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|Jean Desvilles: Le temps d'un souffle|
When Jean Desvilles takes you on a fantastic voyage to his marvelous, Surrealist world, you hardly expect that you might not wish to come back again to Earth or, if you do manage to come back to reality, you may find yourself breaking old bonds and working out a new way of looking at the human condition.
His figures are like dramatis personae, living in an amazing world surrounded by landscapes that seem to be in a continual process of creation. Each work is a glimpse of a fantasy world recreated on canvass where time stops an instant to capture it's glorious re-birth; yet intuitively you can imagine it's end when the huge wave would wash away the human observer and leave only the rocks.
His planets are generous and fertile with majestic canyons and awesome waves or calm and infinite seas. Yet they do not lack intimacy; two little doves nest on a little green planet, and humans too squat those planets, with a far-away look that beckons you to join them.
The inhabitants are a peaceful lot, meditative spectators that leave no room for anguish since they are the observers of the spectacle of creation. They do not toil or fight, they only look towards the future. They are the most sophisticated fruits of his imaginary land. Their planet or series of planets are not subject to a hierarchical law that governs all beings: there is gravity but it does not apply to everything.
The same thing goes for his compositions: you are not invited to focus on anything in particular, but you can dwell on any element you choose. There are however predominant colors: some works take the blues of the sea or the sky, while others the ochres of the land. This is a world of innocence, a primary one whose only references to ours are it's people who seem to have adventured there by boat or even by car. You might think it is a dream or fantasy, but the extraordinary details convince you that this world does exist somewhere in the cosmos. And if you are brave and curious, if you don't believe in all the artificial bonds that we have created on earth, you may someday see this world of which Jean Desvilles has captured unforgettable instants.
Jean Desvilles is known mostly for his award-winning films on famous figures of the art world such as Picasso, Max Ernst, Dorothéa Tanning or Jean Cocteau. These are films of great quality with famous actors such as Yves Montand, Michel Bouquet or Jean-Louis Barrault lending their rich voices to narrate the history of art. His film production is so impressive that you would have not imagined he had also such a prolific output in painting or in scene-painting for Maurice Béjart, Marquis de Cuévas or Janine Charrat. Since his formative years in the atelier of the prominent cubist painter André Lhote, and the subsequent study of ballet and theatre scene painting, he has always continued his career as a painter. He stands out as a visionary artist whose prodigious eye you will always remember.