André Comte-Sponville, Jacques Mougenot and Gilles Perrault
Marie Laurence Gaudrat
Somogy publishing
97 pages – 100 reproductions in color – 27 x 29 cm
27,50 €

“The subject is not what matters. Those sleeping beauties, it’s not because they sleep that they appease us. It’s because they’re beautiful; it’s because they’re true. The landscapes and the groups reproduced in (…) this book, can inspire us the same feeling, one of resting pleasure, as Epicure would say, one of happy relaxation, or almost happy, one of great calm which we know doesn’t happens so easily, of great silence, of great simplicity, despite the complexity of art and reality, despite the difficulty there is in living and in painting… This brings like a smile on the misery of mankind, like a peace in the ambient chaos, like a light on the beauty of the world.”

André Comte-Sponville

“The air, it’s first the outdoors air, the open air, the good air, the air of small birds, of space and sky. We find it in profusion in the paintings of Marie Laurence. We don’t always think about noticing it because other impressions prevail, but it is precisely this discrete presence that conditions all the rest. It is a good thing to underline it, because the imponderable transparency of the air, as well as the habit we have to breathe it without paying attention, could trick the painter in believing that it’s useless to paint it. (…) Look at The Meadow in Aubrac, at Summer in Saint-Basile, at The Farm in Auvergne, the air is not an invisible world, an absence of substance, a transparency more or less pure but without density, a negligible element ignored by the composition; on the contrary, it is palpable, dense, it takes its full part in those landscapes of hills, trees, vales, constructions and the sky of which it is an initiation. Thus, between our eye and the horizon line, there is more than the space whose perspective is enough to give us an illusion, more than the depth where the light sinks, more than the splendid beauty of nature, there is this mass of translucent air, elastic and compact, of which the painting is filled with. We could, it may seem, bite in it like in a fruit. In the electric sense of the term, this air is conductive: it puts our gaze in contact which each ground of the painting till the far-off distance, hence this impression of a more complete possession. Is it the reason why some landscapes invite us, by mimicry, to breathe more widely, more deeply? To experience, through a phenomenon of Baudelaire-like correspondences, sensations other than just visual? For, and this is precisely where resides the artist’s strength like the mark of her attentive and loose sensibility, this air has a temperature: it is cool, cold, torrid, warm; it has a tactile quality: it is humid, vaporous, dry, prickly, soft, dusty, crystalline; and it has a power: stimulating, appeasing, fortifying, intoxicating. And it is this air that gives her painting its first virtue, the most useful, fertile and solar one: health.”

Jacques Mougenot

“What Marie Laurence Gaudrat’s painting proclaims is the triumph of life on the malevolent forces that, century after century, mutilate and deny humanity. She does it without splashes, in a manner almost insidious which makes it all the more bewitching. She knows how to grasp those moments of serenity, of peace and gentleness, which take place even in the worst tumult. She shows the relentless desire to love and being loved that resides in each and every one of us. She murmurs to us that life could very well be that way if only we wanted it.”

Gilles Perrault
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