Category: In The Artist's Studio

Jean Duquoc

“I developed the need to paint in order to tell the story of Brittany,” he recalls. Finding resonance with Van Gogh, Gauguin and the Fauves, Duquoc turned to simplified, lyrically abstracted forms and raw, unmixed colors in acrylic paint and oil pastels. Through the years he has sought to harness what he calls “color at its source.”

“My country is a very strong country and calls for strong colors,” he observes. “It is a country of strong contrasts. It is a meeting of land and sea. The result is impassioned, vivifying landscapes that convey not only emotional intensity but spiritual transcendence.”

Theme Focus: The Red Sun

A number of Duquoc’s recent paintings incorporate the theme of a red sun. For Duquoc, the red sun is a symbol of rebirth and a window to eternity. The artist incorporates the red sun into his paintings in memory of his brother, a dedicated ecologist. For Duquoc, the red sun radiates “the light of unity, of heaven and earth, but also the light of disruption.” Several of his paintings celebrate the spirit and strength of a French peasant woman, Marie, a close friend of the artist, who has since passed away. An embodiment of the strength and beauty of a life lived close to the land, the heavy woman in traditional Brittany dress strides powerfully through the wind swept fields, toward the setting sun. She is always depicted from the back, walking away from the viewer, making her endless pilgrimage toward death, infinity, and the unknown. She represents the passing of a way of life. Duquoc is a poet as well as a painter, and gives expression in both words and painting to the passing of an era, the yielding of time-honored traditions to the pressures of modern life. He believes deeply in the importance of giving back, of making the world better for future generations. His greatest gift is giving expression to a land and an era, which while passing, remains timeless.