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  • 1990 - Philippe Carteron (art critic)


By mistake, Grataloup melts from painting to painting a space where worlds mingle, respond.The codification in materials and colours weaves around the viewer a tenuous ramification between sensitivity and spirituality.

The artist shows us through symbols (not symbolism) that our environment is only made of fibres, materials and land.Lands where sometimes appear the last initiations so that the outline of man gushes before our eyes.

Between the "Chutes d'Icare", the "Bories", the "Archers", Grataloup demonstrates that everything is sensuality. the "Paysages" (series from which he emerges an original matrix from which he forges other canvases), the "Autoportraits" (series whose generic title may at first glance baffle), are working to stigmatize our paradoxes or perhaps his own.

But here the artist does not make himself egotistic, he only leads us on the paths of passage of initiation and revelation. Grataloup clearly states that he can now look the sky in the face. Recently a fall in a mountain race made him fall into a fault: it had for only horizon walls of snow and the blue of the skies. The artist became a sort of Icarus, the master met his model by chance. The beatitude had torn him from the universe of humans.

But before arriving at this vis-à-vis celestial, the artist had to face many trials. A childhood hidden in the sewers of Lyon to escape the raids. He made his nest of darkness and darkness, which he had to bear the full weight of. Bearer of a burden that I wanted to get rid of at a certain time, and yet that has nourished and still nourishes my painting". It’s always night on the man," he finally lets go as an aphorism.

He was also the young man lost in ideologies and where the questioning made him even doubt painting in particular and art in general.

With awareness, a crisis of growth, Grataloup returns to this hot and lively matter that governs his work. The paintings today were made more violent, the graphics more biting. Long traces morcellent and tear the pictorial space. Long material effects taken out of a colored tube govern the support: angles, infinite straight lines but also curves and interlacing. Casts of tints appear and spread out.

The painter poured on the canvas pots of paint that he slowly and serenely worked. The composition of each of these works does not play on innocence, and the hasty gesture of the creator, but comes alive around precise constructions, scaffolding plans and reliefs without rejecting a certain gestuality. The colours themselves do not spread themselves out in any way. All of this is reflected. Light and shadow sometimes call out, penetrate each other. The yellows, the blues, the reds respond to the greys and the blacks. Gold, alchemy is not far away, and "intervenes like a mysterious matter". It is a little out of the painter’s palette. It is "incommunicability and the divine mystery" (title of the interview with Christian Jaccard and Claude Viallat for the exhibition of the winter 1987 at the Galerie Lavignes-Bastille). Through the canvases, he guides us step by step to the discovery of the sovereign mystery of which he would like to know at last the limits, the borders, the barriers. The artist wants to demonstrate that the inaccessible can be reached. Philippe Carteron (Art Critic) - 1990


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