Emergence. Hervé Bédouin–Jacky Lézin exhibition

From 7 March to 19 September 2020 (extended all summer long)

They are two of those artists that have finally reached the light. The first one, Jacky Lézin, who died in 1995, was an admired member of Narrative Figuration. He should be considered as the best painter from Ille-et-Vilaine of the end of the twentieth century… His work is spectacular, powerful. It stands alongside the sculptures of another Breton prodigy, Hervé Bédouin, whose little egrets quiver from an inimitable strength, authentic poetry. Fascinating! Emergence. Hervé Bédouin – Jacky Lézin exhibition

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Émergences bretiliennes

Only the historian Gilles Foucqueron, in his books, called them the “Ille-et-Vilainois”. Simple twist, which smacked of the natural, as the “noble savage” smacks of Rousseau. But an unofficial turn that the elected officials of Ille-et-Vilaine swept away in June 2013 to prefer the now very official term “Bretilliens, Bretilliennes” — “inhabitants of Ille-et-Vilaine”, according to the new dictionary… So let’s take it for granted: at the time of celebrating its sixth anniversary, the Cristel Éditeur d’Art Center, a Bretillien by birth, welcomes what must be called a Bretillien painter, Jacky Lézin, associated with a sculptor also from Brittany, Hervé Bédouin. Geographical, Breton, consensual and logical approach, one might think… Except that the choice of this twenty-fourth exhibition is based above all on an invincible conviction: the exceptional quality of the two artists brought together! The first will rekindle certain memories in some Malouins: in 1971, when he was teaching drawing and plastic arts in Rennes, Jacky Lézin had shown various works in the Intra-Muros for what was to remain the first exhibition of his life. Then life, precisely, had unfolded little by little… There had been other clashes, encouraging reviews, a public commission at La Seyne-sur-Mer, the rallying to Narrative Figuration, a European and mythical movement, of which he embodied an undeniable representative. Clearly, a deserved recognition, echo of a blatant, extraordinary talent… Jacky Lézin was precisely there, on the threshold of the success he hoped for, when a heart attack struck him down in 1995. Exactly on the eve of his fifty-five years…

Shall we also say, by a striking shortcut, that Hervé Bédouin, born in Rennes in 1973, is the best Breton sculptor of the moment? This would no doubt be going too fast and would be silencing the essentials by a great deal. Because does it not seem to us, in front of the living and vibrant work that he composes, that this young creator fascinates as much for what he is worth as for what he wants? And what he wants, we think we understand: a habitable, inhabited earth, where even the tiniest twig, picked up by a skilful hand, an ardent thought, can in turn become a work of art. Thus does Hervé Bédouin, capable of ennobling any material, wood, iron and plaster, to chisel fascinating waders which, in the strict sense, have no equal. Certainly, everyone can recognize, as surprises at the bend of a heronry, splendid little egrets, sometimes pecking the ground with a hungry beak, sometimes taking flight. But, once again, let us testify that Hervé Bédouin, dazzling with know-how, and messenger of an authentic ecological design, enchants us first and foremost with his unspeakable poetry. In the spirit, of course, where the most illustrious of our Bretillians, François René de Chateaubriand, heard it: “Poetry is inner song.”

Christophe Penot
éditeur d’art