Whatever intrinsic merits it might reveal, each artistic process is the result of a series of meetings and accumulated experiences. The journey that it presupposes also sheds light on the temperament, strength of character and stylistic orientation of the painter in question. Eric Delacour’s creative vocation being partly hindered by the demands of a career which left little room for hobbies (as a telecommunications engineer for France Télécom, he had little time to confirm his gift for drawing), he furthered his natural flair by following classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the advice of a certain number of renowned masters, artists and pastellists: Jacqueline Tollet-Loeb, Gwenneth Barth, Eric Bari, Thierry Citron, Claude Sauzet and Michèle Taupin supported him successively, enlightening him with their know-how. He simultaneously attended the workshop on visual arts in Verson near Caen and also sat in on the course entitled “Artistic Cultures” that J.P. Le Goff and Th. Legros led at the University of Caen in 2014-2015.
For over thirteen years now, Eric Delacour has continually exhibited paintings and pastels throughout Lower Normandy, regularly being distinguished with awards crowning his achievements. Gifted with a refined and very wide literary culture, he does not dissociate art from a certain reflection on life. “The joy that beauty procures us is inevitably tinged with melancholy,” he says, because everything under the sun is ephemeral.
For Eric Delacour, a painter of great intellectual integrity and undeniable humility, the pastel technique seemed the obvious choice, although this was not without venturing a little into the fields of oils and acrylics, putting skills learnt from regionally recognized elders to good use. The pastel is without a doubt the tool that corresponds best to his innermost nature. “Without it always being conscious or intended,” he explains, “I feel comfortable with the spontaneity that pastels allow. As for knowing why we paint, I have no ready answers to that. I think it responds to an inner need, to an initially infantile questioning of reality: why are we born into this world? And art is one way of exploring this unfortunately ephemeral enigma. Personally, I was drawn to painting and drawing very early on. My skills were encouraged. However, having devoted a great deal of time to my profession, I had to somewhat neglect my painting for many years. Today, my timetable allows me to devote much more time to it and I am making up for lost time, having found in pastels an ally adapted to my temperament.” As a consequence, the subjects he treats (humankind is at the heart of his work along with a keen and warm perception of nature) leave ample leeway for emotion and spontaneity.
Thanks to their particular creaminess, pastels bring an undeniable softness to the subjects treated, whether they be nudes, interiors, still-lifes, genre paintings or landscapes. They tend to a certain intimacy with the subject. For Eric Delacour, nudes and portraits are visibly favourite themes. He defines himself as “a painter of nudescapes and landscapes.” Added to this is often a hint of sensuality, which of course the artist takes care to convey in the utmost respect for women’s dignity. “All of nature’s curves are contained in the female body,” he opportunely reminds us. Suffice it to say that it remains impossible to exhaust a subject so closely linked to life and the genesis of desire.
Whether observing a live model or a landscape, Eric Delacour strives to evoke the perceptible reality and logical structure of the reproduction, constantly seeking a balance between objectivity and poetic emotion, as shown in “L’étoffe des songes” (“The Stuff of Dreams”) and “Incantation”, in which the sorceress is dressed in only her bracelets. In his approach to landscapes, we again notice a need to convey the pleasure of the moment without ever giving the impression of falling into the anecdotal.
Having almost never used a blending stump, the painter unashamedly applies uniform colours using the broad side of the pastel, resulting in beautiful light effects, with lighting that grazes his models’ skin, creating a suppleness that enhances the reliefs.
Doubtless he mistrusts devices of technique alone as they would be insufficient to create an artwork, since the latter can come from only a certain nobility of soul.
Luis PORQUET, writer - art critic
Du 01/04/2017 au 26/04/2017 :
CAEN : EXPOSITION ERIC DELACOUR ET GAETANE DECHAUFOUR A LA GALERIE ART-CULTURE-FRANCE