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"Pierre-Marie Brisson: The Dance of Life" opens at Franklin Bowles Galleries New York and San Francisco
La Danse Rouge, mixed media on canvas, 45 x 57 inches, 2013.

NEW YORK, NY.- If we afford ourselves the chance to look closely, Pierre Marie Brisson’s richly-textured paintings offer us an invitation au voyage, to draw upon the title of French poet Charles Baudelaire’s mid-19th century poem, beckoning us to travel to a site of visual pleasure, rapturous colors and Mediterranean light, existing outside of time, or, perhaps more aptly, across time.

By invoking this sensibility of “luxe, calme, et volupté” I want, of course, to connect Brisson with another great French artist of the 20th century, Henri Matisse, who famously transposed Baudelaire’s excursionary poem into a type of dazzling pastoral within his eponymous painting of 1905, and who, like Brisson would later do, intentionally left the colder climes of Paris for the warmth and bright sunlight of Southern France and beyond (including several trips taken by each to North Africa). Both artists would eventually make their homes in the South; Matisse moved to Nice in 1917, and Brisson settled over a decade ago in the Camargue, a vast triangular plain on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in a region layered in strata of Gallic, Roman, and Medieval history, and possessing strong cultural affinities with nearby Spain and North Africa. Given Pierre Marie Brisson’s temperament and artistic journey, it seems inevitable that he would be drawn to this place.

This goal of “condensation” is more than a personal predilection; it is a reflection of the artists’ position in our own century. With the whole of history available, and mobility allowing for an understanding of the great breadth of the world and its cultures, the artist is both privileged and accountable to an expanded awareness of place and time. -Excerpts of the above essay written by Larissa Bailiff, a New York-based Art Historian and frequent lecturer for the Museum of Modern Art

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” -Marcel Proust

Brisson is one of France's most talented, successful, contemporary artists. With its many references to arts of the past, from pre-historic and primitive to the Grand Historical Styles of Europe and the dynasties of Asia, Brisson’s work surveys like a walk through the Louvre Museum. His is an encyclopedic mind and eye: he wants to pay homage to ancestor-artists, to revisit every great epoch, style and place. His signature amalgams, in which age and antiquity are conjured, resemble a kind of archeological dig: he cuts, scratches and pierces the multi-layered surfaces of his canvases to reveal icons from within the strata of cultural and curatorial memory, mining inside his own fascinating materials.

With simplified figures and extensive texturing, Brisson's works have been compared to cave drawings. Their timeless appearances represent a kind of archeological dig for the artist: he cuts, scratches and pierces the multi-layered surfaces of his canvases to reveal his images from within the strata of these materials. Brisson's original and graphic artworks have been the subject of numerous gallery and museum exhibitions throughout Western Europe, North America, and Japan.

Pierre Marie Brisson Public Collections include: Jewish Museum, New York, NY, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco, CA, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Belfort, France, Musée Faure, Aix les Bains, France, Städtisches Museum, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL., University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA., Group Cartier, Paris, France, Société générale, Paris, France, Zurich Assurances, Paris, France, Corporate Collection of Louis Vuitton, Paris, France

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