Gérard Clisson

"Constructive destruction." Gérard heard this term recently used to describe his work and has to agree: "It suits me perfectly." The artist admits that he needs material to create. In local carpenter shops he salvages strips or hardboard which he transforms in his studio in Maulais near Parthenay. Painted or natural, and with indeterminate widths, these industrial materials, manufactured to precise standards, are destroyed and ripped up for his creations. At first the work is created by chance, without any certainty: "In principle, I do not like knowing what I 'm going to do at first, I like to surprise myself," says the artist. Pieces of wood with random shapes are glued onto a square format, providing elements beyond his control.                                

Once the first phase of work is completed, a second ensues which is more structured, with more thought. "I add elements that bring new colours, give rhythm to my paintings," says Gérard. Assembled, these modules form parallel paths, but with uncertain horizons aligned rhythmically. The result looks like scales or bark suspended in a void.                             

Colours and accumulations create a real dynamic. There is a Zen feeling to his work, sometimes like furrows raked in gravel in a Japanese garden. Born in 1942 in Saint-Maixent-School (France), Gérard was model maker and scene painter for the theatre.

He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Salvage materials have an important place in his work, used to make tables, lamps and sculptures. It was for this reason that he was given a commission in 1996 from the City of Roanne (France) entitled "Star War in Roanne" made mainly from salvaged agricultural machinery. In Paris, in the trendy café Chez Lomi, he recently exhibited the creations that have inspired him using coffee filters. An artist as endearing as he is unclassifiable.