For collectors, to become a gallerist is the dream of being able to meet and support great artists in their creative endeavor. Gildas Berthelot is a marvelous example of this adventure, of a life turned towards artistic creation and the mastery of craft techniques.
Behind the immediate animal sensuality of Gildas's works, the analytical eye also sees a huge amount of creative work, the frut of a maturing of his personal experiences and the work of the great masters of the past.
Over the long period, the history of art has experienced pendulum effects between more rigid trends and more baroque periods. Clearly, Gildas Berthelot's work should be read in the light of the great baroque movements of the past.
Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by Bernini's marble sculptures in Rome. The stone which comes to life and becomes the expression of desire, both in the Rape of Proserpina and in Apollo and Daphne, the exceptional mastery of technique and the sensuality of the composition can only agitate the viewer. It is truly this monochrome sensuality of the suave, silky, sensual matter that we find in the work of Gildas Berthelot.
This sensual arabesque is also that of the great French Bronzes of the 18th century: Gaudreau and Caffieri have in their gold rococo shapes the abstract curves which we find in Berthelot's work.
In the art of Guimard and Majorelle, the sensual and controlled curves of the French baroque are liberated, become profusion and create an expressive and poetic floral language, a dreamlike universe that creates a fusion between architecture and the decorative arts, a theme that is also dear to Gildas Berthelot.
Finally, this voyage of baroques passes via an extraordinary creative mind, Eileen Gray: alongside her famous screen and other creations of functionalist inspiration, she gave us the famous Dragon Char and the Pirogue Day Bed, the forms of which are the synthesis of baroque curves and a desire to purify lines. These two creations should obviously be ween in mirror image to the charcoal works of Gildas Berthelot for the chairs and sofas in which, with his rich and expressive vocabulary, he adapts the evidence left by the great artists of the past, and develops his sensual curves which are also profuse and tense.
In this too short visit to a few great artists, we find a powerful echo in Gildas Berthelot, but with his personal vocabulary. His creations are always ambivalent: Berthelot's rococo is not only beautiful and sensual; it is also a little disturbing. A shadow hangs over it: do we not see here and there a whale bone or an elephant's tusk? A Senufo bird? All these ghosts who haunt a bestiary that would be like the other side of Gildas Berthelot's creative world...
Enjoy this first exhibition and let us dream with the forms of Gildas Berthelot!
Diane de Polignac & Khalil de Chazournes