In August 1949, Jacques Calonne met Christian Dotremont and joined the CoBrA group, founded the year before in reaction to Surrealism ideas. Both become inseparable and Calonne participates in the group's exhibitions and experiments, his creativity nourished by multi-disciplinarity and his great imagination. Endowed with curiosity without limits or boundaries, he is also a composer directed by Pierre Boulez and a worldly tenor who mischievously performs a repertoire of wise songs for young boarding schoolgirls.
Author of some logograms in common with Christian Dotremont, Jacques Calonne quickly acquires his own style, covering the floor with large sheets of paper, preparing his colours and throwing himself, inspiration guiding his body, his arm and his hand, in a series of works instantly forming a collection that expresses his immediate mood, devoid of any intention, even of conscience. His drawings are therefore not constructed. The pages are filled with gestures where the voids seem to be cut out by colour, by Chinese ink, by pigments.
His medium is also plural: cardboard, wallpapers, butcher's wrapping paper, bistro tablecloths, music sheets and partitions, watermarked large luxury formats or even hand-crumpled paper from China or Japan. The effects are more than remarkable: they are proof of natural fulgurations and of an astonishing light. The work of Jacques Calonne is therefore true to himself: radiant. Revealing a spontaneous aesthetic quality, his drawings are the expression of an always reiterated originality, so that each piece carries within it both the uniqueness and the recognisable signature of its author.
Press release courtesy La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach. Text: Tito Dupret.