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  • 2002 - Paul Lombard (lawer and writer)

GRATALOUP "DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO WRITE ABOUT PAINTING?"


Few writers have succeeded in this challenge, completing the line with the letters while the line does not need the letters to be beautiful. Almost only Baudelaire and Apollinaire were able to bring to the painted work the guarantee of their words, the dreamlike support of their sensitivity.


The Cubists without the wanderer of the two banks would, doubtless, not be what they became. They would not, without doubt, have succeeded in dissecting the world, in climbing the edges of a recomposed universe.


Grataloup, painter of antimatter, or rather in a tamed manner does not need a preface to swaddle his work or take a righteous revenge on the semi-darkness in which he voluntarily built one of the most original works of recent years when all ease is prohibited.


Is this sandman a painter or a sculptor? Whatever, he is for me the artist-artisan of a geometry where rigour embraces the dream. Who has not had the chance to visit his studio for a wink or a full look has only a faint idea of this solitude transcended by a lyrical and severe stubbornness. He does not care about schools, movements, movement, to make us discover the desert of an absolute where life is never absent. My meeting with him enabled me to measure – if it was still needed – the vanity of the obsolete division between abstraction and figuration.


Grataloup is not an abstract painter, because man is always present in his sands. He is not a figurative advantage. His sketched, broken characters are there to confess their powerlessness to turn the course of the absolute. At the same time, they testify to the superiority of the living over the ashes. They disturb.


Disturbing is the artist’s primary vocation, his curse, his blessing. Grataloup excels in modest provocation at a time when false prophets try to impose their tinkering. I do not see to whom this unclassifiable can be compared. Why the devil would it be? Comparison shrinks the creator, originality grows it. Grataloup throws us on the foam of the red or blue waves, rushes us into the green or black crevasses, while the walker wanders into the forests with creeping lianas. He endows his world with all the colors stolen from the rainbow, pierced it with features from the infinite, caresses it.


He is not the first artist, so much so, to introduce foreign objects in his compositions, but, better than another, he knows how to use the mirror for its reflections and the sparkling shattering of its bursts.It would be futile to favour one canvas over another because Grataloup’s work forms a whole and the large formats where it excels fit into an ever renewed construction.However, if I had the possibility of isolating a painting, my choice would be on a black scale deposited at the bottom of a well.It rushes to heaven and symbolizes the dishonor of renunciation and the victory of hope.


Tomorrow will be like today

The same soft earth hole

Where to fight with the night

Fear and boredom on the shoulders

Writer Toursky the greatest of the miners of the past century.


Grataloup gives him a denial.His serene and tormented painting where colors clash forces us to return to the matter which he tries against the reason to become the master.This thick material, bloated with the sap of life, he puts it at the service of a humble and obstinate walk that leads to beauty, an enormous land where everything is silent.


When I look at his work, I hear Grataloup’s silence.


Here begins the desert.

The man-made desert.


Paul Lombard (lawyer and writer) - 2002

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