Tucked away in the countryside of the Lot-et-Garonne, an internationally known artist is creating a vibrant, larger-than-life safari of paintings. Some of these paintings will be on display at La Coupole in Saint Loubès March 13-22.
Armando Bergallo was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. His early professional credits include co-founding the Taller de Montevideo in 1963 and Taller Amsterdam in 1977. Among the many museums in which his work has been displayed are the Centre George Pompidou, the Museum of Contempory Art in Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Het Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and CAPC musée d’art contemporain in Bordeaux.
In addition to his bold sculptures and paintings, Bergallo has designed and created visions for theater, opera and film.
I recently had the priviledge of visiting Bergallo’s converted-barn atelier in Lalandusse and was given a tour by the artist and his partner, Frederik van Kleij. Several weeks later, I interviewed Bergallo via email.
How would you describe your art?
I see my art as an affirmation of passion, optimism and freedom.
What can visitors expect to see at the exposition in March?
In the exposition in La Coupole, visitors will discover paintings and three monumental installations (‘Ville Polychrome’, ‘Orfeo’ and ‘Animaux’). The central installation ‘Ville Polychrome’ speaks about the interrelation between elements of different nature. A utopic call for a harmonic relation between human beings, in spite of their social, racial or religious differences.
Do you have a favorite piece of art you have created?
I love the Crocodile as the most abstract, realistic and energetic work of my series ‘Animaux.’ A very intense red dominates all the space and I feel there is a good balance between the ‘painting work’ and the omni-presence of the huge animal.
Which artists have inspired you the most?
My inspiration comes from Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Velazquez, Caravaggio, Lucien Freud, Joaquin Torres Garcia and my teacher José Gurvich. Recently my most happy spiritual ‘rencontre’ has been with the work of the writer, astrophysicien, Vietnamien Thuan Trinh Xuan. His book ‘Désir d’Infini’ has become the leading inspiration of my next project ‘Infinie.’
What attracted you to Lalandusse? What do you like about living here?
For me Lalandusse is an ideal place to live and work. The light is fantastic and it has changed my work in a very positive way. But the good energy of this ‘paysage vallonné’ goes further; I feel it in my body and in my spirit. Fortunately my partner Frederik van Kleij shares this feelings completely. With common enthusiasm we have created a living — and working — space, where our complementary activities function in an optimal way.
Frederik takes care of the organisation and the communication of my work, but his activity goes further than this. He participates in the process of creation and his opinion and ideas our fundamental for the development of the projects we create in Lalandusse since 2005.
A reception at 7 p.m. on 13 March kicks off the exposition which runs through 22 March at La Coupole in Saint-Loubès, north of Bordeaux. The venue opens at 10 a.m. each day and the exposition is free. For more information, click here.
Readers who are unable to make it to La Coupole, may be able to catch a future exposition at the artist’s studio in Lalandusse. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name to the list and to receive notices of future events.
For more information about Armando Bergallo, visit www.armandobergallo.com
Another intriguing art exposition is taking place through 15 March in Pèrigueux. Featuring paintings, sculptures, photographs, music, dance and even astrology, ‘Passions de Femmes’ is a celebration of the Dordogne’s artistic women. For details, click here.