Born in 1945, Daniel Levigoureux is a painter of space and light. He uses pastel color fields in which occasional splashes of bright, vivid hues contrast sharply to paint landscapes whose trength is in their perspective, their only sign of a human presence. Based near the town of Dieppe, he drives around France in a truck specially fitted with large windows so he can "see from afar – the only thing I care about doing.” Inspired by his favorite painters Fra Angelico, Saenredam (a 17th-century Dutch painter), Mondrian and Giacometti, his brushstroke can sometimes sketch faster than the eye can perceive.
What does recognition of your work by the Colas Foundation mean to you?
A foundation of this nature, which is recognized in the art world, is something that is unique. That it has awarded me this distinction I find particularly flattering. I like the idea that my painting reaches out to meet others, that it will be going on a journey throughout the Colas Group companies. Painting has to come out of the world of specialists, it is something that is for everyone.
On your canvases, the horizon is a long way away. Land, sky and seascapes, they’re all about space...
Whether it is the plains of the Beauce farmlands, or the beaches of the North Sea coast, huge areas devoid of obstacles, it is vast space that attracts me. Where there is immensity, nothing distracts the eye. To see clearly and reproduce a vision on canvas, you need distance. The line of the field is horizontal, the lines of houses in the distance are vertical. This is reality, seen between these lines and colors, contrasting or blending in with the landscape that they themselves have created. There are also sometimes images of reality, such as a road that goes down to the sea, crosses the field, dives into the town, as if it were going further, looking for something.
What are you seeking to express through your canvases?
Far from philosophy, my canvases reflect reality. Less is more: the fewer things there are, the more one sees. Solitude and simplicity are not melancholy, they are essential. I work very hard on the colors, which I use to give nuance to a landscape. Because reality should come as a surprise. Because being alive means being surprised every day.