1990 - Philippe Carteron

From emptiness is born the universe, from the gap springs the essential, from the rift rises life.

Grataloup creates from canvas to canvas spaces where worlds are mingling and answering eachother. The codification in the textures and colours weaves around the spectator a fine ramification between sensibility and sprirituality. The artist shows us by use of symboles (and not of symbolism) that our environment is only made of fibres, of materials and textures. Textures where arise sometimes the ultimate initiations making the contour of man spring out before our eyes. 

Between the "Falls of Icarus", the "Bories", the "Archer", Grataloup proves that everything is made of sensuality. The landscapes (with which he made an originial mould from which he creates other canvases), the self-protraits (serie whose generice title may disconcert at first sight) are used  to denounce our, or perphaps his own paradoxes. 

But here, the artist is not egotistic, he only leads us on shortcuts of initiation and revelation. Grataloup clearly maintains that he can now face the sky. Recently, during a climb in the mountains, he fell into a rift. He only had walls of snow as horizon and the blue of the sky. The artist bacame a sort of Icarus. The master met by chance this model. The gap had snatched him to the universe of the human beeings. 

But before arriving at this heavenly vis-a-vis, the artist had to suffer great hardhips. 

A childhood hidden in the lyonnais sewerage system to escape the German raids. He made his nest with obscurity and darkness of which he had to stand the whole weight. "Carrier of a burdent of which I wanted to get rid at a certain time and that nevertheless has improved and still improves my painting". "It's alvaws the night on men", he says at last by way of aphorism. 

He was also the young man lost in ideologies and questioning made him doubt painting in particular and art in general. 

Awareness, growth crisis, Grataloup comes back to this warm and lively texture which forms his work. The canvases of today are much more violent, the drawing more scathing. Long tracks split and tearup the picturial space. Long effect of texture coming out of a colour tube govern the support : angles, infinite straight lines but also curves and interlaces. Flows of colours suddenly appera and spread out. 

The painter has poured onto the canvas itself pots of colours that he will slowly and calmy work. The composition of each of these does not rely on innocence and on the hasty gesture of the creator but plays around precise constructions, amassing of plans and reliefs without rjecting a certain gesture. The colours themselves do not spread out without meaning. All that turns out to be well thought. The light and th shadow call out and sometimes penetrate each other. The yellows, blues, reds answer the greys and the blacks. 

The gold, the alchemy is not far "intervenes like a mysteious texture". It is a little out of the painter's palette. "It is the incommunicability and the divine mystery" (extract from the interview with Christian Jaccard and Claude Viallat for the exhibition in winter 1987 in Gallery Lavignes-Bastille - Paris).

Grataloup has not achieved his ends. Canvas after canvas, he guides us, step by step, to the discovery of the sovereign mysterey of which he would like to know at last the limits, the frontiers, the barriers. The artiste wants to show that thte unattainable can be reached.

Philippe Carteron