Michel Charpentier, French (1934 - )

  Born in France's Bordeaux region in July of 1934, Michel Charpentier's early life was colored by the tropics- Antilles, Gabon and Morocco- where his father was assigned as a doctor to the French colonies. He completed his primary studies in Bordeaux and Paris and, in 1954, he enrolled in the Atelier Charpentier to prepare for entrance in "L'Ecole des Metiers d'Art."

He worked as an illustrator for Studio Hachette, book publishers, who were in the process of compiling material for an important publication on the History of Civilization. His work, in illustration, stimulated his interest in the various artistic media and thus he began to experiment in painting, drawing, and sculpture.

In 1965, Charpentier married and went to live in the lush Loire Valley. Life in the beautiful but isolated region permits the artist's imagination to flourish, surrounded by the objects that inspire him and the lights that reflect from the mirror of the Loire offering up exotic, seafaring skies.

Charpentier has been greatly moved by illustrations of the masters, especially Breugel, Bosch and the XVth and XVIth century Dutch painters. He also admires the works of Miro, Yves Tanguy, Paul Klee, and Dali.

His first one-man show was at the Galerie Jacques Casanova in Paris in 1974. Since that time, Charpentier has had annual exhibitions at this gallery as well as the Galerie Saint Laumier in Blois.

He would not know exactly how to describe his work other than to say that they, more often than not, represent the "window landscape"; an invitation to escape to a lost paradise, or a still life where the subjects try to find a life other than the one they were destined for. Transformations, displacements, identifications- it is the mechanism of dreaming that talks of things that are least real.

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