1929 Born on October 1st in Asnières sur Vègre.
1941 Starts painting, producing a series inspired by religion, dominated by the theme of Christ.
1945 - 1947 Joins the Atelier d’Art Sacré of the rue de Fürstenberg, then the Atelier Corlin, also in Paris.
1947 - 1951 Attends various art schools : the Académie Charpentier in 1947 and 1948, where he meets the young painter Jean Criton, the Métiers d’Art in 1949, and the Beaux-Arts in 1950. He also goes frequently to the Grande Chaumière to draw, and it is there he meets Daniel Cordier in 1951. Paints a series of fat ladies and produces soft-lead pencil and charcoal drawings (nudes, fabric folds, shoes, skulls, poultry). During this period he also starts to write.
1951 -1954 After meeting Jacques Villon, his painting veers towards abstraction. From 1953 to 1956, he takes part in restoring the mural paintings of the Romanesque church of Asnières-sur-Vègre with Miss Pré, the museum curator.
For Réquichot, who died in 1961 at the age of 32, writing goes along with painting, making collages, assembling, while remaining genuinely autonomous. His writings are not mere comments or considerations on his art.
Neither are they manifestoes meant to assert his place in the art world, to situate his practice in relation with that of his contemporaries. His writing took on a variety of forms and unfolded at the same time as his artistic activity: an unfinished novel, Faustus, poems, an undated journal and scattered texts.
Did the urge or necessity not to settle for one medium in favor of the other, to maintain balance and genuine autonomy in writing and painting, express the artist’s inability to choose, leading him to veer towards one or the other according to his needs at the time? Or did it express his lesser interest in the ultimate form of his work than in the energy invested and the aims to be achieved?
His work as an artist has earned him a prominent place in the abstract art of the 50s. It can be used as a starting point to question the articulation between painting and writing: beyond his own achievements, Réquichot’s research leads us to question the work of other artists/writers who were his contemporaries, who might have crossed paths with him and influenced him :
Michaux, Artaud, Unica Zürn, Christian Dotremont, Joan Brossa… But also a generation of younger artists who also played on a double, literary and artistic practice: Dominique Angel, Alain Fleisher, Titus Carmel, Henri Cueco, Paul Armand-Gette, Jean le Gac, Garouste, Valérie Mrejen, Edouard Levé…
Gestural, spontaneous and sometimes abrupt, Réquichot’s depiction of the world is all the more vibrant for it. His spiders, traces of graphite on paper, seem as though they were coming alive with an animal spirit, the spirit of the world.
Bernard Réquichot is shown at the Galerie Alain Margaron since 1999.
Reproductions of some of the 53 works in the Centre Pompidou’s collections:
Ramages étoilés, 1955 / Le Reliquaire de la forêt, 1957-1958 / Peinture, 1959 / Portrait, 1961 / Nekonk tanten tank mana, 1959-1961 / Peinture, 1952 / Le Panache, 1957 / Collage au chat, 1957-1959 / Reliquaire de la nature et de la matière, 1957 / Portrait, 1961 / La Cocarde. Le Déchet des continents, 1961 / Sans titre, 1948 / Reliquaire, 1957 / La Tombe de la nature, 1955 / La Maison du manège endormi, 1958-1959 / Traces graphiques, 1958