Pierre Marie Brisson

Pierre Marie Brisson was born on June 11, 1955 in Orleans, France. He is the youngest of four children.  From the age of 16, he worked at various jobs from agriculture to working in a bookshop.  At this time he first met the painter Bernard Saby who encourages him.

In 1979 Brisson settled down in Paris and started carborundum etchings at the Pasnic workshop following the procedure of Goetz used by Coignard, Clave, Miró and Tapies. About this time he created an illustrated book with the poet Jean-Jacques Scherrer with whom he was acquainted. He also met with James Coignard about this time.

Brisson is one of Europe’s most talented young contemporary artists.  With simplified figures and extensive texturing, Brisson’s works have been compared to cave drawings. Their timeless appearances represent a kind of archeological dig for the artist: he cuts, scratches and pierces the multi-layered surfaces of his canvases to reveal his images from within the strata of these materials.  Brisson’s original and graphic artworks have been the subject of numerous gallery and museum exhibitions throughout Western Europe, North America, and Japan.

Brisson combines elements of our experience which we have observed at different times and different places…yet never before at one place and time except in his art.  They include the rough surface of an ancient wall, the cracking of old paint, the decorative pattern of wallpaper and woven fabric, and the minimal shorthand figuration done either through the assurance of artistic sophistication or the inherent practice of archaic beliefs.

In art, natural ability and raw talent are not sufficient.  It is how those skills are employed that matters most. Pierre-Marie Brisson is a facile draftsman, a superb colorist, a master of design and composition, and a creator of richly tactile surfaces.  It is not in the mere possession and cataloging on these abilities that Brisson succeeds.  But in their judicious and balanced application that his true work as an artist emerges.

Written by Robert Flynn Johnson
Curator-in-Charge
The California Palace of the Legion of Honor Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts

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