Gustave de Staël, A fluidity of paint irrigates the memory of too great a drought

On the white of the large studio’s walls the water-green shade of a clear palette dominates. Through the freshness of the recent paintings, I discover a collection of perfect aesthetic coherence. Accuracy of the drawing at the contour of a whole vision.

The first aim of this work places a whole lexicon of forms, in a space where the impression of liquidity, of clarity, dominates and registers within « duration ».

The painter Yamou leads us through an invented landscape. He invites us to the discovery of a flora. With the tip of a very fine brush, he develops the design of a plant in which he enters so deeply, meticulously, in a bed that will remain the primordial and most secret place of the painting. His hand produces an infinite number of passages, nuances, and sprinkles his canvas with visions that his imagination whispers to him.

The painter lists the elements arising from his dictation. He seeds components that dream of blooming, large seeds with rounded forms keep in gestation a part of the puzzle. The mystery of being out of the vegetal while waiting for a nature. Paintings to compare to a lake landscape that seems to have always existed.

The workshop is something akin to a laboratory. The components it uses raise the issue of signs. The painter has full control over the concrete image of a representation that comes clearly from what he has always felt. His world is « under the waters » of a light softened by the liquid filter.

Yamou seems to have immersed his eye in optical laws. This immersion offers him a variety of elements of composition that create depth in weightlessness. The marine vegetal is of a hallucinatory character and calls for exploration. This fantastic universe is reminiscent of a detail of a painting by Jérôme Bosch. Some internal resonances from a  « white milk » also recall some paintings of Matta.

What is striking when meeting the artist for the first time is his determination. His restraint gives him a lordly attitude. A great sobriety preserves the richness of his inner world and lets him keep his strength and conciseness for the visual goal to achieve. Yamou seems unwilling to be distracted by anything, not to lose a minute of his progress in the language of forms.

There is something very mysterious about being so in the infinity of a singular figurative field of plants, seeds, herbs…. and the search for the fertility of the painting as if, coming from the desert, he never tired of giving to see a whole world of flora that opens the eyes to the drought….

But is it not as tenacious in memory when we have left the workshop, this range of a totally different color – an intense red on which fits the Arabic script. A red close to that which then inflamed certain walls of Pompeii!

Gustave de Staël

February, 2006