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Colour as a garden

Yves Garandel’s painting is as exuberant as vegetal outbursts or lava flows. His chromatic vitality was born from trips to distant lands and his passion for gardens. No wonder then he always turns to nature. Fiery nature saturated with light.

Agave fields in Mexico, tobacco plantations in Cuba, royal poincianas in the Reunion island, green suns on the Indian Ocean, jacarandas rustling to a jazz improvisation, this is in short Garandel’s world, a man with a passion for garden and trips to the ends of the earth. He can talk for ever about flowers when you ask him. He describes himself as a self-taught man, but will not deny the good memories from his early youth, when he attended evening classes at the Grande Chaumière and at the Atelier de l’Impasse Bellefeuille in Paris 15th Arrondissement. The months he spent there fed his vocation without making it a prisoner of this or that school. After a cubist period, from which the “Cités Florales” inherited someway, he gradually turned to more spontaneous motions. His garden in Ouville l’Abbaye probably was a major step in his own language development which was gradually brought to a fuller extent by successive travels. It is his passionate love for colour and his taste for motion that sustain Garandel. As René Char once wrote : “He who will trust the sunflower will not meditate in his own house. All the thoughts of Love will become his.” Garandel is a man of the open, a painter infatuated with the open air and luminous landscapes, a traveller with a child’s heart.

His mind has not aged a bit.
Jazz or rhythmic music are sound food to him and really helpful when painting or reviewing his travel diaries. Although he uses oil and acrylic mostly, he has nothing against sand or coating. For the whole duration of his Cuban period, he even often used large portions of tobacco leaves mixed with colour. From canvas to abrasive paper (ideal for pastel) he invents new horizons. Although his themes follow the logics of the traveller marvelling at everything he discovers, Yves Garandel admits he likes changes too. Redoing what has been successfully achieved the day before is out of the question. Painting is definitely not about painstaking repetitions. From the curves of a hill to those of a body, what he loves most is the Earth, the mother so frequently mistreated. From active volcanoes to quiet sea beds Garandel hunts down the wildest things life can offer him. He knows that man was not meant to master it but to go along with it and serve it. That is what his painting endeavours to do with ardour and extravagance.

Luis PORQUET, art critic
octobre 2004

Beneath his dazzled good-natured big cat appearance and imposing stature lies a powerful and instinctive boldness that makes Yves GARANDEL a true adventurer of painting.

The big man has come a long way since thirty years ago, when his passion for scuba diving provided him with the material to celebrate the mysteries and poetry of sea beds.

Through work and travels, Yves GARANDEL filled his eyes with new colours and shapes ranging from motifs to flexible undulations which powerfully suggest a forceful and brilliant surrealism. A mindful explorer of the richness of nature and expression and of the impulses of colours and energy, Yves GARANDEL paints sites and motifs where imagination confronts poetry in perspectives that are brought to life by his vibrant and potent colour palette. The works are both spectacular and confident.

Always more, always better, both creative and adventurous, Yves GARANDEL has always been brave and assertive enough to stand as generous and fully independent artist.

André RUELLAN, art critic

Listed on art-culture-france.com.