Peintures nomades; Philtres d’amour
“When he is painting in his studio, Daniel Chompré lives among textiles from several disparate cultures from the five continents. Constantly contemplating the different fabrics, he touches and caresses them, dreams and thinks about them. He sees them as witnesses of faraway cultures; he observes their forms, their colours and the ingeniousness of their images. In his artistic research he becomes part of other ethnic cultures. Their civilisations fascinate and enthuse him; the myths of five continents, the gestures of artists and artisans stimulate his research.”1
Peintures nomades. “Daniel Chompré dyes floating canvasses that shimmer, that emit iridescent hues, showing ever-changing, glimmering, hazy reflections, satiny or rough. He coats his canvasses, he rubs and polishes them, he extends them. With the colours impregnating the canvas, penetrating it, seeping through it, soaking it and making it fertile, Chompré uses the canvas, as it were, and enriches it – with marks, rhythms, traces, furrows, signatures, hints…
Scratches, bands, streaks, threads, hatchings, lines, stripes, zigzags, crosses, squares, checked patterns, lozenges, triangles, wakes and grooves assert themselves on these surfaces.
The lines are vertical, or horizontal, diagonal, symmetrical or asymmetrical, sometimes straight, sometimes curved. The surface is marked by writing, by punctuations, by scansions.
When his canvasses have been dyed and marked, Chompré folds them, again and again, then stacks them like sheets to store them, stock them, preserve them. In the studio the paintings are sedentary. Then, at carefully chosen points in time, he allows his paintings to leave the studio, to go somewhere, to be exhibited in various spaces, to present themselves to the public. They travel. They become nomads, wandering mobile vagabonds, as expressions of roaming, travelling and displacement, of crossings, comings and goings, and a passion for the nomadic…” 1
Philtres d’amour. Here, the support consists of a perfume filter. Made in France for centuries, the filter is a thick paper, folded by hand, and then unfolded onto a wooden support (diameter 100 cm).
As on Chompré’ s canvasses, colours (oil pastels, chalk and ink) impregnate, penetrate and seep through the paper to bring out and deploy the shimmering, undulating and heady pictorial layers, just like the sun at dusk, the waterlily in the moonshine, the dance of the whirling dervishes, the wheel of plumes of the amorous peacock.
Daniel Chompré, born in France in 1943, lives and works between Paris and Neuilly in Sancerre. From 1966 to 1970 Chompré studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at the Academy of Fine Art in Helsinki. His career began in France in 1973 when he was tasked with the creation of rugs and tapestries for the Mobilier National. In 1978, when living in Nancy, he produced posters, decorations and costumes for the city’s Ballet Théâtre and l’Opéra. Since 1982 he has created posters for the Théâtre du Châtelet de Paris, the Festival de Lille, the Opéra de Lausanne and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
Alongside, Daniel Chompré continues his pictorial research while regularly exhibiting his work. Fascinated by historic buildings, he exhibits for example at the Palais Jacques Cœur de Bourges (1996), the Château de Montsoreau (1999), the Ancien Carmel de Tarbes (2001), the Abbaye de Jumièges (2002), the Musée de Soissons (2011), the Abbaye de Massay (2014)…
In 2011 the exhibition Le Papier à l’œuvre at the Musée du Louvre presented a “Philtre d’amour” by Daniel Chompré.
(1) Text by Gilbert Lascault, excerpt from Daniel Chompré, Lieux communs, Musée de Soissons 2011. Writer, art critic and professor at Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I), Lascaut is the author of several works on aesthetics: Le monstre dans l’art occidental, Ecrits timides sur le visible, Figurées, défigurées (Petit vocabulaire de la féminité représentée), Faire et défaire, Boucles et nœuds, etc. His artists monographs, including: Max Ernst, Robert Malaval, Francis Bacon, Gérard Titus-Carmel, Peter Stämpfli and Fernando Botero, constitute major reference works.