Charles Lapicque was born in 1898 in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. He was a well educated Frenchman with interests in art, science and philosophy. The arts won out as he moved through his 90 years of life, concluding in Paris 1988. He lived in Bretagne, Paris, and the french country side. He loved the sea shore and the mountains, studied at the Ecole des Beau Arts and l’Ecole de Fontainebleau.
He painted with the best of French artists at the beginning of the twentieth century, fascinated with form and color. The Fauves had a great influence on him, bringing out the bold colors, as well as the use of line shown by Picasso. He built his paintings with juxtapositions of colors which created depth and perspective in his paintings.
Le Barn has a series of his lithographs, vibrant with colors, depicting landscapes of the seashore, boats, and mountains. As seen below, you have the period of his line drawings illustrated by “The Steeplechase” and “Regatta”. His form is very much created by what he has left out, rather than what he has put on the paper. The rhythmical line he does use is minimal and leads the eye to imagine and “fill in” the whole image. He has a strong sense of form, but uses the blank areas to create his design. There is open motion and space, allowing you to imagine the speed and activity in these pieces.
The two tiger pieces illustrated here show again how he uses line of colors to create form. He does not actually draw anything specific, but uses the volume of color to make his form. The tiger’s head is created by free strokes of color as he sees the face in his own mind. These pieces show the affect the Impressionist school had on him, with dashes of color becoming an image on the canvas. It is fascinating to look closely and from far away to see how he accomplishes this. His background is created by putting unexpected colors next to each other.
The Roman Figure piece and The Happy House show how the cubist artists affected Lapicque’s interpreting the landscape around him. Nothing has been drawn to create form, but rather dashes and swaths of color on their own turn into bushes, faces, a house, a tree, with your now eye interpreting Lapicque’s vision of what he sees. His work involves the viewer, and makes you do the seeing as well.
His work is a wonderful accumulation of the cubist and impressionist movements, and yet still open to the other schools of the early 20th century. He was a master of learning from his surrounding fellows and created a style totally his own, rich in colors.
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