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Jean Pesce

French Artist (1926-   )



Montmartre: Le Cabaret ‘Au Lapin Agile’

Oil on canvas,

18 x 21.5 in. 



Pesce’s luminous depiction of an iconic watering hole of artists at the turn of the century is brought to life by Toulouse Lautrec’s design for the poster ‘Le Chat Noir, whose vibrant color contrasts adds to the nostalgia of the depicted scene.  The artist’s modulation of color and tonalities enhances the nuanced texture of the buildings’ facades, and recall the subtle juxtaposition of patterns and form by the Nabis painters, Bonnard and Vuillard.

The vivid red outlining the tree branches in the foreground is echoed throughout the composition, revealing the passion felt by many of the artists who in love with Paris while seeking inspiration for their work.  Pesce’s use of exaggerated diagonals create a highly dramatic effect, drawing the viewer into the composition to uncover the ghosts of a city that was the cultural and artistic capital of the world.

Jean Pesce has stylistically integrated a number of important French movements into his composition, including the highly saturated hues that define Fauvism as well as the tightly structured tenets of Cubism. His highly contrasted color palette infuses the work with animated vibrancy, and his use of exuberant curves and bold diagonals imbue a rhythmic energy to the overall pictorial surface. 

Pesce applies pure, sustained blocks of color to the composition, and plays with angles and perspectives, reductions and abstractions, masking the brushwork in order to demonstrate a modern aesthetic that pushes the boundaries of his art.  

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