Aspire To Inspire

ARTIST PROFILE: BERNARD CATHELIN (1919-2004)

When I was shopping through Round Top back in October, I was very excited to come across a French painter who’s work I had never seen before, Bernard Cathelin.  I was drawn in by a huge colorful woven tapestry that was hanging on the wall behind their booth that just blew me away.  At first I thought it was a painting and when I got closer I realized it was woven and I literally lost my mind. The colors and the silhouettes of the women were so distinct and I was amazed at the craftmanship.

Bernard partnered with Atelier 3 for thirty years creating these monumental tapestries that were replications of his paintings.  The low stringer technique of Atelier 3 fundamentally differs from that of other workshops. The most impressive characteristics being the relief and the processing of materials.

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Born in Paris in 1919, Cathelin’s painterly sensibilities distinguished him among his peers in a generation where painting became less an art than a process. Cathelin is also a master lithographer having worked for over 30 years at the Mourlet Atelier in Paris beside such contemporaries as Chagall and Picasso. Bernard Cathelin´s international appeal is in part due to the energy and vitality seen throughout all his works. The intensity of his paintings comes from his use of texturing and layering which result in dynamic images, where landscapes are not stationary and models are not still.

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His palettes, extremely rich in colors and matters, were influences by the countries where he remained. The Drôme, his childhood’s land first of all, but also Mexico, India and at half of his life: Japan which inspired the architecture of his works until his ultimate creations.  The women are each so distinguished and hold a space in his paintings that showcase their strength and individuality. Although his artwork is often composed of various geometric shapes, he is able to work around the rigidity of these forms by applying bright rich colours and layering where necessary.

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One of his lithographs

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A lithograph

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A lithograph

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A lithograph

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Lithograph

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I am so drawn to his color palettes and so inspired by the combinations to translate into interior design as well as apparel collections. I haven’t found an artist that I have been this inspired by in shape, texture and color for quite sometime and I’ve got to get my hands on one of these in my lifetime! I’ve been collecting portraiture of women for years now and love to hang them all together in one room.  In my last place, I had all of them in my kitchen with each one holding a special energy and beauty that makes me really happy.

To inquire about his work, contact Pauline Findlay at NYC’s gallery Artioli Findlay at artiolifindlay@gmail.com

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