Nancy Delouis [ 19410604 - Present ]

The overwhelming delight of Delouis’s paintings comes from the liberating power of colour and form, her interior scenes and still lifes incorporate the exotic and the exquisite, interweaving patterns and textures, often incised into the surface with the point of her brush. Infused with light and saturated colours, in most respects her work is purely French, following in the same aesthetic tradition that shaped the ornamentalism of Bonnard and Vuillard, the luminosity of Renoir, the plasticity of Matisse and the cloisonnism of Gauguin.

Nevertheless, beneath the surface of her works is a genuine sense of reserve; women read, reflect, work or bathe, alone or in groups, but always with an air of calm self-possession. One might even think these women would still exist if we were not there to admire them. This distancing arguably also extends to her more social groups: women gathered in a West African marketplace or a japonisme interior. These works often give almost equal weight to both figures and objects, allowing them to enter into a lively dialogue of colour, form and pattern.

Delouis hails from an artistic family—her maternal great-grandfather was Auguste Rodin’s first cousin—but perhaps the greatest impact on her work has come from Limoges, where she was born and still lives and works. The city’s remarkable decorative legacy and the surrounding Limousin countryside continue to shape her technique and style: “Although my subject matter is particularly intimate, I think it is very important for me and [for other] painters in general to commune with nature.”