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Mennessons dans le studio
  • Alain Bosquet
  • Jean Bouret
  • Jean-Paul Crespelle

In an article Visite à Jacques Mennessons here is what the novelist and critic Alain Bosquet (1919-1998) said: “I dream today of one of the truest and most up-standing artists, which my friends helped me discover a few weeks ago, in a modest little studio in Belleville, where he continues his work without importuning anyone, and without, alas, being pressed on by anyone else.

Jacques Mennessons is the type of painter who instinctively understands the problems of contemporary art. He doesn’t have a minute theory, nor make slick elaborations or impertinent declarations. He does not, however, simply give in to the pleasure of painting, for him it is a given that each work is an event and a struggle.”
After a precise analysis of the development of his works from 1953 to 1963, he continued observation. “Canvases such as Eglise de campagne and Les joueurs de football, sparking yet serious at the same time breathe a proud necessity. What he had which was close to Rouault gave way simply through its atmosphere to a place inhabited by the best of Gleizes’ and Vlaminck’s works of 1910, coupled with an individual spirituality and modernity.”

He concludes “Today Jacques Mennessons, without renouncing either his subject or theme, and with a willing ease ensures his canvases, which remain visual, and at the same time imbued with a necessary reality, which makes part of the game of forms and proportions, outside of any faithfulness to resemblances. He is a painter to discover and to encourage. He has a willing temperament, one which is feverishly rich”.

biographical information on Alain Bosquet on the website of the Royal Academy of Belgium.

Alain Bouquet
Alain Bosquet

The art critic Jean Bouret (1914-1979) remembers in 1965 having discovered Mennessons at the Raspail vert. In a chronicle from Les Lettres françaises (week 11-17 February 1965) published in the omnibus Sept jours avec la peinture he writes:
“Jacques Mennessons, of whom I had the pleasure of viewing his beginnings two or four years ago, has increased the power of his composition, freed his graphics and exaggerated his volcanism with a palette which shouts out in its fiery tones. Which picture could hold its own next to his works which are splattered and vociferous?”

At the time of his first meeting in April 1963, Jean Bouret wrote about this in Les Lettres françaises: “It is serious painting, noble, grave and comparable with that of Manessier or Bazaine, painting which shows a man who knows what to say, does not paint without a reason, painting to watch for in the future, and beautiful as well”.

Jean Bouret

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Après une visite au Raspail Vert, un restaurant-galerie qui a présenté en mars 1963 un ensemble d’oeuvres de Mennessons, le critique Jean-Paul Crespelle (1910-1994) dit  à son propos "Venu de l’expressionnisme, ce peintre solitaire fait une peinture inspirée par la réalité sans lui être étroitement soumise“. Les textes de Jean-Paul Crespelle sont déposés au fond des Archives de la critique d‘Art.

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Jean-Paul Crespelle
Jean-Paul Crespelle