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PI E R R E M A R IE BR IS S O N Fa l l 2 0 1 0 c a ta lo g 6 0 p ag es






pierre marie brisson


FRANKLIN BOWLES GALLERIES san francisco / new york




any of the works in this catalog were recently shown at the Musée Faure in Aix-les-Bains, France. The curator of the exhibition, André Liatard, asked Pierre Marie to select works from the museum’s superb permanent collection and then do variations on those works. Liatard was thrilled with the result noting that Brisson “let his imagination run through his brush…a dangerous adventure, but how exhilarating it is!” This process of using as inspiration the works in the museum’s collection was revealing in many ways. First, there was the choice of art from amongst a large distinguished collection left to the museum by Dr. Faure, and then there was the interpretation. In an essay in the catalog, the critic Frédérique Martiningo wrote – as if to the artist himself: “A real dialogue is then established between your chosen painting, your sensitivity and your vision, without there being any notion of confrontation with the master. From this new series of paintings, many things emerge: the sense of respect which drives you, your profound determination to allow your creation a free rein without any constraints, and the sense of a guiding thread which hall marks the very distinctive atmosphere emanating from your work.

Franklin Bowles, Pierre Marie, Pam Walsh and Andr Liatard , curator of the exhibition.

“How can one describe this atmosphere? It is a skilful mix of moments captured in slow motion; of characters both absent and inhabited by an intense inner life; of padded movement; of a palette of silent colors which awaken bright spots of color; of a certain preciosity – even though your technique of ripping the background paper is sometimes brutal; and, finally, you weave the threads together to create this atmosphere full of grace, universality and timelessness.”

The series of works also raised the interesting issue of an artist’s source of inspiration and homage; while often unconscious, in this exhibition both are clear cut and yet are still only the starting point for interpretation. Liatard noted, in the preface to the catalog which accompanied the show: “At a time when certain exhibitions show confrontation – ‘Picasso and Masters’ – the [show] at the Faure museum does not deal with ‘Brisson and Impressionism’ but rather with an original and specific work, that is also thematic and precise. It is the work of a free artist, free from any artistic current. Although it is a hackneyed expression, this may be the exhibition of [Brisson’s] pictorial maturity. “In spite of the ‘rough’ aspect of his painting, Pierre Marie Brisson's art is full of nuances and subtlety. It conveys an ‘out of time’ ambience, as if ‘in a magic space…’ Just like a half-erased fresco from Pompeii, there is a deep feeling of both pleasure and nostalgia.” In April, I had the distinct pleasure of viewing this exhibition in France with both the curator and artist. And I strongly agree with André Liatard that Pierre Marie’s new paintings reveal an astonishing level of insight and maturity. We hope that all of our collectors will share our appreciation and enjoyment when viewing this new collection.

Left: D claration d Amour (detail) — see page 33




or the labyr inth of emotions

A day dawned. And then a night. There was the hazardous wanderings of a hand over the earth. The emergence of form; the discovery of colors and their fusion under the gentle touch of fingers, skimming over rock. Since the dawning of Time, of Man – the thread of life. The breath of art, transforming reality to extract an essence, another language. The existence of his art is the result of heritage and of complicity with the past rather than any sense of surpassing it or laying claim to it in any way. It is a gift. A fascinating story of art, of giving beyond time and place. The works of Pierre Marie Brisson speak perhaps of that: of Time; of Man; of his fleeting appearance up until his brief disappearance and, within this fragile world, of the endless flow of emotions which power the ever-turning wheel of ideas. The past is naturally inscribed in his paintings. Pierre Marie Brisson is profoundly aware of the debt he owes to certain painters who have bequeathed so much to him. Yet there is no point in seeking the traces of this or that Master in his work for they are completely integrated in his paintings. They are there without being there. And when he immerses himself in the creation of variations on works such as Bonnard's L'Ecuyère or Francesco Hayez's La baigneuse dans un paysage in the Musée Faure collection in Aix les Bains, a fascinating alchemy takes place. Beyond his implied reference to these works, we witness a distortion of time in the paintings of Pierre Marie Brisson; for while his work is obviously later in time, his paintings could almost be said to precede them. He seizes on the idea of the horse, the idea of the movement of the circus rider, the very essence of balance, or archaic gestures. Everything other than that is secondary and has disappeared into the background limbo, itself full of life. Of the circus ring and the spectators, we see only what the eye could possibly capture intermittently, while focused on the central subject: fleeting lights, hypnotic colors. The three frames cleverly superimposed reinforce the perspective and underline the cultural form of the classical canvas and thereby manage to both draw the eye towards the center whilst distancing it intellectually into the abstraction of dreamlike margins. As for Hayez's Baigneuse – the original of which is pinned with good humor in the distant background of the first variation – the truncated frame underlines the sensual nonchalance of a ghostly woman who incarnates the lasting quality of a posture, a state of grace. The spots of color suggest that something else is in the making, perhaps already gestating in the marginal frieze which opens the space towards another world beyond the painting, or which finds life in the second version, so beautiful in its liquid omnipresence.

The exhibition poster.

The village of Aix-les-Bains, France.



Thus, the person who contemplates and analyses the paintings can perceive a filiation, an almost supernatural presence next to the highly persuasive and unique voice of the living painter. Life, always: a heritage of movement, situations, feelings and imagined murmurs: the soul of humanity, almost palpable in its evanescence‌The art of suggestion, the art of paradox too, because this revelation which speaks so clearly to our collective unconscious in all its subtlety and nuances, bursts forth from the raw matter like a telluric force. The painting is mineral through its rough, worked-at structure - so much so that one longs to touch it, stroke it. The tactile pleasure of the parchment made old, the faded, scratched-out colors. The eye almost searches for flakes of paint on the ground, for sand grains or dust particles, to then follow the lines of fracture, the spines, the holes, the tears. The confinement of these squared centimeters pushes one into abstraction. For they have their own reason for being, generating visual outlets: they fascinate like the details of this or that masterpiece. The colors, sometimes faded, sometimes strong, also relate to this dynamic through their geometric delimitation. They provide the set for exploring the depths, as if these deep blues or shaded reds, for example, had a life of their own whilst also being in resonance with other details of the canvas, which they proudly juxtapose or contaminate through their streaking. A protean work, secreting its own regeneration, its own permanent transmutation. A celestial to-ing and fro-ing, full of subtle echoes. And then, the gaze returns to the whole, to the power which emanates from the whole. Rarely has painting been so free from the limits of its own frame. A window opens onto a Pierre Marie with Edgar Degas sculpture, Danseuse I scene, a detail, a plant; sometimes a landscape or a silhouette. But no sooner has the object of observation been suggested, then it runs free. Most often, it is fragmented or incomplete thereby calling upon our imagination. A beginning or an end? An apparition or a vanishing? It is of little importance. The canvas liberates itself, and opens space. The mind completes the truncated gesture, turns towards what the characters are looking at, fills in the gaps without ever being certain of the solution to the enigma. A work of art is enigmatic, it admonishes, it endangers, it postpones. A work of art opens and closes at the same time, thereby creating dramatic tension. In Pierre-Marie Brisson's work, figuration extracts transitory pieces of life or people, creating a jigsaw puzzle of the imaginary where the awakened dead seem to converse with the portrayed present. These figures possess a rare grace, a delicate reserve which renders them fragile and contrasts with the rusticity of the backgrounds. Yet, there is no real, apparent opposition since we can never tell what comes first. Moments of eternity, so simple, so beautiful, almost naive which awaken us to crystalline moments of presence. So, from this precarious balance between the present and the absent, between life and death, time suspended reveals the infinite dimension of an emotion to us, a universal truth held by just one thread. M A RC L E PA P E Marc Lepape is a professor and author whose first novel, Vasilsca, won the prestigious Prix Emmanuel-Roblès. EDGAR DEGAS Danseuse I (left) / Danseuse II (right) Collection of Mus e Faure



L’Alcôve I 2010 mixed media on canvas

35 x 45

Situation II 2009 mixed media on canvas 47 x 47



Left Visite d'Impression I 2010 mixed media on canvas 36 x 28

Above Impression IV 2010 mixed media on canvas 39 x 39



Douceur 2010 mixed media on canvas 31 x 31

Architecture I 2010 mixed media on canvas 45 x 35



EDGAR DEGAS Les danseuses mauves Collection of Mu ee Faure

Danse d'après Degas III 2009 mixed media on canvas 47 x 47



Souvenir d’un Temps 2010 mixed media on canvas 39 x 31.5

Danse d'après Degas I 2009 mixed media on canvas 47 x 47



Danse d'apres Degas V 2010 mixed media on canvas 47 x 47

Top Etudes I 2010 mixed media on canvas 19.5 x 19.5

Bottom Close up 2010 mixed media on canvas 28 x 36



Danse d'après Degas II 2009 mixed media on canvas 47 x 47

Impression II 2010 mixed media on canvas 39 x 39



HENRI FANTIN-LATOUR Nymphe lutin e par des amours, 1898 Collection of Mus e Faure

Les Anges passent I 2009 mixed media on canvas 47 x 47



Brisson's art is full of nuances and subtlety. It conveys an “out of time” ambience, as if "in a magic space…" Just like a half-erased fresco from Pompeii, there is a deep feeling of both pleasure and nostalgia. Les Anges passent II 2009 mixed media on canvas 44 x 57

– Frédérique Martiningo Art Critic



J. J. HENNER Nymphe pr s d’une source Collection of Mus e Faure

La Nymphe endormie 2010 mixed media on canvas 58.5 x 58.5



La Nymphe 2009 mixed media on canvas 44 x 57

FRANÇOIS GÉRARD La d claration Collection of Mus e Faure



Above L’Alcôve III 2010 mixed media on canvas 45 x 35

Right La Déclaration 2010 mixed media on canvas 45 x 35



Invitation 2010 mixed media on canvas 35 x 45

DĂŠclaration d'Amour 2009 mixed media on canvas 59 x 59



TSUGUHARU (LÉONARD) FOUJITA Les deux amies Collection of Mus e Faure

Les Amies 2009 mixed media on canvas 59 x 59



Etudes III 2010 mixed media on canvas 19.5 x 19.5

L’Alcôve II 2010 mixed media on canvas 45 x 35



Impression V 2010 mixed media on canvas 39 x 39

Essai d'AmitiĂŠ 2009 mixed media on canvas 45 x 35



TSUGUHARU (LÉONARD) FOUJITA Nu, 1923 Collection of Mus e Faure

Dévoilement 2009 mixed media on canvas 59 x 59



Femme en Double 2010 mixed media on canvas 28 x 36

Femme Fant么me 2010 mixed media on canvas 31 x 31



Impression III 2010 mixed media on canvas 39 x 39

CHARLES COTTET Nu sa toilette Collection of Mus e Faure



Impression I 2010 mixed media on canvas 39 x 39

Derrière la Porte 2009 mixed media on canvas 59 x 59



Etudes II 2010 mixed media on canvas 19.5 x 19.5

DĂŠclinaison I 2010 mixed media on canvas 36 x 28



PIERRE BONNARD L’ cuy re, 1897 Collection of Mus e Faure

Petit Hommage à Bonnard 2009 mixed media on canvas 44 x 57



L'Ecuyére 2010 mixed media on canvas 58.5 x 58.5

FRANCESCO HAYEZ Jeune femme pr s d’un perron, 1840 Collection of Mus e Faure



Above Sortie de Bain I 2009 mixed media on canvas 59 x 59

Right Visite d'Impression III 2010 mixed media on canvas 36 x 28



Douceur d'un Matin 2010 mixed media on canvas 58.5 x 58.5

Sortie de Bain II 2009 mixed media on canvas 44 x 57



INDEX Architecture I Close up Danse d’apr s Degas I Danse d’apr s Degas II Danse d’apr s Degas III Danse d’apr s Degas V D clinaison I D claration d’Amour Derri re la Por te D voilement Douceur Douceur d’un Matin Essai d’Amiti Etudes I Etudes II Etudes III Femme en Double Femme Fant me Impression I Impression II Impression III Impression IV Impression V Invitation La D claration La Nymphe La Nymphe endormie L ’ A l c ve I L ’ A l c ve II L ’ A l c ve III L’Ecuy re Les Amies Les Anges passent I Les Anges passent II Petit Hommage Bonnard Situation II Sor tie de Bain I Sor tie de Bain II Souvenir d’un Temps Visite d’Impression I Visite d’Impression III

13 19 17 20 15 18 49 33 47 41 12 56 39 19 48 36 42 43 46 21 44 11 38 32 31 28 27 8 37 30 52 35 23 24 51 9 54 57 16 10 55

Left: Danse d’apr s Degas V (detail) — see page 18


FA L L 2 0 1 0


Stacey Bellis / Matt Geary Pierre Schwartz / CATALOG DESIGN : D. Lee Myers

Back cover: Sortie de Bain II (detail) – see page 62




PIER R E M A R IE B R ISSO N Fa ll 2010 c a ta log 60 pa ge s

F R A N K L I N B OW L E S G A L L E R I E S SAN FRANCISCO 765 / 799 Beach Street San Francisco CA 94109 415.441.8008 / 800.926.9535

NEW YORK 431 West Broadway New York NY 10012 212.226.1616 / 800.926.9537

w w w. f r a n k l i n b ow l e s g a l l e r y. c o m

Pierre Marie Brisson Catalog, "Fil D'Ariane," 2010  

Franklin Bowles Galleries Pierre Marie Brisson Exhibition Catalog Fall, 2010

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