End of Bernard Guillot's exhibition on Saturday, 16th March

End of Bernard Guillot's exhibition on Saturday, 16th March

Bernard Guillot ‘s watercolours take us to the East, in a time-space often undefined that explains a lot of its charm. Sometimes, to a ruin, a tree or a river, the artist manages with ink or watercolour to add a bark, a person, a plant wall, a moon…
24 January - 16 March 2013

Bernard Guillot : a French artist, born in Bâle in 1950. He shares his time between France and Egypt. 

Nadar Price in 2003. He is represented in numerous public and private collections : the Paris Modern Art Museum, the Georges Pompidou Centre, the National Fund of Contemporary Art, the Nice Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC), FRAC Haute-Normandie, the National Centre for Plastic Art, the National Library and the American University in Cairo.

It was in 1992 at the Grand Palais in Paris that I discovered Bernard Guillot’s work ; the François Mitaine Gallery was displaying one set of his “gouaches” and a few metres farther, the Diane Manière Gallery was exhibiting my paintings. We both spoke about Egypt, silence and roots. Later on, I discovered other “gouaches”, photos and sculptures by Bernard Guillot at Agathe Gaillard’s, François Mitaine’s and Serge Aboukrat’s galleries and again I took pleasure in being spell-bound.

During that time, two of his “tempera” were like markers for me. I imagined the work he had in progress, it was like a distant light which reassured me in the whirlwind of a contemporary creation which was far from his universe. Our encounter took place in 2007. Today, this exhibition is a halt which enables me to explore the richness of Bernard Guillot’s universe. It is with a great pleasure that I want you to share this unique work apart from time which, like a paradox, bursts out in our short term world in which current events never stop coming forth.

In order to speak about it, just like to listen to some music, you have to let go.
There is matter, the paper and the colour ; we float and skim over the picture. The subject questions us, the shades stroke the mind, everything is curiosity and wraps us up. We are eager to know, to know everything and yet prevent the silence from tearing the dream.

Bernard offers us a time-space, links us to secret roots that we can at last catch sight of. They appear, well-known instants and moments ; are they our distant relatives or our doubles ?  Just like a parallel wave, a story goes on.
There is love, sensuality and affection. Man is made greater, respects his fellow creature, space and time. We are a chain and by letting ourselves go, we rediscover the Fayoum oasis, a peace where some horses amble along a pond, come across men wearing long white gowns who are walking slowly.
It is a medley of remembrances of the Old Testament, of catechism text books where I discovered the pleasure to illustrate a peaceful world which spoke of beauty and stillness, of peaceful men riding donkeys and that of the visits I paid in Pierre Loti’s houses in Charentes. I am reminded of Zachée who took refuge in his tree, of the paper grottos of our December eves, of the Holy Family crossing the Sinaï, of the Jewish  People looking for the Promised Land, of the muezzin’s song, of the felucca of the  Elephantine Isle on the Nile in the silence of a day coming to its end.

Everything is there, frail instants of these “tempera” on paper and pictures of the Maffet Astoria hotel where you can come across the loving shadows of the world which is watching time flying away.


Thierry Diers