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Self-therapeutic Aspects Shown in the Work of Jean-Pierre Raynaud

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2001, (11), pp.27-42
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : May 31, 2001
  • Accepted : April 30, 2001
  • Published : May 31, 2001

Young-Ae Kim 1

1중앙대학교

ABSTRACT

This thesis explores the self-therapeutic aspects shown in the work of Jean­ Pierre Raynaud(France, 1939-). Raynaud 血plies both concepts of object and architecture in his art, which was a leading trend of 1960's art movement that proclaimed to combine art and life. Raynaud, however, is distinguished from these movements (Nouveau Realisme, Pop Art, Minimalism, and Earth Art) for he considered art as psychological reflections of his personal symbolization into sub jects and colors. Therefore, Raynaud's art reflects his personal history and it motivates to heal him by artistic creation. Therapeutic aspects of art were often found in ancient wall paintings and sculptures. This tradition has continued to show up in modern art in order to satisfy artists and viewers unconscious desires. Artists sometimes pretend them­ selves to be mad or insane for not finding an alternative way to express their unaccomplished desire in real life. They considered art-making another source to relieve their desire and ultimately a healing process in a tolerable manner of the society. Raynaud is a typical case of a latter example; his first step into the art world was caused by personal background. When he was 4 years old, his father was killed m World War II bombing raid, and Raynaud's childhood was marked by this early trauma. After all in 1961 when he was 22, this trauma pushes him into a nervous breakdown. However, Raynaud overcomes this state of mental disorder, which lasted for more than a year by creating self-images as an in1morta1 or repeated depiction of death in his objects. He used the standard commercial products but the basic element of his visual universe was death. This concept enables him to transform the fear of death into a catharsis. Raynaud, therefore, is making art as a means of transcending the difficulties of his own personal history into his self­ healing process. Raynaud's marriage life wasn't such a stable one either. His divorce from his wife in 1970 was another traumatic event mat effects his art life. From then, Raynaud once again identifies the world as a dangerous and intolerable place. In order to protect himself from the outer world he changed his house into bunker­ like place where only himself could enter. The exterior of the house was closed and the interior covered with white square ceramic tiles. Raynaud considered this house as a laboratory), in which he co따d work and solve deeply personal problems. Square tiles answered the artist's need for perfection of form and provided with a material that he could use to create a completely sterile environment. For him, the immobile serenity of the white tile synthesized all his dreams of the absolute. Since 1975 Raynaud has turned his interests into an outer reality instead of his usual defensive attitude from it. It is due to an inspiration received from an experience making modern stained-glass windows for the Cistercian abbey at Noirlac. With this he could learn how to accept the outer world and accomplish what he wants by using exterior elements.Raynaud didn't take the exterior world Just as It was but he proposed with a vision which could mediate between the outer world —chaotic and filled with danger and his own inner world-in perfect order and intended the pure. This differentiation with the conventional outer world reflects his longing for the spiritual one. Interior of his house is filled \vith light like a Gothic church, transcended into a spiritual space, and the color of his pot changed from red to gold. His flowerpots were painted in gold and signified a sacred vase. Raynaud's attitude towards absolute spirituality reaches at its zenith when he be­ gins to destroy 區 house in 1993. It represented that he takes the meaning of constructing the house more important than it's physical existence. In the same year, this concept of infinity was actualized when he suggested the golden pot to travel around the world by breaking down the cage which was coveriring the pot for a long time. Moreover, working outdoors made it possible for Raynaud to accomplish a vision for another world. He displayed his work in a public place or in nature, and often combines natural and artificial elements into his work of art. Being set outdoors, his art is a representation of pure and spiritual value arranged to har­ monize within natural and cultural atmosphere. That is why he uses white tiles not only on the inside of the work but also on tl1e outside of it. Raynaud's sug­ gestion therefore reflects his desire to purify his fear and instability relieved into an alternative world. As a conclusion, Raynaud presented a self-therapeutic characteristic of art by visualizing his internal desire and fear in various artistic methods. The reason why this aspect of Raynaud lies as a crucial role is because it could combine his various styles into one explanation, which is 'art as healing'. This aspect therefore distin­guishes Raynaud from all the other post 1960's art world with an original interpretation.

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