Following exhibitions of Alfred Manessier and Olivier Debré, the Maison des Arts de Châtillon celebrates another major figure of this generation of artists who have profoundly re-invented non-figurative painting in post-war France: Jean Le Moal (1909-2007).
The exhibition traces the evolution of his work through some thirty works: oil paintings, watercolors, etchings and lithographs executed the 1930s to the 1980s and some of which will be shown to the public for the first time.
Since his early paintings marked by the double influence of Cubism and Fauvism, there is the gradual disappearance of the line in favour of a more concise interpretation of the pattern (Breton landscapes, still lifes, figures).
In the 1950’s Le Moal rediscovered the Ardèche landscape of his childhood, and it infuses his work. Nature becomes a primary inspiration as he seeks to nourish his soul:
"More and more I feel the need to draw the subject from an immersive sensation. For me it is the most intense way to express the essence of painting. (...) I wanted to break from static drawing, the drawing that depicts things (...) I now need movement, something more lyrical. I do not create the movement for it’s own sake, but because I'm being more instinctive (...). Now I begin to breathe more deeply, and the painting seems to have more life. "