ANDRÉ DURAND Twenty-First Century Paintings
To André Durand it seems clear that the Roman Catholic Church was the principal patron of the arts until the 19th century. Under the Church’s patronage all the artists Durand admires, including Michelangelo, Titian and Rubens, among a host of many other 14th-16th century-mostly Italian artists realized the highest potential. The mythological and religious subject matter in Durand’s 21st century paintings calls upon the fundamental archetypes which have as much meaning to us now as they did in the renaissance. In his Twenty-First Century Paintings Durand offers us this rich and this complex stock of images invigorated in a political climate dominated by a resurgence of religion.
For Durand the double challenge for him as an artist is first to reunite in his pictures religion and art, divorced by Modernism and its repudiation of content, and in the same brush stoke observe the criteria of the Neomodernist Manifesto, in particular. “A Neomodernist approach to religious subject matter is objective and philosophical, not an affirmation of faith.” manifesto
The Neomodernist Manifesto was written in 2000 to set out the artistic ideas Durand had honed instinctively over the three preceding decades and consolidated in Florence, Siena and Rome in the early 90s, painting in intimate proximity to masterpieces by the artists that inspire him.
SELF-PORTRAITS WITH RINALDO 2009
Durand’s Twenty-First Century Paintings, all oils on linen, in this online gallery, reveal Durand as a still developing artist faithful to the 2000 Neomodern manifesto. With this more daring choice and approach to subject matter, expressed by unpredictable compositions invaded by contemporary icons such as the Apple mac in his 2009 self-portrait with his whippet; a striking use of light; luminous skin tones and a vibrant palette, André Durand emerges as the philosopher painter of the new century. André Malraux in the Voices of Silence could be alluding to Durand’s development when he writes,“That thrill of creation, which we experience when we see a masterpiece, is not unlike the feeling of the artist who created it; such a work is a fragment of the world, which he has annexed and which belongs to him alone. The conflict of his early days (which gave rise to his genius) is over and he has lost his feeling of subjection and for us, too this work of art if a fragment of the world of which Man has taken charge. The artist has not only expelled his masters from the canvas, but reality as well – not necessarily the outer aspects of reality, but reality at its deepest levels – ‘the scheme of things’ – and replaced it by his own. A great portrait is primarily a picture and only secondarily the likeness of a face. The masterpiece is not wholly identical with truth, as the artist often thinks. It is something that was not and now is: not an achievement but a birth – life confronting life on its own ground and animated by the ever rolling stream of Time, man’s time, by which it is nourished and which it transforms”.