As part of the event Dessin au Quartier Drouot
Laure and Hervé Péron are pleased to invite you to their preview cocktail on Thursday, 15 March at 6 p.m.
Galerie Hervé Péron
28 passage Verdeau
+33 1 47 70 60 74
Exhibition open from Friday 16 to Saturday 31 March 2018.
Alain Daniélou and the Arts
Alain Daniélou spans the twentieth century in a highly original fashion. His conservative family – a very religiously-minded educator mother and a father who was often a government minister – was amazed to see him turn toward the arts at a still young age. Nowadays he would be described as gifted, in view of his precocious launch into painting (we have water-colours dating from when he was twelve), then singing and the piano, followed by dancing.
Despite his nomadic life and the numerous activities he was interested in throughout his life, painting remained a constant up to his death in 1994.
The Alain Daniélou Foundation set up by him still holds much of his work, mostly his water-colours. I should mention:
A set of 103 drawings, the illustrations of his world tour in 1936/37;
A series on the Côte d’Azur;
A Corsican series;
An Algerian series (1926);
The Obock series at Henry de Monfreid’s abode in Somalia;
A series from his College at Annapolis (USA);
A very important Indian collection, which includes many anatomical drawings, portraits and oil paintings, which he produced from Benares to Pondicherry, from the Himalayas to Bengal. (1930/1958);
A further important European collection, mainly Italian.
It was not until very late, at the end of the ’eighties and beginning of the ’nineties, that his work was presented in Paris, also at the gallery of Régine Lussan on Rue de l’Odéon.
His favourite painter was always William Turner. While still a teenager he travelled to London to admire the Turner collection at the Tate Gallery.
In his memoirs, he writes : (“The Way to the Labyrinth, forthcoming” Lausanne 2015 and ebook Asieur)
Right from my childhood I have always been fond of painting, particularly watercolours, which provide a direct translation of the atmosphere of a landscape, a kind of intuitive analysis of the components of the beauty of the world. Oils, on the other hand, are better for portraits, characters and compositions. Oil is a less fluid medium, not light enough to freeze a fleeting image.
I had practically stopped painting during my years in Berlin. I just hadn’t the time. It was a real joy to start once more to transfer to my watercolours the fondness I feel for landscapes, skyscapes, trees wrapped in mist or bathed in sunlight.
In 1987, the Régine Lussan Gallery in Paris offered to put on a retrospective of my watercolours, pictures of Africa, India and Italy. I was very happy when, to my great surprise, Régine found purchasers for a fair number of my modest works. I had sold many watercolours as a student in America, but had to wait sixty years to meet once more with public approval. It’s true that the unhappy period of abstract art had diverted the art of painting from an observation of the real world. I remember Maurice Sachs saying to me that I understood nothing about art, because I preferred Turner and Monet, and didn’t appreciate Picasso, Braque and Cubism.
In the meantime, I amused myself by decorating the swimming pool at the Labyrinth with Etruscan-type frescoes and by imitating ancient Roman paintings to decorate the walls of the Mithraeum, a little sanctuary of Mithras, which I had built into a wing of the house.
In 1989, Régine Lussan organised a second exhibition, with many watercolours of Italian towns and landscapes, including Venice, Florence and Rome. Then again, in 1991, many of my memories of India and of my visit to the writer-adventurer Henry de Monfreid on the Red Sea also took wing.
What I have never exhibited are the large-size oil paintings of characters and animals that hang on the walls of the house.
Jacques Cloarec, Lausanne (March 2018)