Philippe Heurtaux

"Je ne suis pas un numéro" - 2010
39.5 x 39.5 x 2.5 in.
Acrylic and Resin on Canvas
Origin - France

Contemporary abstract artist, Philippe Heurtaux was born on March 28, 1960 in Saint Maur-des-Fossés, a small suburban town near Paris, France. After a formation at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris and a brief passage at the famous Ecole Boulle, Philippe leaves France on an inspirational quest and goes on a voyage of discovery around the world.
A trip to Japan leads him to cultivate minimalism and singular brush strokes with a Japanese typographical character. Then, always in search of absolutes, he travels to Australia for a longer stay. He is immediately attracted by aborigine art even as he is intrigued by shamanism and sacred depictions. He starts using wood as a base and becomes sensitive to the use of organic materials in his work. It’s around that time that he starts playing with the effects of transparency and that which appears beyond the visible, beyond the “real” world.
His European roots, Philippe finds them in such colorist painters as Gauguin and Matisse who profoundly move and nourish his spirit. Later, he’s also inspired by Pierre Soulages, Olivier Debré and Gerhard Richter.
His love of Gauguin, early on takes him on a pilgrimage to Polynesia where he works with light and spiritual representations stirred by ethnic and tribal art.
Soon, Philippe’s quest leads him to Los Angeles for a show. It is during the opening night that he meets a long lost childhood friend, now a high-tech aeronautical engineer who gives him a tour of his factory and introduces him to his team. That’s when it all clicks into place for Philippe. Together, they develop a particular technique, a special “glacis,” which is nothing less than a transparent glossy layer used as a finish to add depth to his paintings.
This fortuitous encounter happened at a time when everything concurs to trigger a new creative awareness in him. Philippe realizes at last his vision of color and light through the irreducible necessity of transparency: the glacis technique. Like Plato’s mythical cave, he feels like he finally ascended to the world of light without which everything is but shadows on a wall.
Philippe’s journey comes full circle when he returns to France and applies his new high-tech finish—in an especially equipped studio/lab—to his paintings, becoming the “contemporary conceptual techno-colorist” we know and love.

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