Jill Harry. « A wanderer at heart ». Journaliste, Galerie Magazine. Edition internationale. Art of Today. 1992
« AWANDERER AT HEART »
Recent work by Christine BARBE at the Pierre Nouvion Gallery, Monaco
Firmly rooted in the reality of today, the work of Christine Barbe is a lucid and challenging portrayal of the banality of existence.
Her principal source of inspiration is the human being, often caught in situations which betray the meaninglessness of their everyday lives, the vanity and triviality of their personal concerns.
In sharp contrast to the desolate theme of man’s absurdity and isolation, the settings and the style of portrayal endow these paintings with an immediate sense of drama, movement and, above all, colourful exuberance.
Christine Barbe, who was born in Grenoble in 1955, now divides her time between St-Paul de Vence and New York. In the intervening years, she has covered a lot of ground. Her education in fine arts and engraving equipped her with technical expertise which is evident in her painting today.
But its importance was soon to be overtaken by the impact of the visual and cultural diversity of the time she subsequently spent in Paris, North Africa, California and New York.
A wanderer at heart, Barbe’s immediate surroundings readily furnish a rich source of subject matter. Her sensitivity to a particular environment and its varying degrees of vibrancy – or vibrations – is exemplified by the recent replacement of her vivid and violent palette, SO appropriate for the subways and sidewalks of New York, by the muted colours and ochre tints that underscore the eminently poetic spirit distilled in that work. The social, or even moral comment on the main protagonists in these everyday scenes, while unsparingly objective, is finally felt by the viewer to be a celebration, if not of man’s estate, then of this basic potential to overcome his own fragility.
Following a recent exhibition at the Deutsch Foundation in Lausanne, an exhibition of recent paintings by Christine Barbe will be held, from March 12 th to April 12 th, at the Pierre Nouvion Gallery in the Palais de la Scala, 3 avenue de l’Hermitage, Monaco.