Christine Glen

 A founding energy generated by colour

Christine Glen can not content herself with being simply a player in a game: she imposes her style upon it, makes it yield to her desires.

Her painting is the exact reflection of the period we live in. Indeed, contrary to conventional wisdom, the painter has never transcribed the reality, but simply the possibility of a reality.

The painter works under the influence of his culture, that is to say of his education, of his training be it intellectual or technical and of his sensitivity.  This emotion, highly prized at the beginning of the 20th Century, was then rejected by a part of the abstraction which promoted an intellectualism itself very abstract. Consensual, the 21st century sees the dawning of a multiplicity of pictorial languages.

Christine Glen started to paint in adolescence. She grew up amongst amateurs of abstract art, in a modern environment, a bit like “My uncle”, Jacques Tati’s hero. She tried to understand why artists painted images which had nothing to do with reality. After having let off steam with abstract, she wondered why she had chosen to do so. Understanding that she was escaping from that which she did not master, Christine Glen decided to relearn the basic techniques. She applied stricto sensus what the theory taught her. But the limits of this approach made themselves felt very quickly: “I became emerged in a pure figurative which simply didn’t resemble me”. It was a pell-mell of harmony and disharmony which sometimes dialogued, often clashed.” But already, the essential was in place: rounded shapes, strong colours, a style unquestionably distinctive…  « Painting is a combat with myself, recognizes Christine Glen who is not in the habit of doing things by half. I take risks, calculated risks however.”

Whether it be her series of Jigsaw paintings, or By the water, Light of Ireland and even her Bodies and lines, Christine Glen’s work is inhabited by a deep-seated desire to simplify. She needs to get directly to the point. But how does one represent the world with three colours or less and just as few lines or plans. The reality gives the first impulsion to her works. Thereafter she nourishes her initial inspiration with her imagination, her music and “her life experiences”.  

« I am then transcribing. For example, in our world of omnipresent images, we no longer see the statues in our parks. I make them live again with the light I pose upon them.”  

The light is crude, tense. Once the dominant colours are laid down, Christine Glen applies the complimentary ones in order to accentuate the contrasts, then, she confesses, « I spend hours putting out the fire. » Her way of provoking the established theory is accompanied by a founding energy which translates / transcribes upon the canvas through colour. This energy comes with a certain violence, the one which we court each day in our working lives, on our transport systems, or in our exchanges with others.

The force of this painting opposes, almost like an exorcism, the uneasiness about life which is increasingly being depersonalised, like merchandise. Painters are the mirror of the times in which they live. Sometimes they throw back an image that is a severe reality. Through Christine Glen’s painting, her aspirations for the things that are simple and everlasting in life shine through. Like a lesson in philosophy.  

 Alain Coudert

 Art critic "Arts Actualités Magazine"