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Strangeness and singularity, an
It is by no means easy for an artist to speak about himself and the work he is engaged in. Let the art critics whose press excerpts follow have their word on my work as a painter. Undoubtedly, they can do this better than I.
After a brief spell at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, I decided to set off on my own to engage in a different kind of apprenticeship, that of the self-taught artist, where I had to learn how to observe, to train the eye and probe into the expression of every day life.
From the very beginning, the human face appeared to be the dimension I had to explore. This effort I undertook was to last a number of years.
Then the time came for me to go beyond appearances, beyond what is immediately visible to us. I tried to explore those human masks which are only too often ours, progressively converging towards a visionary art which is the fruit of inner imagination.
But this imaginary art was not accidental but derived from what had been observed and scrutinized in former years.
- The works of Raymond Segré have been exhibited in various Salons and Art Galleries, among which:
Press excerpts from well known art critics:
"Segré presents us with a series of faces showing strong individual features. We could take them for masks made up of various strips and pieces, though quite realistic. The effect it has on us is deeply mysterious."
"The inmost sensibility: Segré brings us a series of faces or could we say masks. These human masks are works of rigour and sheer simplicity. We have here clearly outlined or more blurred pastels, intermixed but bright and clear lines which suggest faces or impressions of faces which we feel with inmost sensitivity beyond the art of creation. It is a quest for the most direct form of language, for a human message which transcends all rules."
"Raymond Segré exhibits with various techniques paintings, ink drawings, pastels and water colours. In these works he strives to go beyond the faces he depicts. This exhibition combines the remarkable figurative qualities of the artist with the emotional shock it creates."
"A series of human masks, reminiscent of Goerg, somewhat Daumier. There are also some clearly outlined drawings which are extremely interesting."
"The interest we feel in the fine etchings of Segré consists of his men's heads with their deep expressions. His "study of three heads" is quite remarkable as a work created by decisive strokes. The line is more continuous and clearly stressed in his "Nude" or "Model at rest". We feel attracted to the curious water colour "Blanc Vert".
"Once again Segré hangs up at the Cité Dieulefitoise some forty drawings, gouache creations and water colours. The faces are clearly remarkable just as the still-lives or every day scenes. A few strokes and what we have is a creation with a real expression of its own. Segré is also remarkable with his ink drawings, denoting a mastership of this technique whereas his pencil drawings seem to be a muddled medley but are surprisingly works of great precision."
"These hurried strokes, executed on the spot and often entitled "study of expression" or "study of movement" are the work of an artist who not only observes but also closely scrutinizes human beings. The line is precise, sometimes interrupted, cleverly combining in palpable and more blurred living characters."
"Those tormented but stirring masks bring to us the painter's somewhat deep disquiet. Lifeless or ashen are the faces which speak to us in their rich tonalities denoting a certain scepticism. Are they the reflection of intense emotions or dreamlike visions ?"
"Acute truth: Segré presents a series of faces far beyond mere gouache or water-colour renderings. There is also a face with deep spiritual signification. The hues are intermingled. We have a face rendering a marvelous spiritual power. The lines are intermingled and yet clear with darker stained zones setting off an acute truth Here we have the professional touch which gushes out as deep inspiration. This art speaks of sensibility, of humanity and of something familiar to us all. Truly unforgetable."
"We have here a long series of men's faces whose expressions are grave and sometimes sad. They are lit up by an inner life. Even deprived of their details, these faces are always expressive. Included in the exhibition are feminine nudes and drawings."
"At a first glance the subject of the artist would appear to be a semi-closed inner space where one feels a human presence. The presence of bodies strikes us but smoothly and discreetly in pastel undulations which represent faces, busts and hands which have been given life and soul by the artist.
"The painter Raymond Segré and his revelation: you can see a series of paintings and tinted drawings at the Gallery Saint Placid. Here diversity reigns in research and expression. One has here the extraordinary faces Leonardo da Vinci saw on old walls stained by dampness and saltpetre. Other faces remind us of ancient sculptures. What one mostly feels is an exceptional sensibility. One senses a creation which speaks of great probity. The artist has called upon his true emotions in all his works. He entices us to delve into a creation where he gives us his very best and yet using the simplicity which characterizes him."
© All of the images on this website are copyrighted original artworks by their author and are protected by international copyright law. No materials in this gallery may be reproduced, copied, downloaded, or used in any form without written permission of the contemporary artist Raymond Segré.