Guy de Rougemont, of the Academy of fine arts
Guy of Rougemont: Wanderings in the city
A communication at the Academy of fine arts, “A painter in the jungle of cities”
“A painter in the jungle of cities”. Under this title-which the Brecht reference must not be the tree that hides the forest – Guy de Rougemont wants to try to describe any subjectively the relationships that can exist between an artist and the city. Academician, has always been fascinated by the city, sought to promote in his arts in the city: discover an unexpected urbanity online serpentine and colorful, as he presented it to his colleagues at a meeting of the Academy, with a slideshow.
Here is the text of Guy de Rougemont, Member of the section of painting of the Academy, painter sculptor, Visual artist, delivered before his colleagues at the meeting of the Academy of fine arts, January 12, 2012. The video-slide show that accompanies the show, made by the graphic designer and artist Nacho Ormaechea increasingly recognized the work of photomontage. Designer cuts indeed, the silhouette of strangers to paste in other images, and show the truth of “the only man in the street. Photographs of the slideshow that you can view referring at the end of this article, or by clicking here, offer a complete look of the work of the painter. They are Pierre Schwartz regarding the works presented and Michaël Lunardi on portraits of Guy de Rougemont. Born in 1935, academician was elected member of the Academy of fine arts on 17 December 1997, the Chair of Jean Bertholle. As pointed out the Detais Gallery where he exhibited until April 28, 2012: home painting out of its setting, invests the walls, takes possession of the public space.
Guy de Rougemont, sans titre, Acrylique sur toile, 145 X114, 2004
Guy of Rougemont, Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 145 X 114, 2004
© Guy de Rougemont
A painter in the jungle of cities
Under this heading which the Brecht reference must not be the tree that hides the forest I will try to describe any subjectively the relationships that can exist between an artist and the city.
I was born in the city, I love the city. In my relationship to the city there is seduction, passion and fascination! The city has an amazing capacity to absorb, it is cannibalistic, eating, but it is also fragile and sensual. Not to mention that the town is work, closer to the work of art, it is a production and reproduction of human beings by human beings humans more than a simple production of objects. This is how the painter, who chose to be and express themselves in and with the city, will “get out”…
On one side the philosopher Henri Lefebvre predicts that ” the future of art is not art, but it will be urban ‘; on the other, Elie Faure, in writing about the relationship between the artist and the social, tells us: ” when man seeks man and cannot find it, sociologists are involved and turn to the artist “. ».
I suggest a stroll in the city around six of my achievements, without chronological nor geographical order, but according to the modes of ‘penetration’ of the city, adopted during the development of each of these plastic interventions… These six projects are no models, but they are my experiences, my relationship to urban and bodies who preside over the destiny of the city: political, financial, technical, artistic, social…
It will be therefore matter to slip and creep into the city, at the moment of after the diversion by the ambiguity of the intrusion, then a little further dominate, while knowing, when the time comes, give him a party and finally seduce her maybe… I was always fascinated in the city, it is how nature which in is hunted is ready at any time to reinvest the…How in the minerals places herbs sport and flowers bloom.
What’s more distracting than see a frail plant lift asphalt polished like a mirror in the corner of a street? Small world in the grand, resistance to the order imposed, few are urban dwellers who guess it is precisely here, in these imperfections in these abandoned crannies these gaps, it may be possible to penetrate the city…
« It is not me who méditerai on what happens to a city – said André Breton – even of the real city distracted and abstract that I live by force of an element that would be my thought what air is to life. Without regret, at this time I see become another and even flee; it slides, it burns, it sinks into the thrill of wild grass of its barricades… ».
Guy de Rougemont, juin 2010
Rougemont guy, June 2010
© Channel Academy
This is according to a creep that I myself am recently insinuated between the heavy slabs of granite of the courtyard of Bellechasse, before the main entrance to the Musée d’Orsay, by registering at the threshold of a museum dedicated to the only XIXe century, the first signs of all cultures and all time for: ‘Down in the depth of what is to everyone’ proposing a show specific to the renewal of the sensitivity of the visitor. My intention was that stopped time above the movement of the imagination of each, the feet moving opposes the immobility of the Granites and marbles of this Hall open. To try to understand that the curiosity of the past cannot be met without observation of the present… or as Walter Benjamin said: “the past has existence, reality, that in the present where it is as such and that it knows.”
This realization, I removed some pleasure, and a strong displeasure.
The fun one to be present in this eminently urban place, in the heart of the city, and can thus be an answer to the question whether contemporary art has freedom of the city close to the testimonies of the past. Should still know if contemporary art is reserved to new cities or on the outskirts of historic centres and if these are definitely like and everything never closed to the historical dialogue.
To have thus triumphed over the usual suspicions – but the credit goes to the team of the Orsay Public establishment – gives me some satisfaction that comes also the possible inclusion of this achievement in the monumental.
At a symposium organized in 1985 at Royaumont by the association city and projects, to the question posed to me by architect Huidobro to know if I was considering as monumental my intervention at the Ministry of finance – this is terrain of the lobbies of the buildings A and C-, I replied in the affirmative, because in centuries to come, once the destroyed buildingsIt will be good soil that archeologists will be able to reconstruct what they were!
With regard to my displeasure, on the Parvis Bellechasse, it does not come from what its quality is ignored by most visitors, but by too great care that they take cover by chewing gum. There is also that the marbles have been menu axes by the passage of heavy lifting… and that a requested restore does not. Another example of an achievement based on the mode of the implication of the quiet subversion, it is the treatment of the floor of the Marne RER station tickets la – Valley, Mont D’est.
It is a carpet of stoneware to geometric paths. As suggested by Edgar Allan Poe in his philosophy of furniture: ‘ the carpet, it is the soul of the apartment ‘. There was this my intention during the development of the project; that is, projecting to the ground from a public place that typically found in an Interior.
Play the effect of surprise by the recognition while giving, in this place of intensive passage, those who will give venue, the digression that mistaken expectation.
These two horizontal realizations come to occupy in the town of surfaces always perfectly resolved technically, but abandoned this single search for efficiency. When you realize how many urban dwellers walk in looking feet, I think it would be interesting to offer them another show, not to distract them concerns that their lower eyes, at least that is fear of slipping on dog droppings!
Œuvres de Guy de Rougemont, exposées à la Galerie du Passage à Paris en 2010
Œuvres by Guy de Rougemont, exhibited in the Gallery of the Passage in Paris in 2010
© Channel Academy
It comes to the proposal to address the town on the way of ambiguity, a little as just to see for the soil of the RER, but this time in a vertical monumentality: it comes to the fountain Monumentale de Belfort ordered by the cities on a program of 7 cities, 7 fountains ‘.
Diderot in a memorandum containing the draft of a public pump to provide water of the Seine to the city of Paris, admits that: «filth, sediments, the inevitable stagnation of water in basins, the fickleness of small fountains and their scarcity in times of drought» distaste.
From this remark, after have been repeatedly sorry by the spectacle of basins dumps, waste paper and other metro tickets I imagined this fountain basin – no mirror! – but also to ensure that, when it is not in water, no indication that it is a fountain.
Present very heavily in an architectural environment of disparate and mediocre, nine cylinders composed of four marbles divided according to variable heights horizontal strata, draw their four metres high on a diameter of 50 centimeters, according to strict symmetry on a square base of ten meters aside lavastone; four circular tables to seat height, complete the sculptural composition.
Impressive by its majestic solemnity, this strange occupation of space gives suddenly this crossroads lively shopping streets, a grandeur and dignity which contrast with displays of “sell at any price”, the eye-catching signs and flashing neon.
If indeed the virtue of art is to establish a connection between the material world and the mental world, I think with Duvignaud “artistic imagination is a bet on the ability of humans to invent new relationships and experience unknown emotions.
Due to monumentalize this place has caused the arrival of visitors and tourists that had the effect of altering the behaviour of neighbouring traders about the holding of their storefronts. This makes me remember the proposal to Exchange St. mark and the Doge’s Palace with the Stucky mill Palace, in order to “Historicizing” the Giudecca, during an international ideas competition launched in 1975 by the Venice Biennale.
But back to Belfort! and is no exaggeration, because if actually there is on the part of local residents a certain pride to possess this monument, in not always was thus: the water circulation must be done according to a horizontal trajectory in part high drums of marble, particularly delicate focus is not made without difficulty, the slightest air current coming divert the trajectory of the jetsThese finding more receptacle provided, went crashing on windows or vaporisaient the nearby Café terrace!
This worthy monument spat to the figure of the barges! It was too much for the watered, and on the side of the Town Hall, complaints arrived.
Although extremely patient, elected officials wanted other operation of the fountain.
Today, trickles along drums, giving a beautiful vivacity to the four colours of the marble.
I got during the inauguration the first jets system is maintained and used on some occasions, so the fountain can still belch.
That under the instruction of marble in spraying water disorder: metaphor of this dual tropism, but urban urbanity normalizes inexorably.
I had imagined to be able to play the ambiguity created by the two aspects of the fountain: one strict construction opposite to the playful circulation water.
But the technique having been controlled, the old dream of defying gravity – in both senses of the Word – crashed on the edge of conformism…
About the playful, I think that this aspect of the game – which according to Henri Lefebvre ” is value supreme beyond bringing the use and Exchange ” is a necessary component of the relationship of the artist to the city.
Put the appropriation above the domination is the space of playful, space which coexists with Exchange and circulation, the political and the cultural. We live inside a set of relationships that define irreducible locations to each other and absolutely not superimposable.
But what interests me: “they are, among all these sites, some of them that have the curious property of being in relation to all other locations but on a mode as they suspend, neutralize or invert all the reports that are with them designated, reflected or reflect.”
Playful space is one of these locations magic, essential to the understanding of artistic creation in that it may have irrational, of dreamlike, criticism, mysterious…
What does mean Henri Lefebvre when he wrote that the art will be urban? For him this is not all to beautify the urban space with art objects: This means that the time-spaces become works of art and that art passed to reconsider as the source and model of appropriation of space and time. In a nutshell: the art of living in the city as a work of art.
The next achievement is part of a mode of penetration in the city whose symbolism is clear to. We are in the situation of a municipal order; According to the wishes of the Mayor, it was necessary to mark the entries in his town, so that it is more considered as suburb of the big city nearby.
A cadastral sculpture of a demarcation issue, here is a tag: “it was in Villeurbanne, suburb of Lyon, on the Place Albert Thomas ‘!
Instead, which is not a, but rather a crossroads with passages of trams and heavy traffic, consists on the outskirts of his circle, of three to four storey houses which are more than construction of architecture.
The purpose was to give a centre at the confluence of five lanes, dominating the immediate environment, to offer distant views according to the axes of approaches, a possibility of tracking.
Georges Pérec wrote: ” that a space is never given him, that he must mark it, locate and that live it is moving from one space to another by trying as possible not to bump”…
The proposal consists of a cylinder of ten meters tall and one meter in diameter steel lacquered, resting on a base of three steps of granite surrounded by a corolla in four colors of basaltine beautifully carved like a lace collar, that can be guessed just. It is also the satisfaction of the artist to inconspicuous details special care – for the painter, it comes from his practice who wants to happen an infinite time to amend such detail or is desperately to resume such defect which will virtually not count in the vision overall of the artwork, but which are perhaps the most extreme expressionthe strangest also the passion to want to express themselves.
Here, we can ask the question of the dimension, i.e. volumetric qualities of an object or of those colorful intensities and surfaces of a work plane in an urban context. Some swelling, gigantism would appear to be to the taste of the day – this means regularly throughout the history of civilization – I’m not sure that should be great for being and thinking to be larger than the space to occupy fact that it dominates.
My experience about thirty kilometres from the Eastern motorway proves to me that we control this kind of space much more by small events often repeated by great shots of brilliance which the crossing times are short.
The question posed to Tony Smith, sculptor minimalist, about why he had not done such great sculpture, he replied ” that he was not a monument ” and to whether why not him having done smaller, he replied ” that he was not an object . Between the monument and the object, there is this measure that will not necessarily that of harmony perfect with the environment, but much rather one that fits to resonate the work and its vicinity.
It is true that the cylinder of the Place Albert Thomas all radiating its strong polychromy and his beautiful size, started by enter into vibration with the population of the area in a negative way. Becoming suddenly the lightning rod of the municipality, or as says Artaud of what must be a worthy creation: ‘the place of anchorage of all wandering anger of the time.’
Derided, this cylinder has become the totem of the Mayor. Today the neighborhood hairdresser has made its brand, the pastry chef has created a confectionery in his image:
« o column of victory, Golden like a biscuit iced by the childish days sugar… »
This large erection of colors is now that the stationary member of a society in movement, and peaceful semaphore, serves bitter wayward motorists.
This brings us to the relationship of the artist and the city on the mode of the day.
Registration in the short-lived the dramatization or the travesty of identified, places that will never be what they are for those who knew otherwise. The “colors of a museum setting”, 1974, at the Museum of Modern Art National and Municipal de Paris, statement of this transformation attempted to which Bernard Lamarche-Vadel could write:
« We note here that the result of the transformation of the portico of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris is no coincidence in the thinking of the practice of the painter: create another surface of eyes by the travesty of one of the symbols of a culture exhausted by the fact that she never wanted to actually think conditions physical, ideological and political of its productionthat she never wanted to think only in terms of representation of the culture. »_
It was the question, once noted that the columns of the peristyle were cylinders – i.e., identical to the geometric shape chosen as support to my experiences on the color in space and around the volume – come gainer brightly, so that these flows outside the walls within which they are usually contained.
So, answer to a question of aesthetic, but also and especially “joyful critique”, as was the name the painter Eduardo Arroyo, of a heavy architecture of totalitarian symbolism of his time and its function.
It is true that the critical dimension of a work will speak more freely and its load will be stronger in a fleeting realization that in a sustainable realization, which must remain strong over time and do not run out at first glance;
This “colors of a museum setting” was also reflection on the urban colour; how it, too often implementation by the architects themselves or by counsel advocating mimicry with the environment on pseudo-scientific observation bases, eventually turn against them.
Fernand Léger had imagined cities where streets would be yellow, green avenues and orange squares. It is true that the color in our latitudes is rather forbidden city. Would it not yet by the city dweller would have taken on its environment?
The show constantly renewed display, organised or wild, graffiti, are often happy colorful events and without which street would be well grey. This popular art urban, ephemeral, that are graffiti, is, as Norman Mailer, ” a radical in the techno-architecture opposition ” and has a formidable power modifier to the environment. I know something where I was forced to remove my sculpture of the Quai Saint Bernard in Paris, for purposes of restoration, so it was covered with hieroglyphs of today.
Same misadventure in the new city of Grenoble, the Harlequin district, but this time ci degradation served as an alibi to the cultural policy of the new administration of the city and the removal of the work is done without that I am accused.
And now two urban monumental achievements less!
We come to my sixth Director, the most recent and perhaps also the most urban, insofar as it lies on the edge of town, in these spaces that the architect Henri Gaudin described as ‘more or less porous’ often-delicate border ‘participating both urban agenda and the villagers. It is the door of Riom. At Riom, Auvergne, on an islet in the middle of the expressway which bypasses the city to the West. The door de Riom, of its six meters high, and four large, full-color steel, opens to the motorist in an invitation to visit the city. Sculpture built by the first signs of our geometry, solid, stocky, brightly, it is in its quiet obvious, echo far and however close to the historical centre made up of beautiful hotels in Renaissance style Hardy at the ornate gates of sculptures carved in black stone from Volvic. It is the hyphen between the city and its development to the West.
The six achievements described others have emerged in Ecuador, Taiwan, Puerto Rico and Korea South, Andorra, Spain and France.
Projects achievements, satisfactions in disappointments, this relationship to the city stimulates me always as a challenge, a mission to accomplish – not on the mode of the supplement of soul, that some believed bring, but as Elie Faure said speaking of the artist: ” no social energy is comparable to that this anti-social Monster locks and transfigures it for us .” Implementing monumental situation in the city of an aesthetic choice requires a primary requirement: accuracy – as said by Pierre Reverdy : « not another truth in art, there is no more elsewhere than in anything else than correctness “._
This relates both to the relationship between art and space built the city that between art and space of the city. In the first, it will issue to maintain a beautiful plastic firmness, in the second, to have a historical consciousness; both for addressing this contemporary issue with conviction knowing that the work must wear it ferments of resistance, subversion, opposition, necessary for its own survival assault.
More than Tarzan, this painter in the jungle of cities looks like the vagabond in the film modern times, sliding into the workings of a machine without being ground and finishing with go pick this flower of bitumen to offer it to his sweetheart…
I will end with this line by Rimbaud:
« At dawn, armed with a burning patience we will get to the beautiful cities ».
To learn more
News of the academician
– Guy de Rougemont participated in the Salon des Arts and design where he was represented by the Gallery Diane de Polignac, from March 28 to April 1, 2012