city of sunshine per excellence, how do you bring light into your paintings ?
Gérard TRAQUANDI: The light is about spirituality, not meteorology.
You like working in "large". Why the need for large-format?
Gérard TRAQUANDI : The large format has manyadvantages but it is essentially the desire to join architecture motivates me.Degas said "Only frescoes are worth it" I share this point of view.The architectural program of Assisi was therefore designed in consequence to the iconography program. Theunison between architecture and painting which can be seen in the lower chapelof Assisi with frescoes by Cimabue, remain for me, one of the highest moments ofWestern art. One can always dream of a society that carries such ambitiousprojects. To me, the future of painting will play itself within that space. Thequestion of where the paintings are going is to me as interesting as knowingwhat they are made of. The problem of context is crucial