Pissarro me disait un jour: Manet est plus fort que nous tous, il a fait de la lumière avec le noir.
Henri Matisse, Ecrits et propos sur l’art.
Let There be Light!
The Black Box, the new space at Alice Mogabgab Gallery exhibits uncommon works encountered in workshops, since the creation of the gallery in 1994 to date. This intimate space, entirely painted with black colour, through its program of small exhibitions of key works, offers a break in the artistic effervescence, a moment of reflection within creation, because art is primarily cosa mentale.
To inaugurate The Black Box, Alice Mogabgab Karam is pleased to present the set of three paintings of Charles Belle, accomplished in his workshop between September and December 2014. From this dark period in the artist’s life, marked by a series of hardships, new paintings were born : black flowers that emerge from the darkness. With the color, Charles Belle creates the black and from the troubling black of his thoughts, he releases light.
“Let there be light!” is the first act of Creation. Holy Light, profane light, which haunt, fascinate and captivate. “Let There Be Light!” is the real essence of the creator’s work; Caravaggio, Velázquez, Manet, Rothko, Soulages made light out of black. Through this masterful triptych with deep, dark blacks, the creative power of Charles Belle as well as his formidable ability to question ownself are imposed and inscribed in a long and rich pictorial tradition.
In 1951, Erwin Panofsky wrote in Gothic Architecture and scholastic thought : “Thus, all the material universe becomes a great light, composed of an infinity of tiny lights that are like so many lanterns ; every perceptible thing, whether it is the work of man or nature, becomes a symbol of what is not perceptible, a march for the ascension to heaven ; the human mind, when it surrenders to harmony and radiance which are the criterion of earthly beauty, feels himself guided to the transcendent cause of this harmony and this radiance, which is God.”