Le Jardin des Simples

From 2007-01-18 to 2007-03-24

Bernard Guillot is an artist of intimacy. In his photographic work he celebrates, in his sensitive and delicate style, the return to essence, to the source, to the earth.
From Egypt – where he spends half the year – to the Massif Central or Monet’s Giverny, his travels often lead him to the water’s edge, be it pond, brook or river. Enchanting visions, mysteries of a revealed world – the artist first observes and then pictures, thereby forming a true poetic relationship with the landscape.

By approaching Nature in this way, Bernard Guillot seems above all to be seeking the intangible. It is not that the motif is insignificant for him, far from it, as he sometimes goes back over his prints to extend the branches of a tree with careful and voluptuous full strokes – thereby emphasising the decorative aspect of plants – but his real concern lies in emphasising the shadow, the reflection, the mist, the light between Nature and himself.
In his black and white pictures he deconstructs the light and probes the depths of the image in a vibration of grey tones, taking us close to the limits of vision, to the edge of dazzle. So the figures who appear in this at once impressionist and symbolic, mystic and romantic universe form an integral part of this Nature, hidden within the vegetation.

The Paintings of Bernard Guillot flirt with decorative art but through the quality of the compositions, the refinement of the colours, a certain minimalism and, most of all, the subtlety and the poetry of his presentation, escape the clichés of the genre. What does this blue oval floating in the middle of the page mean? This flower? This heart? Nothing and everything at the same time, anything we want it to mean. These paintings – with their evident power of seduction – are open to any interpretation; each new look allows for a new interpretation.

Bernard Guillot has that quality, the poetic generosity of offering.

Frédéric Moisan.