Posts Tagged ‘Axelle Fine Art’

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Eric Roux-Rontaine at Axelle Fine Art

November 15, 2012

Last Saturday evening, I walked into Axelle Fine Art and arrived in the land of my dreams.

Eric Roux-Fontaine channels the primeval world of the Meso-American jungle. You understand with every brush stroke that this is his world. If you’ve ever walked through dense tropical treelands, you know that vegetation grows in layers. Some trees are extremely tall with branches only at their tops, providing a canopy over the forest. Others are shorter and wider, surrounded by flowering bushes, filled with birds and butterflies. Now, add to this wonder world a touch of modern whimsy – a pristine white tent, or a tightrope walker, or a bridge going nowhere, or (my favorite) the swimming pool in the middle of a swamp. So perhaps what we really have is Alice in Wonderland in the Costa Rican jungle instead of the English countryside.

This is the world that Roux-Fontaine lives and breathes – even though he lives with his wife and children in Lyon, France. (I can attest to his wife’s being absolutely charming.)

Having seen the paintings on his web site, it’s clear that the whimsical touches are pervasive elements of his work, tying the concrete elemonts of our society to a purer, freer, uncontaminated one.

What is most interesting is the delicacy of Roux-Fontaine’s paintings. His paint is thinned, his brush work is fine, his colors are delicate. He lays layer after layer of branch, leaf and brush, building to a complex, dense composition. The influence of the Chinese scroll painters is huge; they would be proud.

This is Roux-Fontaine’s first exhibit in the US. He is an extremely talented painter with an exceptional body of work. You should take the opportunity to discover his work. Axell is located 472 West Broadway (just south of Houston Street); the show is on view thrugh Dec. 2.

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FABIENNE DELACROIX AT AXELLE FINE ARTS

May 3, 2011

Ciel de traineSoleil pale sue les voilesLe transactlantique

Bateau au moulillageCiel de traineLe phare d’EckmuhlLe transactlantiqueSoleil pale sue les voiles

Fabienne is the youngest child of Michel Delacroix and has inherited his talent. Growing up, as she did, with a father who painted constantly, who recognized her talent, she was lucky enough to be trained by him.

This piece of luck is also a two-edged sword. When an artist is trained exclusively by one painter, they cannot help but absorb the mannerisms of that painter; it is natural for the teacher to continue their style through the student. This is true of Fabienne Delacroix and yet she is finding her own voice.

Fabienne’s technique is the same as Michel’s. You can see the similarities in her skies, in her buildings and in her people. Her cityscapes could be painted by her father as they even include Michel’s signature brown and white dog. Her paintings are as charming as his. I suspect that, one day, art historians will have trouble identifying who painted what. Ciel de Taine, while a country scene painted by Fabienne, could as well have been painted by Michel.

Bus, as I said, Fabienne is finding her own voice. She loves the sea in all it’s permutations and it is here that we can see the direction in which Fabienne Delacroix is moving. She has taken the best of the technique taught by her father and applied her own vision. In some of these paintings, her work seems more influenced by the impressionists, in others by 17th century Japanese artists. She is creating her own vision and I applaud her. I also truly enjoy this work.

Le phare d'Eckmuhl

I’ve selected 4 paintings which show the directions in which Fabienne is stretching herself. “Soleil pale sure les voiles” bridges naif and impressionistic technique. “Bateau au mouillage’ is almost pointillist. “Le phare d’Eckmuhl” could have been painted in Japan. I’m not certain about “Le transatlantique” but it has elements of those wonderful old movie poster from the 1920’s and 1930’s, along with the naif elements.

I’m of the opinion that Fabienne’s work will hold up over time and that her work will be uniquely recognizable. I want to see where she takes it.

Fabienne Delacroix is showing in the New York and Boston galleries throughout April and into May.

On another subject, we were able to preview new work by Patrick Pietropoli and Laurent Dauptain. Pietropoli is experimenting with gold leaf backgrounds; he will be having a show in December. Dauptain has done some superb city glimpses with assertive colors; regrettably, didn’t get a time frame for his next show. Look for both shows.

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Michel Delacroix at Axelle Fine Arts

March 29, 2011

Michel Delacroix turned 78 recently and his son has celebrated his birthday with a series of solo shows at Axelle Fine Art in New York, Boston and San Francisco. Delacroix is rightly celebrated for his naif views of Paris and its environs. As a child of World War II Paris, Delacroix remembers the city as being essentially without traffic, with few pedestrians, and light activity. His paintings though, feel as though from an earlier era. The cars, I suppose, could be from the 1930’s, but he includes are hansom cabs, horse-drawn carts and street vendors in aprons. Be especially sure to look for the spaniel with brown ears, Delacroix’s special touch in virtually every painting, and a lovely little fellow. He’s painting fantasies, for fantasies they indeed are, which revolve around the ordinary life of the city. No older person who lived through World War II will remember Paris as the charming place that Delacroix paints. But no matter. He gives us the Paris that we all dream about – the old, stone, low rise buildings with streets lined with shops, the neighborhood qualities that everyone dreams about wherever they live. Technically, Delacroix’s style and materials are classified as “primitive”. He paints in acrylic on board, achieving a very smooth finish. But these aren’t Grandma Moses-type primitives and Delacroix’s style isn’t frozen in time, even if his subject matter is. Delacroix’s paintings have great sophistication, and an excellent understanding of the life of a community. He focuses on the architecture of the city, using it to great effect, while interjecting the humorous quality which gives his paintings life. My sense is that most of Delacroix’s paintings are daytime images. So I was particularly taken with his night paintings. I believe these are new to his repertoire and they are excellent city scenes in the dead of night. I am particularly enamored of the night scenes in Paris’ parks, but these cityscapes are superb. None of the images in this article were included in the New York show but, even if you went today you wouldn’t see the paintings we did. They were flying off the walls. Delacroix came armed with replacements that the gallery was hanging even as paintings were being bought and taken. (This last is really unusual as galleries like to hold on to paintings until the show has concluded.) Delacroix is a prolific painter. His technique and media enables him to generate an enormous body of work. Lucky for us!

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Goxwa at Axelle Fine Arts

December 15, 2010

The mystery has been solved and all is now clear.  Axelle was rebranding its Chelsea gallery as Axelle Bertrand Delacroix Gallery because they are creating a new gallery with a focus on emerging artists.  Axelle Fine Arts is relocating to Soho (will Soho again be a major gallery center) and the Bertrand Delacroix Gallery will operate in Axelle’s Chelsea space.  Both continue to be owned by Bertrand Delacroix but we’re delighted to tell you that Tim Smith has been promoted to Gallery Director for Axelle’s Soho location.  Let me give both galleries fair warning:  make your openings on different days – I don’t want to choose.

 

Leave it to Axelle to make the Chelsea closing show a lollapalooza! – a solo show by Goxwa (pronounced Josh’-wa).  Poor Goxwa, with nothing going for her.  Let me see, she’s a painter, an actress, a playwright, has been a waitress and is probably 007 in disguise, plus she’s beautiful.  Born and raised in Malta, educated in Europe and the US, and currently lives in France.  Wouldn’t we all love to be her.

 

Well, Goxwa produced a brilliant solo show.  She works strictly in encaustic (a difficult and unforgiving medium but excellent for hot, moist climates) with a palette knife.  She succeeds in creating mood, delicacy and boldness with contained slashes of her knives.  Almost all of the paintings were sold by the close of the opening reception.  With average prices in the $17,000 range, in early December, in a touchy economy, that says something about the quality of the work.

 

I’m partial to her moody landscapes.  Day seems to be evening, evening is surely evening.  Her palette is atmospheric, the sites are enchanting.  Literally, enchanting.  Imagine yourself transported by a genie to a mythic place.  My favorite is Pompeii Landscape.  I cannot imagine growing tired of this or any others in this class.

 

However, most of the people at the opening preferred her female figures.  You can see that these are self-portraits by an actress who has imagined herself in a variety of roles.  But the roles aren’t fully fleshed.  She’s developing a storyline for each character.  Each is emerging from the fog of idea into well-defined construct.

 

I’m not a big fan of self-portraiture.  Artists like Laurent Dauptain who can’t find anything more interesting than their own faces leave me cold.  Yes, I know that Rembrandt painted his self-portrait many times.  I’m still bored by self portraits.  Except Goxwa’s.  These are interesting as well as being fabulously executed.  I want to see where these characters go.

 

The one thing I haven’t yet mentioned is use of color.  Generally, her use of color is subtle, with bold red highlights.  This holds whether she’s using a dark or golden color scheme.  The only failures for me were the floral sprigs which were simply bland cream on beige things.

 

Do go and see this work.  Goxwa is a major painter; she will hang in museums if she doesn’t already  Her work will be up at Axelle on W. 25th Street through December.  If you can’t get to the show, look online at http://axelle.com.