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  • 2003 - Béatrice Comte (art critic)


Coming from a family of seminarians in love and decapitated bandits, Guy-Rachel Grataloup is an esoteric and mystical painter.His spiritualism beats in a mathematician’s heart, his taste for the colored spectrum refers him to Goethe as much as to Kandinsky.His geometric style is enriched with a taste for pure pigments and metals, and does not forbid him a very current sense of installation.

He obtained a prize from Rome, frequented the Casa Velasquez, accompanied by Support-Surface as BMPT (Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni).But, escaping the norms and the schools, he discovered his own path: he defines himself as a new symbolist (and moreover nourishes a deep passion towards Puvis de Chavanne).

The art of Grataloup sounds particularly accurate in religious buildings.At present, in Lyon, the chapel of the Trinity is radiated beyond itself in its baroque garb.An installation of an impressive wealth takes the breath away: interior walls telling the incomprehensible adventure of Bernadette de Lourdes;a long cimaise mounted in the middle of the church, like an additional wall along which Genesis unfolds recto verso in fresco;Way of the Cross in fifteen stations installed in the ambulatory of the floor;all this is closed on a high Tent of the Prophet in gold cloth, covered with passages of the "Exodus", endowed with a ladder erected towards the unknown, and which stands out on a wall covered with initiatic triangulations.

Each of the elements of this set goes beyond the framework in which it appears to be situated.Thus of the series evoking the appearance of the Virgin to Bernadette Soubirous in the Grotto of Massabielle (1848), beyond the touching anecdote, it is in fact a question of these sublime Easter terrors that sometimes seize us.

All the monumental canvases illustrating illumination are structured identically, in parallel horizontal bands with bright colors.The ether rises above a central and shimmering aluminium, under which the cave declines from work to work various moments of the mystery, whose avatars are clearly perceptible only to a forewarned mind.But the variation on an intangible structure evokes in everyone a musical phrase, discreetly descriptive, of the changing character of emotion.The walk in front of these panels both abstract and recitative becomes unconsciously pilgrimage...

Likewise the continuation of twelve works which, in the three primary colors, illustrate Genesis, certainly has a biblical theme.However, before these men struggling to death for a woman offered, or before a celestial prism that dominates under him the Earth, who would not think of the universal?

Béatrice Comte - Art Critic - Article published in Le Figaro magazine - October 31, 2003


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