Artwork Analysis > Tribute to Jean Hélion 3/4

Tribute to Jean Hélion 3/4

Jean Hélion, ” Trombone for a painter “, 1983, Acrylique on canvas, 175 x 250 cm


Hélion converted what could have been the worst handicap for a painter, a growing visual deficiency, into esthetic audaciousness.  Faces are smoothed over, relations between the subjects become essential. “The ability to see the whole is increased by the lack of seeing the details.” He said in 1982 when he lost his sight.

His work from beginning to the end aims at a tentative of coherence.  In 1983, the last year he painted, he wrote “Art goes to the length of feelings, ideas, dreams, experience and also digs deeply into memory.”

He wanted to help us see by searching, “a development of form in form, of quality in quality up to the complete image where I want the world to be reflected and lit up, one for all, daily and natural.

“I believe”, he also said in 1980, “that it’s the gesture of the spirit attempting to attain what is obscure in the world that is essential to art.”

Jean Hélion’s work brings new light to the history of 20th Century art, and what the daily frequentation of certain paintings can bring to each of us.

I only met him once in the office of his dealer Karl Flinker.  I was young and very impressed. He was old and didn’t see well. I still regret that we were unable to have long and affectionate conversations.



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