Chantal Lebret : Voyage into Colour

3 by Ellen Hall 3

One of the pleasures of a visit to Banyuls-sur-Mer is strolling along the promenade with the port on one side and artists’ workshops on the other. Chantal Lebret is an artist of this floating world. Her canvases combine rich red and deep indigo with silver highlights to create kaleidoscopic visions reminiscent of Hundertwasser.
A love of travel was perhaps inherited with her father’s gypsy genes. Born in Nimes, Chantal lived in Paris, London, Mexico, the USA and the Canary Islands before settling in Collioure in 1983 and for the past ten years in Banyuls.
The artist colony of Pietrasanta, Tuscany, where Chantal participated in two recent group shows, has become a second home.

Chantal started drawing as a child and has never stopped. In the Canaries, she sold her sketches and postcards to tourists. In Collioure, where she shared a gallery with Michel Val, she worked on miniatures in oil. For the past 12 years she has been experimenting with watercolours, pastels and inks on canvas. Her abstract compositions have all the intricacy of a computer chip: tiny cells of energy, multi-faceted labyrinths of colour. “I was inspired by Cézanne’s colours which give depth to his canvases.” The colour associations and oppositions in the works of Nicolas de Staël are another point of reference. In the abstract works the energy comes from the application of colour in linear strips, emphasizing the verticality of the canvas. Her project for 2010 is to experiment with canvases on a much larger scale. She was one of the 35 artists present at the Chateau Royal of Collioure as part of the Art Sacré exhibition until 18 April.
Chantal’s Banyuls workshop is open from April to December. Why not take a stroll?

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