Matisse would have been proud of his namesake event that took place at the gallery on the 4th of April 2014. Bill Lowe Gallery hosted an exhilarating evening reception that showcased the work of Parisian painter Pierre-Marie Brisson in his southern debut. The whimsically named event, “In the Mood of Matisse,” was a kinetic interaction of the multi-faceted crowd punctuated by colorful conversations that seemed to reflect the jubilation of Brisson’s vibrant figurative and organic patterns. The diverse crowd savored exceptional food and wine as they were enchanted by the artist’s explanation of his work and his world, which centers in the South of France.
In the words of Goethe, “Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.” Gallery patrons inspected the meticulously crafted archaeology of Brisson’s work, only to stand in awe moments later once they comprehended the history that informed his work. It was at this point that Brisson would connect with them and explain his inspiration behind the work. He took great joy in learning from his admirers what they thought of the paintings, and what it meant to them.
World renowned art critic, Donald Kuspit, commetnts that “Brisson’s works have a certain classical calm and completeness even as they are informed by a modernist aesthetic. Brisson has roots in both the French decorative tradition, with what might be called its grand sensuous manner, and in modernist Primitivism, with its aggressive emotionality and forthright expressiveness.” He goes on to say, “Brisson’s dancers are not Degas’ “little rats” nor Matisse’s naked “rustics,” not vulgar urban dancers struggling to be theatrically suave, nor percussive and perverse Stravinsky-like orgiasts; but rather figures who are not entirely at home in their white dresses – suggesting their purity and innocence – nor in their naked flesh, for they have been “corrupted,” as it were by Western ideal of dance art.”
Brisson combines various elements of life, which we have all observed in different moments. Yet, except through his art, never before have they been experienced at a single instant and place. His motifs imbue the awesomeness of the natural world and the unfinished continuum of human history, continuing to unfold. With their well-aged patina and Mediterranean glow, Brisson’s works are reminiscent of the fresh, early frescos from Pompeii and offer viewers a site of visual pleasure, existing across time. The harmony and vision of Brisson’s work continues to transcend modes of contemporary culture while carrying the air of an old world aesthetic. A master of unearthing the primordial instincts of freedom and expression, Brisson’s work will continue to fascinate and delight the fancy in all of us and grant reverence to the human spirit. Atlanta’s euphoric embrace of Brisson’s “In the Mood of Matisse” underscored the Southern sensibility of his work as it forged a unique bridge between the classic and the contemporary.