| Jean Capdeville, French (1917 - 2011)
Jean Capdeville was born on the 13th of September 1917 in Saint-jean d’Alberes in the western Pyrenees in a farm house in the mountains. His parents settled in Ceret when he was 2 years old. Paris of course will make its mark in his life, but Ceret will always hold a unique place in his heart ; being his « philosophy of life ».
On his journey he will meet his mentors, Pierre Brune, Miette, etc. In 1947 to pass the time he starts to paint at the age of 30. The first exhibiton of his works is shown the following year in the town hall of Ceret. Victor Castre will open his horizons. A rapid progression of his paintings of his « Burlesque » series, forms of which he will add grafitti. He will traspire nonetheless as an abract painter but will always find his refernce in reality. Georges Badin becomes for a long time his companion. It is Badin who will accompany the artist and his text for the exhibition « Five painters and a sculpture » at the Maeght Gallery in Paris in 1965 ; an exhibition that he will share with Gerard Fromanger, Arlas, Claude Garache, Matieu and Joan Gardy-Artigas.
Capdeville refuses though be to belong to such an abstract movement. After painting thick black masses with numbers (1960), his style change encorporating geometrical motifs (1970) using thick paint and primary colors. The artist exhibits regularly from the 1960’s, collective exhibitons (The Menton Biennale and the Salon of Great Young Painters of Today in Paris in 1962, The Mai Salon, The National Library of Paris, The Redfern Gallery in London, etc) and solo exhibitions (Ceret, Brest, Pergignoa, etc.).
His work as an etcher, linked to the Maeght Editions, was presented in a touring exhibiton of eastern Europe (Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Rijeka, Skoplie, etc) in 1968.
In 1974 Capdeville introduces different materials in his compostions, cut string and cloth sewn up, provoking excressence or flaws. At an early age the artist becomes interested in literature, poetry and other authors that he will combine in his etchings. Capdeville is represented at the 1976 exhibiton « Written work and the Artist » at the National Library in Paris. Artists books are often produced by the author or by well-known publishers (Fata Morgana, Brandish, etc). Capdeville will illustrates Georges Badin, Jacques Dupin, Gaston Puel, Edmond Jabes and others, and in 1971 he will also illustrate « Hommage to Simone Weil » of which « memorandum » will move him deeply.
Capdeville is a severve man, meticulous and concise to the extreme, and eager worker who paints progressively and naturally towards the pure and lucid, Capdeville works will be lead towards the minute, the almost nothing… twigs, shadows, grains of sand, thin tricles of water.
Jean Capdeville, who was 93 years old, lived and worked in Céret. He passed away during the summer 2011.