Martin Basdevant French, b. 1973

Martin Basdevant

Born in 1973, lives and works in Paris.



"     There is currently a room at the Musée d'Orsay exclusively dedicated to Pierre Bonnard's drawings, which can be seen at the "Bonnard/Vuillard" exhibition, amidst a collection of paintings and pastels. This room is full of lessons since it was empty of visitors when Martin Basdevant and I went there last week. I mean that the space was deserted, that clearly a fate is being done to this part of his work. Yet if Bonnard was an extraordinary colourist - and this point is obvious - he was perhaps an even more remarkable valorist. The charms and boldness of his hues acted, paradoxically, as a tree hiding the forest in his black-and-white work. Yet Matisse used to claim that a colorist is recognizable by his use of pencil on a sheet of paper. This is to be taken seriously.


      Have a look at a charcoal or pastel by Martin Basdevant and you will recognize the Nabi gold that he was able to harvest with rare success, and that he would have delicately merged with a certain American expressionism. But you will also notice his inclination towards the sublime, his fascination for the vast expanses of virgin nature, in particular his pleasure in celebrating the topographical swarming of a bushy ground, of a path in a valley that becomes the one of his painting itself. 


      For this drawer is a painter. At the same time lyrical and intimate, he has managed to develop his work away from the din of the horns, reactivating with happiness and singularity some beautiful memories not yet completely extinguished by museums. "For the painter, it's not a matter of painting what has never been seen before, but what hasn't been seen enough," wrote Delacroix somewhere in his diary.     "


Morgan BANCON, February 2017