Cozette de Charmoy

 

Click on an image to open a larger version in a separate window

Cozette de Charmoy, click to enlarge

Cozette de Charmoy: painter, collagist, poet.

Cozette de Charmoy lives and works in Paris. She was born in London and has lived
and worked in London, in Canada, in Switzerland and in France.

Cozette de Charmoy began as an abstract as well as a figurative painter, but after her first stay in Canada -- in Quebec and on the island of Cape Breton -- she turned to archetypal visions of hunter and prey -- bears, wolves, animals, men -- images of solitude and of confrontation. This group of paintings and drawings was shown in London in her first major solo exhibition and in many exhibitions since then.

Click to open a larger version Click to open a larger version Click to open a larger version
These images and later paintings – of isolated individuals abstracted in their hostile wilderness – are often presented frontally, ikon-like. Although figurative they are not representational.
These images are not of our literal world – they are drawn from an inner realm of imagination; nonetheless, they are about reality.
Click to open a larger versionClick to open a larger versionClick to open a larger version
James Langley, an important collector of her work has written:
"Her subjects... are infused with that sense of menace and of the power necessary for survival ...the intent hunters with their prey against the dark winter forest are rendered all the more arresting for the strength of their depiction and the vigour with which paint is applied to canvas..." And of her later paintings in which man as hunter has been transfigured into shaman, he remarked: "The Shaman, the exemplar of power within and beyond our world, would not be himself were he not also portrayed with the force that has remained the most enduring characteristic of Charmoy' s work. .."
Click to open a larger versionClick to open a larger versionClick to open a larger version
At the same time as Charmoy evokes these minatory images of archetypal desolation, she has set down her comments on the world around her. Her notes are satiric, pessimistic, caustic and corrosive - but with bitter humor. These drawings, paintings, collages are closely related to The Colossal Lie, her book in which she examines the lies which surround and direct us (see below). There, for example is an evocation of Richard Nixon's phlebitis, there -- an imagined connection between Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of Lyons, and the ancient barbie dolls reputed to leak poisonous plastic. "How does it feel to ooze, Klaus?" she enquires. "To Raoul Hausmann, ce nouveau message" is a lithographic salute to the great Dadaist.
Click to open a larger versionClick to open a larger version
Click to open a larger versionClick to open a larger version
In parallel with painting (and drawing) Cozette de Charmoy is a collagist and a writer. Her first book, a collage novel -- of her images and her text -- was The True Life of Sweeney Todd, published by the famous Gaberbocchus Press of the Themersons in London (and also published in Canada and then in New York). This work was variously hailed as surrealist and, more relevantly, Dadaist. Sweeney was followed by her "scientific" notebook The Colossal Lie / Le Colossal Mensonge , [below] published by Henri Chopin in his Collection OU, in company with the works of Raoul Hausmann and William Burroughs. Since these two key works, she has published numerous volumes of poetry , of collage and of what has been labelled "verbal-visual". Her latest book is Le Dernier Iceberg (VOIX éditions, Metz).
Click to open a larger versionClick to open a larger versionClick to open a larger version
 
The collage on the left is from Sweeney Todd.
The images in the centre and to the right are from The Colossal Lie.
 

 

Click to open a larger version

 

The same blend of caustic irreverence and fantasy is manifest in Charmoy's photographs. They have been shown at the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, at Paris Photo and in a one-man show at the Focus Gallery in London. For the London show, the Focus Gallery commented:

"Cozette de Charmoy is essentially an artist of ideas - she does not picture the external world - her photographs do not document the visible world around us - they are reports from the front line of imagination. She does not photograph what she sees, rather she thinks what she photographs. A number of prints on show are from her first series Cadaquès: 'Max Ernst Memorial', 'Wrapped Object Relic' (a reference to Man Ray) and others. These pictures are strong, saturated colours, sharp, puzzling, even perturbing images of ideas. Other images are from her later period, equally disturbing 'conceptual' images that Charmoy prefers to think of as metaphors that are constructed, presented and made concrete as images...

 
Click to open a larger versionClick to open a larger version
Cozette de Charmoy uses photography in her collage book Poste Vaticane, about her friends William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, and in her large collage 'PosteRieur' which was shown in The Los Angeles County Art Museum. The silk-screen portfolio of prints 'Reliquaires 5 Reliquaries', using photography extensively, was shown at The Vienna Grafic and is in collections of various museums."
Click to open a larger versionClick to open a larger version
 

Cozette de Charmoy
Téléphone: +33 (0)1 40 29 03 88/ +33 (0) 140 29 00 78
Email: cozette1@free.fr

 

 

© 2005 - Design by CT