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Jean-Marie haessle December 14, 2010 - january 15, 2011 In the corner of my eye 1


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front Cover and right: Red II, 2010 Oil on canvas 66”

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66”


Jean-marie haessle December 14, 2010 - january 15, 2011 In the corner of my eyes

GalleRy DirectoRs David Eichholtz & Richard Barger

David Richard Contemporary 130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284 www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com


Lyrcical chromatic paintings by Jean-marie haessle 2

Robert C. Morgan is trained both as a sculpture and art historian. Author of many books and essays, he is largely recognized for his art criticism. In 1999, he was given the first Arcale award in Salamanca (Spain) for his work as an international critic. He is a prolific writer, a dedicated teacher, an global lecturer, and continues to produce and exhibit his paintings.

At the outset, here are two issues I find

any institution to prove its worth. Thus, his

consistently present in the paintings of

pronounced individuality revealed the first

Jean-Marie Haessle: One, he is an indelible

tremolos of Modernism seeking liberation

Classicist as much as Poussin or Ingres; and

from an overtly ingested and decadent

secondly, he carries a certain propensity for

cultural hierarchy. Through the rejection of

concealing his Classical posture in paintings

the latter, the heraldic and radical lineage

that express often unexpected, yet exuber-

of abstract painting came to emerge as the

ant varieties of color. In doing so, Haessle

avant-garde of the twentieth century.

persuades some viewers that he is, in fact, the opposite of a Classicist, namely a die-

While this history has little to do with Has-

hard Romantic. I have chosen to keep the

sele’s conscious intentions as an artist, giv-

capital letters in either case simply to sug-

en that he has spent the greater part of his

gest that what stands behind these two

career as a mature painter living and work-

stylistic tendencies, which I believe vacil-

ing in the SoHo section of Manhattan, I find

late through the paintings of Haessle, is es-

it curious that the artist discovered painting

sentially the history of Salon painting from

as an adolescent in the northeastern region

the late eighteenth into the mid-nineteenth

of France where he could not have missed

century. This was the fertile period of Salon

some of the history pertaining to the direc-

de Paris decades before its decline became

tion in which his own paintings would finally

evident in the late nineteenth century soon

emerge.

after the suppression of the Commune in

If I were to name a third issue in Hassle’s

1872. This decline was accompanied by the

paintings, I would cite the artist’s seamless

slanderous accusations of a socially insouci-

equivocation between his use of figura-

ant painter, Gustave Courbet, who insisted

tion and abstract subject matter. In saying

that his art did not require the sanction of

this, I am implying that his technical gifts


in both painting and drawing are consid-

This is further abetted by the quadrilateral

erable. They were acquired not through

equality of the three paintings. A rectilinear

formal Classical training, but derived from

surface would push the composition in one

a remarkable, nearly alchemical sense of

direction of another, thus giving a different

observation. Haessle’s desire to see and

tension to the relationship of the hues and

to study a painting constitutes a veritable

values. By employing a large square format

act of passion, which is the inevitable force

-- a format also used by the painter Agnes

behind a searing energy in which he con-

Martin, though toward achieving another

centrates on form and color. No matter how

effect -- Haessle contains the gestural ma-

high or low the degree of abstraction, the

neuvers of his brush within the surface of

artist manages to refine every mark within

the painting. Just as Mondrian employed

the structure of his brushwork. The phe-

the square format to achieve tension and

nomenon sensed within the mind’s eye is

balance, particularly in his neoplastic paint-

clearly revealed in the act of painting. This

ings of the twenties, Haessle creates a ten-

tendency multiplies through the artist’s

sion and balance through color. In doing so,

ability to infuse chromatic stillness into vast

there is an unrepentant concentration that

open spaces, thus hermetically transform-

enfolds the surface and keeps his eye on the

ing pigment into luminescence.

mark without deviating from the premises.

A good example would be the quadrilateral

Essentially these paintings are not mere-

Red, Yellow, and Blue triumvirate included

ly about chromatic effect, but about the

in the current exhibition, perhaps the center

control of light.

pieces of the show. While Haessle does not

source may become a concern during the

Often the exterior light

consider these paintings a triptych, he does

presentation and installation of a painting.

understand that the chromatic relationships

But there is another internal step essential

are integral as a thematic concern. For ex-

in the completion of the work that inter-

ample, each canvas, despite its predomi-

ests Haessle, namely, the matter in which

nant emphasis on a single primary, includes

the pigmented color on the surface of the

gestural marks that represent primaries

painting holds or retains light. This, in turn,

from the other two. For example, the Red

impacts the resonance from which light

painting will contain an all-over smattering

projects from the surface and the manner

of blue and yellow accents. Similarly, the

that it evolves through manipulation from

Blue painting will reveal traces of red and

one color to another. Haessle knows the

yellow; and finally the Yellow canvas car-

process well. To control light in a painting

ries the weight of the red and blue without

by making exterior adjustments intended

disrupting its essential all-over chromatic

to correct an initial weakness or default is

dominance. The light within these paintings

rarely convincing.

is inexorable, suggesting that the artist has

required to know how color works and how

discovered a method whereby the relation-

it will function as a medium in order to give

ship between value and hue function inex-

the surface its luminosity.

tricably as a single unit within each painting.

Therefore, the artist is

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Haessle rides on the crest of an indignant

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and distant in their approach. The painters

perception, a voracious insight, and a for-

paid close attention to Greenberg’s “flat-

mal and technical acuity, quietly manifest-

ness”, a formalist concept somewhat over-

ed through his ultra-refined persistence to

played in the art press at the time, which

paint light. As previously mentioned, his

gave a certain credibility to the notion of

origins come from the northeast area of Al-

color as form. Haessle was less concerned

sace, where he was raised and where he dis-

in this formalist theory than in the paintings

covered during an adolescent illness a book

themselves. Still, he missed the vitality of

of paintings by Van Gogh that changed his

the gesture that he first encountered in the

life. This was followed by a stint with the

work of Van Gogh.

French military during the Algerian War, before moving to Paris in 1964, and later

It was soon apparent that his defiant, yet

to Manhattan in 1967, where he has lived

exhilarating use of the gesture would define

and worked as a painter ever since. While

his personal stylistic evolution as a paint-

contemporary art in Paris occupied him for

er. At the same time, one may discover in

three years, he was less intrigued by the

such paintings as Crisscross (2002) and

vestiges of Art Informal than by the gritty

In the Making (2005) an intricacy with the

l’art brut of Jean Dubuffet and by the paint-

brushwork, a quality which is also unique

ings of Giacometti. Eventually, Haessle

in Haessle’s style.

caught wind of the CoBrA group (an ac-

slightly darker, if not more somber in Criss-

ronym for expressionism emanating from

cross, yet both paintings reveal tiny strands

Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam).

of white.

The tonalities appear

In either case, these paintings

Painters, such as Asger Jorn and Karel Ap-

suggest optically moving threads, simulta-

pel, were particularly popular in Paris in the

neously being woven and unwoven, thereby

1960s, as they were eventually aligned with

pointing in the direction of temporality as

the politics of the Situationists, whose ideas

much as space. The dense color strands are

were partially responsible for the uprisings

suspended, perhaps in a state of unravel-

in France in 1968 against the conservative

ing, as if the artist were in the process of

Gaullist regime.

separating and reordering his thoughts in perpetual motion, thus refining the pictorial

Shortly before these events in Paris, Haessle

dimensions of the surface. Another larger,

moved to New York in order to focus on his

more recent painting, titled Restless (2008),

painting.

has a similar structure.

Here he witnessed something

The brushwork is

quite different. Instead of l’art brut and Co-

evenly consistent in its scale. Color is lim-

BrA, he found Color Field painters -- artists,

ited to the primaries plus black and white.

such as Helen Frankenthaler, Ken Noland,

In Restless, it becomes clear the degree to

Morris Louis, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Paul

which Haessle has mastered the application

Jenkins, Ellsworth Kelly, and sculptors, such

and mix of color through calligraphy. The

as Anthony Caro and Michael Steiner. Many

effect is mesmerizing -- not in the literary or

(but not all) of these artists were known as

proverbial sense, but in relation to the shear

the American formalists of the 1960s, as

optics of looking at a surface. The evenness

proclaimed by the critic Clement Green-

of space and the resilience of depth through

berg. In general,

the layering of gestural loops and striations

their works were cool


gives Restless a visual and mental impact

the subtle nuances of optimism through his

that goes beyond the ordinary. Restless is

use of scale and modulation within each lay-

not merely a painting one sees, but stud-

ering of color. While at times the work may

ies. It is as if one were deciphering a code

appear hesitant or irresolute, the paintings

within and beneath the surface, in order to

of Jean-Marie Haessle represent a powerful

find access to its chromatic structure. It has

antidote to the deeply conflicted socio-psy-

been said that French Impressionism, large-

chological transition in which we find our-

ly incited by the color optics of the French

selves today.

chemist Henri-Eugene Chevreuil, was less about “impressions” in the vernacular sense than it was about analyzing the objective passage of light. This might also be said of Haessle’s Restless, from the point of view of abstract painting, rather than a field of poppies. In referring to work in this exhibition as “lyrical chromatic paintings” I mean the following: Jean-Marie Haessle came to New York after Abstract Expressionism had already made its mark. Although Pop art was still in flavor, it did not suit his fancy. Haessle wanted something deeper. It was no accident that two of his favorite artists whose work he saw frequently in Paris were Dubuffet and Giacometti. This suggests a desire to go beneath the surface of reality as a source of transcendence, a concept more French than American.

Even so, Haessle

understood that it was possible to work in New York with color in a way that did not express the violence and repression often associated with The New York School. In essence, Haessle had another idea, a more lyrical one. The challenge was how to lessen the rancor in gestural painting without submitting to a style. He was drawn to color at the outset. (How could one love the paintings of Van Gogh without a strong desire to feel color?) And so, it would appear, that Haessle rejected the despair of the historical gesture in favor of its potential lyricism and redemption. In doing so, he retained

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rED II, 2010 66” x 66” Oil on canvas

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yellow, 2010 66” x 66” Oil on canvas

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Blue, 2010 66” x 66” Oil on canvas

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Restless, 2008 67” x 97” Oil on canvas

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Crisscross, 2003 68” x 54” Oil on canvas

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in the making, 2010 68” x 54” Oil on canvas

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Untitled 1, 2010 84” x 84” Oil on canvas

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untitled 4, 2010 66” x 44” Oil on canvas

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ReD, 2010 46” x 36” Oil on canvas

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Yellow, 2010 46” x 36” Oil on canvas

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Blue, 2010 46” x 36” Oil on canvas

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Gray, 2010 46” x 36” Oil on canvas

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untitled 22, 2008 20” x 16” Oil on canvas

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untitled 23, 2008 20” x 16” Oil on canvas

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Azure, 2007 58” x 46” Oil on canvas

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Untitled 6, 2004 60” x 45” Oil on canvas

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untitled 9, 2004 72” x 72” Oil on canvas

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untitled 10, 2004 72” x 72” Oil on canvas

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J ean-Marie Haessle Lives and works in New York, NY Selected Solo Exhibitions: 2010

David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM USA Gallery AKA Space, Seoul Korea

2009

Kips Gallery New York, NY USA La Minoterie Penze, France

26

2008

Galerie Claire Gastaud, Clermont-Ferrand, France Kips Gallery, New York, NY USA

2007

Kips Gallery, New York, NY USA

2000

Gallery Yvonamor Palix, Mexico DF Mexico

1997

Galerie Gastaud & Caillard, Paris France Galerie Prebet, Roanne France Galerie de la Tour, Altkirch France Ecole des Beaux Arts de Metz, Metz France Kunsthous Santa Fe, San Miguel de Allende Mexico Museo de Art, Queretaro Mexico Museo Regional de Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala Mexico

1996

Kim Foster Gallery, New York NY USA

1995

Kim Foster Gallery, New York NY USA

Galerie Gastaud, Clermont-Ferrand France Galerie Gastaud & Caillard, Paris France Center Europeen d’action Artistiques Contemporaines, Strasbourg France Galerie Athisma, Lyon France 1994

Chateau du Grand Jardin, Joinville France

1993

Galerie Catherine Fletcher, Paris France

1991

Galerie Gastaud, Clermont-Ferrand France

1989

FCI Institut, New York NY USA

Galerie Athisma, Lyon France Galerie Jade, Colmar France Galerie Laurentienne, Bordeaux France 1988

Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris France

1987

Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris France Guggenheim Gallery, Miami Florida USA

1986

LittleJohn-Smith Gallery, New York NY USA

1985

Reynold Kerr Gallery, New York NY USA

1981

Gabrielle Bryers Gallery, New York NY USA

Taylor Hudson Gallery, Boca Raton Florida USA 1980

RR Gallery, New York NY USA

1979

National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC USA

1973

Westbroadway Gallery, New York NY USA

1972

Westbeth Gallery, New York NY USA

1968

Panoras Gallery, New York NY US

The Atlantic Gallery, Washington DC USA


Group Exhibitions: 2010

KIAF Art Fair, Seoul, Korea Hon Kong Art Fair, Kips gallery

2009

Kips gallery, New York NY 10012

2008

Bridge Art Fair Miami, Kips Gallery, Fl. USA

2007

Kips Gallery, New York NY, USA

2004

Mexico Arte Contemperano, Gallery Yvonamor Palix, Mexico DF

2003

Galerie Kahn, Strasbourg, France

2002

Art Chicago, Yvonamor Palix Gallery, Chicago USA St’ Art, Galerie Khan, Strasbourg France Art Paris, Galerie Claire Gastaud, Paris France

2001 2000

Art Chicago, Yvonamor Palix Gallery, Chicago USA Art Chicago, Yvonamor Palix Gallery, Chicago USA En construccion, Universidad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato Mexico Nomad Territories, DFN Gallery, New York NY USA

1999

Gallery Yvonamor Palix, Mexico DF Mexico

1998

Albright-Knox Galleries, Buffalo NY USA Galerie Gastaud, Clermont-Ferrand France

1997

Kim Foster Gallery, New York NY USA Galerie Gastaud, Clermont-Ferrand France Eric Linard Galerie, La Garde Adhemar France Museo de Arte, Queretaro Mexico

1996

Art Chicago, Kim Foster gallery, Chicago USA

1995

Galerie Cocotier, St Etienne France

“Blue” Broadway Gallery, New York NY USA Centre Europeen d’Action Artistiques Contemp., Strasbourg France 1994

Kim Foster Gallery, New York NY USA Galerie Catherine Fletcher, Paris France Foster-Peet Gallery, New York NY USA

1993

Andover-White Gallery, New York NY USA Galerie Athisma, Lyon France Cavaliero/Navarra Fine Arts, New York NY USA

1992

Cavaliero/Navarra Fine Arts, New York NY USA “Contemporary Works on Paper” Gallery Standhal, New York NY USA Foster-Peet Gallery, New York NY USA

1991

Cavaliero Fine Arts, New York NY USA Salon de Montrouge, Paris France Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris France

1990

Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris France

1989

Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris France Galerie Jade, Colmar France Chicago Art Fair, Galerie Jade, Chicago USA

1988

Salon de Montrouge, Paris France

1987

Art Barn Association, Washington DC USA

Galerie Lucien Durand, Paris France LittleJohn-Smith Gallery, New York NY USA Galerie Jade Colmar France 1986

LittleJohn-Smith Gallery, New York USA

1985

Reynold Kerr Gallery, New York NY USA.

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1984

Reynold Kerr Gallery, New York NY USA

1983

Cavaliero Fine Arts, Kunstmess, Basel Switzerland

1982

Cavaliero Fine Arts, Kunstmess, Basel Switzerland

1981

Gabrielle Bryers Gallery, New York NY USA

1980

Gabrielle Bryers Gallery, New York NY USA

Galerie Bertin, Lyon France

1979 2828

Katheryn Markel Gallery, New York NY USA Haber-Theodore Gallery, New York NY USA

1978

The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Co USA

1977

Robert Friedus Gallery, New York NY USA

1976

Fine Art Gallery, New York NY USA

OIA, New York NY USA 1975

“Young Talent Festival” “75”Union Carbide, New York NY USA

1974

“Young Talent Festival” Pace Editions, New York NY USA

1973

Springfield Art Association, Springfield Co USA

“59th Annual Juried Exhibition” Hudson River Museum, Yonkers NY Works on Paper, Triangle Church, New York NY USA “Young Artists 73” Union carbide, New York NY USA New York Contemporary Graphic Exhibition, Taiwan Museum, Taipei 1972

Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico DF Mexico Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo NY USA 9th Annual print Exhibition” Silvermine Guild, New Canaan Co USA

1971

Martha Jackson Gallery, New York NY USA Cornell University, Ithaca NY USA

Catalogues: 1985

Renold Kerr Gallery, New York, NY USA Text by David Shaff

1989

Galerie Jade, Colmar France. The primary paintings of Haessle by

1994

Chateau du Grand Jardin, Joinville France. In memory of the body

1994

Chateau du Grand Jardin, Joinville France. Edition of 200 exemplary

1995

Centre Europeen d’Action Artistiques Contemp., Strasbourg , France

Frederick Ted Castle. Introduction by Jean-Yves Bainier Text by David Shapiro. Interview by Marc Vaudey. In French/English .

Text by Gilbert Lascault. Interview by Jean-Yves Bainier Hard cover. In French and English. 1995

HAESSLE 30 ans de peinture. Monography 145 pages with 70 pages Full color reproductions. Editions AU MEME TITRE Paris France. Text by David Shaff, David Shapiro, Jean-Yves Bainier. Interview by Catherine Ulmer. In French and English.

2008

Haessle, Selected works, M magazine, 15 pages all colors reproductions

ISBN 978-0-9827872-6-7 Price $10.00 © 2010 David richard contemporary, llc

130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284 www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com

Jean-Marie Haessle "In The Corner Of My Eye"  

These paintings represent a cohesive body of work by Haessle in which he explores the formal elements of color and line to create non-object...

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