MODESTE,  Bernard (1938-2010)

MODESTE, Bernard (1938-2010)

Bio Bernard MODESTE

Né en 1938 en Picardie, en France. En 1955, il s'inscrit à l'École des Beaux-Arts d'Amiens et passe avec succès ses examens qui lui permettent d'aller à Paris et d'entrer à l'École des Arts Appliqués. La capitale le fascine. De théâtres en musées, des quais de la Seine au quartier des Halles, il découvre la vie. Il s'intéresse à la sculpture et devient l'élève du sculpteur Étienne Martin. Il se passionne pour la tapisserie murale et travaille avec Wogenski. Il suit les cours de l'École du Louvre et va aux Gobelins apprendre les techniques du tissage. Il se lie d'amitié avec Jean Cocteau et travaille avec lui durant 2 années, sur une collection de tapisseries qui ne sera terminée qu'après la mort du poète. Il fait la connaissance de Pablo Picasso à Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, qui le conseille et l'influence dans ses recherches de peintre-cartonnier. Il fait sa première exposition à Paris en 1963 à la Galerie Dautzenberg à l'hôtel Colbert de Torcy où il expose 18 tapisseries de grand format. Grâce à ses diplômes et à son expérience, il devient le décorateur du Gouvernement marocain. En 1966, il réalise la décoration du Pavillon du Maroc à l'Exposition Terre des Hommes de Montréal. Il découvre en même temps le Québec et émigre en 1968 avec sa femme. À Montréal, il ne trouve pas les débouchés nécessaires pour faire de la tapisserie et retourne donc à la table à dessin dans un atelier d'urbanisme. Durant ces années, Bernard Modeste se lie d'amitié avec plusieurs artistes québécois, dont le peintre Normand Hudon, qui l'incite à reprendre son métier. En 1978, il quitte son emploi et se consacre entièrement à la peinture. On retrouve ses oeuvres dans diverses galeries au Québec et aux États-Unis.

Signature - Bernarde Modeste


Bernard MODESTE, the Man From Sana Terra

Born in the Santerre Region of Picardy - France, his passion reflects the character of the people of the area.
Modeste, the painter, shows a vigilant uncompromising realism, consistent, open to new experiences and often curious to the point of indiscretion.
Born in 1938 in Picardy France, young Modeste begins his classical education at the age of 6 as a boarder with the Jesuit Brothers. Despite a strict upbringing, his imagination will not be affected. In fact , it is within his imagination that he finds his refuge .
From 1953, he studies at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Amiens. He graduates and continues his studies in Paris at L'Ecole des Arts Appliqués. He is fascinated by Paris and absorbs all he can from tragedy that is played out in theatres to old European treasures hanging in Paris's Museums, Modeste explores life from the banks of La Seine to Paris's Quartier Latin.
Discovering sculpture, he studies with the sculptor Etienne Martin. Becoming intrigued with wall tapestries he begins to work with Wogenski, while at the same time continuing his studies at Le Louvre in Paris and travelling to L'Ecole des Gobelins to learn weaving techniques .
In 1961, Modeste meets poet Jean Cocteau and they become immediate friends and collaborators. Modeste will spend the next two years with Cocteau working on a collection of tapestries that this newly formed partnership has conceived. These works are completed only after the poets death.
Fate brings Modeste to a chance meeting with Pablo Picasso at Cocteau's residence. This meeting will have a great impact on Modeste. Picasso's advice and suggestions influence Modeste's approach and style. Uncompromisingly, he sets out to explore the human condition in his art, shedding all but the emotional essence of the moment .
The 1960's are full of experience which helps Modeste to transcend his private world of painting into the reality of personal involvement. Here he learns tolerance and discovers the symbolist school.
In 1963, at the age of 25 , the first exhibition of both his painting and wall tapestries will be shown in Paris. Modeste's tapestries are shown along with those that he conceived with Jean Cocteau. All were woven in the well known village of Aubusson, France.
Bernard Modeste's first tapestry piece was nothing short of phenomenal, measures seven feet in height by an incredible twenty four feet in length and was commissioned by the Nabisco Corporation for their Paris Head Office at Place Vendôme. The piece was entitled: " La Moisson de Cérès " .
In 1965 he moves to the City of Temara, Morocco. Modeste is asked to develop a concept for an interior decoration of the Moroccan Pavillion at Expo 67, the International Exposition to be held in Montreal, Canada, in 1967 .
These two years will keep him far from his painting studio, but will give him the opportunity to discover North America.
In search of peace and quiet and a return to his love of painting, he settles in Canada in 1970. Living in the shadow of the Mont St.-Hilaire Mountain, a place of great natural beauty, he dedicates himself to his painting and has frequent exhibitions in the United States , often involving himself in social and cultural events there. In 1983, he donates a complete exhibition to the Cerebral Palsey Telethon, total of thirty paintings .
Modeste, the man of Sana Terra, as he likes to be known, insatiably pursues his work .He focuses on the human condition, suppressing details of the human body dealing with the visible signs of human emotion . Free of constraint , Modeste rejects all artificiality and paints straight to the heart of the matter. He explores the elements of desire, ignoring superficial detail , cutting through to the emotional essence of the image.

Signature - Bernarde Modeste

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