Home Chennai Parisian artist Pierre Legrand the prism inspiration

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    Pierre Legrand interprets the composition of all colours of the spectrum

    PARIS_BORN Pierre Legrand began as an engineer because, like most parents at the time, his considered art too frivolous. In retrospect, Auroville’s famous artist says it was all for the best for he sees ‘‘materials in a virgin way, unencumbered by any tradition.’’ This weekend, Legrand, 72, presents his latest series at Apparao Galleries, titled The Sacred Space. Featuring sculptures and installations, it was initially only a palette of whites. ‘‘I used mainly different types of webs, to play with the shadows on the wall,’’ he explains, adding, ‘‘I then used white paint on polyster film to go one step further into immateriality.’’ There are sculptures in powder-coated steel, wood and other materials. But as a departure from the pure white concept, one room contains the brightest monochromes. That said, Legrand at one time favoured only primary colours. But white, he reasons, ‘‘includes all colours and are we not here to embrace all?’’

    Pierre-LegrandFinding solitude
    The modest genius, who explores lines and dots to ‘simplify’ the act of painting sees art as ‘‘a silent intense prayer to dialogue with forces, events.’’ At the recent launch of his book, Light Matter, in New Delhi, he was feted by artists, art collectors and the media, who wondered why Legrand chose to live far from the country’s art scene. His response to us is that he chose to devote his life to the Auroville project. ‘‘Auroville is far, yet it is true that I enjoy the relative solitude of distance,’’ he shares. Good-naturedly agreeing with our observation that he is an accidental painter, Legrand recalls how it all began as a simple spiritual progression, when copying mantras repeatedly. ‘‘That led to experiences, with their colours, their atmospheres and as I tried to find a visual equivalent, it became art. I considered my work art only after a German gallerist stepped ‘accidentally’ into my workshop and offered me an exhibition.’’ Finding inspiration in Aboriginal paintings, Indian tribal art and painters like Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, among others, he also looks for the ‘‘divine spark in each of us.’

    The show is from today at Apparao Galleries. Details: 28332226

    — Mrinalini Sundar

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