Jérôme Bost: La Mer

September 12 - October 26, 2007


Gallery Sakiko is pleased to present a series of oil pastels of the sea by an accomplished French painter, Jérôme Bost. Made over the last several years at the French coast of the Atlantic, these works reflect Bost's method of painting directly from nature in a visual language that balances carefully between representation and abstraction. The artist's first solo show in the United States, it is a unique opportunity to experience first-hand the subtle and poetic texture of these works on paper and canvas that range in size from several inches to a few feet.

For over thirty years, Jérôme Bost has been working in oil pastel, a delicate and highly nuanced medium that requires direct contact with the support (either canvas or paper) without the mediation of the brush. By endlessly returning to the same subject matter, often observed from the same viewpoint, the painter deepens the experience of it, both his own and ours. Consistent in his compositions is a high horizon line that lays the subject in front of us in a tangible and unmediated way and immerses us into its physical properties. "I want to be inside my subject and my painting, not in front of it," the painter likes to say. By looking at numerous subtle variations of the same landscape, simplified and deprived of any extraneous narrative details, we learn at once to get attuned to its delicately changing moods (conveyed through differences in color, light and texture) and to discern the essential qualities underlying these changes. At the same time, every work presents a vast panorama and a large scale that give the viewer a sense of boundless freedom. Elevating the seemingly mundane to a poetic level, Bost's paintings invite us to stay focused and go deeper, without turning away from our everyday experience. Impressively, they do that without a trace of heaviness or didacticism.