Gérard Schlosser was born in Lille in 1947. He came to painting after having practiced sculpture and metal work. Schlosser is at the centre of the « Figuration Narrative » movement even though he did not exhibit at its founding exhibition « Mythologies Quotidiennes » in 1964. His work is based on the portrayal of intimate everyday moments and in this he clearly breaks with abstract painting and Pop Art which filled the art galleries in the 1970s.
To begin with, Schlosser uses a technique of « ligne claire », a technique used in cartoon illustration and by 1970 also used photography and the episcope, an optical instrument which allows you to project an enlarged image on to another surface. This technique of magnifying details takes up nearly all of the painting’s foreground, whereas the background retains great depth due to carefully precise outlines. From 1967 the systematic use of sand in his preparative ground layer, gives his range of colors and perspectives a greater strength and lends the canvas a vibrant well finished quality.
His experience as a sculptor can be felt in the skilful handling of volumes and the rendition of light and shade. Schlosser’s recurrent themes are accessible to all: encounters or people relaxing in a room, a landscape or by water. Figures are rarely shown in full and the artist concentrates on a single crucial detail which sums up the situation; it is a system of dividing up and careful framing. With these subtle details the artist makes time stand still and shares a few moments of passing happiness with the viewer. Schlosser’s genius is present in these wonderful moments of peace, moments of time suspended, these passionate moments where desire, affection and sometimes a gentle eroticism are omnipresent. Recently Schlosser seems to have given way to a less well controlled eroticism, perhaps due to commercial pressure.
Schlosser’s painting is stunning, full of life that flows out from the canvas. His works manage to plunge us into world of great calm and complete fulfillment. It is absurd to classify Schlosser as a hyper-realist, his style is neither cold nor neutral. In my opinion his work is rather a continuation of the great Impressionist tradition, making reference to some of its most emblematic compositions, such as the « Déjeuner sur l ‘Herbe » by Edouard Manet or « The Terrasse at St Adresse » by Claude Monet. In conclusion, I have selected a work from 1987, « Ca sent bon » which I think encapsulates Schlosser’s vision of happiness, refreshing and energizing at the same time. For me this work also triggers a certain nostalgia for a lost age.