René LaubièsRené Laubiès
L’instantané, le fugitif, la trace (Snapshot, fleeting, trace)
The work of René Laubiès (1924—2006) emerged on the post-war Paris art scene where, for the first time, abstraction was becoming the dominant trend. The “Signs” that permeate and shape his early paintings echo the contemporary explorations of Pierre Soulages or Hans Hartung, relating it to the dynamics of informal abstraction.
Yet, from the outset, nature has been at the heart of René Laubiès’ art that, far from any subjective attempt to showcase the artist’s action, vision or psyche, is eclipsed by landscape. Ever since his youth, spent in Vietnam, the artist has been imbued with oriental philosophy and discovered the art of calligraphy and Chinese painting of the Song dynasty. His work, which reflects the tenets of sobriety and non-action advocated by the Tao, was therefore accomplished in meditation and concentration, essential elements for man’s fusion with the universal flow.
Around 1956, discernible form disappeared from his work, giving way to a limitless, shifting form of painting, increasingly fluid and verging on the evanescent. From the artist’s lengthy immersion in landscape he retained only the essence. He condensed its sensations, instants, traces, in an extremely limited palette of hues well suited to the infinite nuances of colour vibration, ranging from delicate softness to blazing flamboyance in the style of works by Turner, Monet or Whistler.
What this artist and traveller, who made the world his studio and had a particular fondness for the Greek islands, Morocco or India, takes away from his lifelong contact with nature is not so much anecdotal or precise rendering, but rather the exquisite marriage of colour, air and light that are an invitation to celebration.
Lecture by Frédérique Villemur, art historian, lecturer at the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Montpellier (ENSAM): “Facchetti et Laubiès : une galerie, une rencontre” (Facchetti and Laubiès: a gallery, an encounter), 28 February 2019 at 6.30 pm
Lecture by Judith Delfiner, editor-in-chief of r Perspective. Actualité en histoire de l’art magazine: “René Laubiès et l’Asie” (René Laubiès and Asia), 25 April 2019 at 6.30 pm
The Café des Bénédictines, a poetic soundscape stroll created and performed by Sara Navarro as part of the European Museum Night event “La Nuit des musées”, 18 May 2019 at 8.30 pm and 10.00 pm
Guided tours on 10 and 23 February, 10 and 24 March, 14 and 27 April, 4 and 12 May 2019 at 3.00 pm
Publication of no. 137 of the Cahiers de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix on the occasion of the exhibition