For the past 30 years I have traveled to France on a regular basis as an essential part of my job as an art dealer. There have been times when it felt like I couldn’t board another plane, or that I couldn’t face another night in a hotel room. However, there is one thing that I have never grown tired of – visiting an artist’s studio. Every visit to an artist’s studio is a voyage of discovery.
The artist has added a new perspective to his work, there is a new subject matter he is experimenting with, a new combination of colors that has intrigued him, a new format size or shape has solved an ongoing problem, and I could go on and on. A true artist never stops learning and never stops challenging himself/herself.
A few weeks ago, as I have done 3 or 4 times a year for 30 years, I visited Lucien Gondret in his studio, and as is always the case, Lucien had something new to show me. A few months before he had been in New York, and was excited about a painting that captured his vision of NYC.
When I entered the studio, he was still adding some finishing touches.
This led to a discussion of what he wanted to capture that day, why he had chosen this perspective,
And how a few passerbys had helped him create the dimensional effect that would reflect how he had felt that day.
Then I did what I always do, which is to explore the studio in search of another new theme I hadn’t seen yet. I found it when I saw a series of Paris night scenes Lucien was working on.
One of Lucien’s strengths as an artist has always been his ability to create unique lighting effects. In this painting of the Grand Palais seen from the Pont Alexandre III, there is a magical mixture of light sources: the street lamps, interior light emanating from the building, a reflection of multiple lights on the river, and a suggestion of moonlight.
Finally, a visit to Lucien’s studio wouldn’t be complete without finding a very small painting, a miniature gem. that captured my mood during that day’s visit and reinforced all the reasons why our collaboration has lasted for 30 years now.
This small semi-abstract floral, just seemed to encapsulate the feeling of a warm October day, where two old friends spent an afternoon doing something they both love.
Paintings by Lucien Gondret will be exhibited at The Intercontinental Art Experience, from February 18-26 in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Lucien Gondret was born in Marines, France in 1941. His ability in art was revealed at an extremely early age. He first exhibited his works in a juried show at the age of 16. It was at this exhibit that the famous French writer Jean Cocteau saw the young artist’s work and encouraged him to make art his career. Throughout his development Gondret was heavily influenced by the Fauvists notably Valminck.
For more than 40 years, Gondret has exhibited his works throughout Europe, the United States and Japan. His works have been shown annually at the Salon des Independants and the Salon des Artistes Francais. Gondret has been a member of the prestigious Salon des Artistes since 1977.
Gondret has received many awards and is listed in the prestigious Benezit Catalog.