Jean Le Gac in the thick of the word

Anyone who knows ArtsHebdoMédias knows how attached we are to collecting the words of artists, personalities from the art world, scientists who are interested in it… Our drawers are full of magnetic tapes and our computers digital records. It is therefore naturally and with enthusiasm that we will be partners of the Conversations under the tree, new cultural proposal from the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire. This series of meetings (7 in 2023), which will bring together artists, philosophers, physicists, landscape designers, biologists, and other authors, will focus on themes related to art and nature. A detailed program will be available at the end of the year. And long live an open and shared thought!

In 2022, the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire has redoubled its inventiveness to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Garden Festival and the 15e edition of its Art Season. After the inauguration of the Digital Gallery, with an exceptional installation by Quayola, and the renewal of the nocturnes, walks of light in the creative gardens to the rhythm of film music, the institution announces the launch for 2023 of a reflection Arts and Nature. For more than 15 years, she has been leading an original cultural adventure linked to heritage, art and nature. Nearly 300 videos testify to this work undertaken by Chantal Colleu-Dumond, which has encouraged both garden designers and artists to express themselves. Made available on YouTube, their words have over time enriched the philosophy of the Estate imbued with artistic and cultural rigor.

Shared choices – contemporary art, living artists, the desire to collect their words and a transversal vision of knowledge – as well as a desire to transmit art to as many people as possible have immediately brought your media and the Domain closer together. of Chaumont-sur-Loire. It is therefore quite natural that ArtsHebdoMédias will be a partner of Conversations under the tree, series of meetings with personalities from the world of art, gardening, thought and science, which will be organized from March 2023, in the spaces of the Bois des Chambres, the Hôtel d’Arts et de Nature inaugurated by the Domaine last June. While waiting to see you there, we will offer you over the months to discover the interviews already conducted by Chantal Colleu-Dumond, as part of the 2022 Art Season. By way of introduction, here are selected extracts from the one carried out with Jean Le Gac accompanied by some views ofOutside, the retrospective dedicated to the artist and visible until October 30th.

View of the exhibition Outdoors, 2022. ©Jean Le Gac, photo Eric Sander

Jean Le Gac remembers the painter of his childhood

“When in my childhood I came across a Sunday painter, his tools, his penetration of the landscape, I did not understand what this gentleman was doing… What seduced me was his paraphernalia, his very beautiful varnished easel, the colors that appeared. I did not see the relationship between his gesture and what he was painting. It was already the beginning of a mystery for me. »

About works consisting of texts, photographs and paintings

“I do not validate the term collage, I prefer the cinematographic term editing. Sometimes works produced 10 years apart are brought closer together. I think that we are really in the techniques of the cinema which make it possible to shorten the time of a work. »

In a convertible, detail, 1994. ©Jean Le Gac, photo Leighton Gough

How to escape the curse of the workplace

“My first workshop was extraordinary, oxblood red, a colorful atmosphere of staggering density. The place was that of the municipal courts of Béthune. A lady has installed a large mirror to give dance lessons. I was fine. With this mirror, I imagined a film. After that I never had a workshop again. I escaped this curse of the workplace. »

Only misconceptions about art

“When we returned to Paris, I started to doubt. I was armed on the manual plane but that was it. I only had misconceptions about art. I realized quite quickly that I risked heading in the wrong direction. I almost stopped at the image of the painter of my childhood for fear of not being able to go beyond. I went outside. There is never anyone in the countryside, it was waiting for me, it was made for me. It was a great moment of emotion to see this huge space that belonged to me. I keep thinking that. I found a new eye when I left the workshop. »

The Grand Ensemble, here and there, 2012. ©Jean Le Gac, photo Eric Sander

Where the spectator does not go

“The new novel was a revelation for me. I started to take an interest in writing. Everything happened as a whole… We are in the 70s and a lot of things happened. This may not be stressed enough. We headed in directions we didn’t know. Writing, of which I knew nothing. Photography, with my children… I worked in places where the spectator did not go. Outside was my studio, after that there was the exhibition. »

A few words about the character of the painter

“We must not believe, the painters of the time were thinking of cinema, of literature. It was all in the thick of the thought of the moment. I probably took a bandwagon. The painting is a mirror, but I embody a character in it, not a discipline. Playing this story freed me, in a way gave me all the courage because I crossed this zone between the civil status person that we are and the person that we can embody. »

View of the exhibition Outdoors, 2022. ©Jean Le Gac, photo Eric Sander

From the influence of cinema

“Do I believe in what I do? Yes, very strong, deeply. But no more than a movie actor disguised as Buffalo Bill would take himself for himself… The influence of cinema is very strong. When you are a visual artist, you lose movement, this slow or fast sliding between different things. The universe of the visual artist is heavy, heavy, I do everything to lighten it, to have this slippery water of cinema…”

In conclusion…

“We can conclude that there is no cliché, things that are too well known. The real is inexhaustible, even the most conventional things are, like the cows in the meadows in Normandy! I was not formed by impressionism, but by the western, the comic strip. We all live on a given. I’ve been on outlying trails for a long time but it got me out of trouble. I was authentic. An old artist like me is preoccupied with defending his life as an artist to the end. There is survival to be ensured. »

…and about the tragic news of the world

“I want to believe that art can do something. At the first sign, I will be happy, very happy. »

They have become new works (the balloon trip), 2018. ©Jean Le Gac, photo Eric Sander

To discover this interview with Jean Le Gac, click!

Read also> Conversation with Jean Le Gac, April 2021.

Opening Image> The siesta (on the cushions of the car), detail, 2016. Private collection. ©Jean Le Gac, photo MLD

Contact> Art season 2022, until October 30, Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire.

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Jean Le Gac in the thick of the word – ArtsHebdoMédias