Par Mme Veerle Poupeye Rammelaere

Biographical note: Veerle Poupeye is a Belgian-born,
 Jamaica-based art historian, curator and critic who has published extensively on Caribbean art and visual culture. She is currently a visiting professor at New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies.


It was in 1994, at the Second Santo Domingo Biennial of Caribbean and Central American Painting, that I had my first opportunity to see José Legrand’s work. He was part of the French Guiana representation, with mixed media paintings that already used the madras theme, and presented a slide lecture on his œuvre, which I attended. I was particularly struck by his conceptual works of the 1970s, which questioned the politics of race, colonialism and culture in a bold graphic form that reminded me of the work that Black British artists such as Keith Piper, Eddie Chambers and Sonia Boyce started producing almost a decade later, in the 1980s. I wanted to learn more about this intriguing artist and the reception of his work in Guiana and France but, as happens all too often within the Caribbean region, it proved difficult to maintain contact. I am therefore delighted that I now finally have an opportunity to contribute to the critical discourse on Mr. Legrand’s work.

The tone, content and visual appearance of José Legrand’s Madras Como Maré series may seem radically different from the work he produced in France in the 1970s but there is continuity. One early work particularly bears mentioning here, an untitled mixed media collage on wood from 1976 (“Colonialisme et Culture – Nos Ancêtres Les Gaulois.”), which sardonically confronted the absurdity and violence of the assimilationist French colonial system, whereby the history of the colonized was displaced by an imposed national mythology of (white) ‘Frenchness.’ The presence of the madras in Guianese culture is the result of similar impositions: invented in colonial India as an ‘Indianized’ cotton version of Scottish clan plaid designs, madras fabric was introduced into Guiana in the mid nineteenth century as part of a prescribed dress code attached to a Byzantine system of racial, social and professional classification. But unlike those imaginary ‘Gaul ancestors,’ the madras has become a constitutive part of Guianese cultural identity. As José Legrand stated in a 2001 interview: “[L]e madras est le résultat d’une réalité coloniale de plusieurs siècles. Il est devenu une sorte d’objet identitaire: d’abord imposé, puis paradoxalement accepté – et ce, de façon inconsciente …”

Through its domestic and personal use – ranging from utilitarian-decorative objects such as the patch-work known as konvwé to spectacular festive outfits – the humble but visually beautiful madras fabric was creatively appropriated and transformed in the emerging creole culture, thus becoming a powerful signifier of the complex, ongoing identity negotiations that have shaped the modern Caribbean. About these processes the Jamaican-born cultural critic Stuart Hall has written:

No cultural identity is produced out of thin air. It is produced out of those historical experiences, those cultural traditions, those lost and marginal languages, those marginalized experiences, those peoples and histories that remain unwritten. Those are the specific roots of identity. On the other hand, identity itself is not the rediscovery of them but what they as cultural resources allow a people to produce. Identity is not in the past to be found but in the future to be constructed. And I say that not because I think therefore that Caribbean people can ever give up the symbolic activity of trying to know more about the past from which they come, for only in that way can they discover and rediscover the resources through which identity can be constructed. But I remain profoundly convinced that their identities for the twenty-first century do not lie in taking old identities literally but in using the enormously rich and complex cultural heritages, to which history has made them heir, as the different musics out of which a Caribbean sound might one day be produced.[1

Madras is, undeniably, such a cultural resource through which identities can be and have been negotiated.

Guiana is, of course, not the only place where madras has become part of the creole culture: it is found throughout the non-Hispanic Caribbean where it is widely recognized as a symbol of creole identity. The Jamaican poet Louise Bennett (“Miss Lou”), whose pioneering poetry in Jamaican creole gave the vernacular language the social and cultural legitimacy it had been denied in colonial Jamaica, used to perform her work in ‘traditional’ madras clothing. Madras is also frequently used in the ‘national costumes’ worn by Caribbean beauty queens and workers in the tourism industry, in souvenirs items and in the interior décor of gift shops. In such commercial, promotional contexts, madras has become a commonplace part of how the Caribbean ‘packages’ itself for external consumption. Even the politically motivated, nationalist uses of madras have often deteriorated into a simplistic, essentialist nostalgia which does not do justice to its complex, contradictory cultural significance.

José Legrand, in contrast, shuns the nostalgic or the exotic and instead recognizes the profoundly subversive nature of the processes of appropriation and transformation that have made madras a defining ‘cultural resource’ in the Caribbean. He recognizes, to paraphrase Jamaica Kincaid, that ‘there is a world of something’ in the madras and subjects it to a multi-layered set of critical and aesthetic interrogations, in which the madras is deconstructed, magnified and, ultimately, reassembled into puzzle-like, open-ended designs, much like the konvwé. Thus used, the madras becomes a subtle but potent critical tool against the disciplinary power of colonialism which once imposed madras as part of a dress code, against cultural assimilation with metropolitan France, against the homogenizing forces of globalization, and against an often indifferent and unimaginative artistic environment.

Guiana’s unique political and geographic status as a French Overseas department in continental South America often cause it to be seen in isolation from the rest of the Caribbean, much more so than the islands of Martinique or Guadeloupe. However, as an art historian specialized in Caribbean art, who has been based in Jamaica for the last nineteen years, I cannot conclude this essay without making brief reference to José Legrand’s place in the broader context of Caribbean art. I do not know of any other Caribbean artists who have used the madras in comparable fashion but his critical, synecdochic use of historical Caribbean ‘cultural resources’ cries out for comparison with Marc Latamie’s sugar installations, Christopher Cozier’s ironic iconography of postcolonial Trinidad or David Boxer’s appropriations of the slave ship diagram and British colonial stamps, to name just three artists from Martinique, Trinidad and Jamaica, respectively. Hopefully, it will one day be possible to transcend linguistic, political and geographic barriers and to place the work of Caribbean artists and audiences who pursue related queries in a more sustained and productive dialogue.

Veerle Poupeye New York City, April 200 


[1] Stuart Hall, “Negotiating Caribbean Identities,” in Brian Meeks and Folke Lindahl, eds., New Caribbean Thought (Kingston, Jamaica, 2001), 37-38.

Implacable Commitment

By Giovanni Joppolo: Critical of art.
Author of the following books:
« Critique d’art en question ». - L’harmattan, 2000.
« Le matiérisme dans la peinture des années quatre-vingt » . – L’harmattan, 1999.

Exploring the work of an artist entails taking note of a human being's moral stance towards the world.

Among the few texts that José Legrand forwarded to me with a whole of documents on its current research, there is a maintenance which is inaugurated by a question and an answer.

To the interviewer who asks him to comment on the role  of painting in today's society, the artist answers: "painting doesn't have any particular role ; on the contrary, painters usually work  in a hostile context ". And Legrand to add further on : "Painting becomes a true commitment, a struggle for creativity and against the dominant environment "

This lucid assessment of living, thinking and working conditions is perfectly legible in the recent series that the artist has created on the theme of Madras of which he evaluates the historical impact by defining it as  "the result of several centuries of colonial reality  ".

The choice of the repetition - of what constitutes the difference in each gesture and signs produced in the appearance of the similarity - translated a manner single and irreplaceable to live its presence in the world, and it acts well there of a principle which governs terrestrial art since its very first demonstrations. But to register the step of José Legrand in a so vast unit would amount evoking the very first prints of prehistoric hands. Without going up so far, it is possible to wonder about artistic practices of the twentieth century which call upon the reiteration, with the reason, from the point of view each time different.

Let us begin with a network of significances whose reading would be décontextualized, where Madras would join a geometrical universe of verticality and horizontality. Accordingly "except context guyanais", the series "Madras Como Maré" - which comes following the series "Under the coconuts the greyness" - engages the spectator in the abyss of a territory without object, if it is not the presence of a screen meaning the unlimited one and logo which reiterates this unbounded dimension in the geometry sensitive and the subjective neutrality of the letters of the alphabet registered to the hand.

The project of Legrand would join that of Malevitch then when this last writing in connection with its work "black Square on white zone" of 1913: "the asceticism towards the tops of art not-objective is exhausting and full with torments, and yet it makes happy. Contours of the object disappear step by step and, finally, the world of the objective concepts - "all that we liked and for which we lived" - becomes invisible. There is no more "images of reality", it are not more ideal representations, it is not nothing other but a desert! This desert is however filled of the inobjective sensitivity which penetrates it any entirety "

We could add to this assumption "black square of Malevitch", that of the "slits" of Lucio Fontana, of "monochromic" of Yves Klein and the "numerical continuation" of Opalka Novel, i.e. proposals which are very of metaphysical nature.

But if this reading of "Madrass" of José Legrand (of which several are square) seems being a tempting and plausible interpretation, it is not sure that it is well the project wanted by the artist. But are we completely sure? Indeed, if the reference to Malevitch implies a metaphysical search (and this concern is in the heart of all the research of the Russian artist, and the same applies to Fontana, Klein and Opalka), there is in "Madras" of Legrand the very contextual presence of the colonial imposition which by a decree of 1839 authorizes the introduction in Guyana of Madrass of India, weaves which will square the imaginary Creole a such divine diktat (and in the "béké" West-Indian term - appointing the white Master - it of course hid the significance of god-dictator there). In other words, if god there is in "Madrass" of Legrand, it is indeed a god constrictor who contextualise in the image of the colonial bureaucracy.

The work of José Legrand endeavours dismount-to unweave this screen of Madras so that the reappropriation proves in the subjective gestuality and the color sensitive, so that through the "Konvwé" (patchwork) achieves the rebuilding of the identity, the gathering of the scattered elements, of this share of vitality that colonialism dismembered and squared.

Always in the sphere of the reiteration, the reason and the module, Western art found the quintessence of the desire of structuring through a work such as that of Daniel Buren. Pitiless plastic device of squaring of any interior or external space, the bands of Buren are an ironic testimony of one time the extreme limits haunted by the need all to frame, all to manage in places of culturo-administrative exposure where triumph the shortage of the imaginary one.

But if the work of Buren falls under the irony of the imitation and the on-representation (déconstruction) of a type of space constrictor, the significant and gestural reiterations of Legrand pay as for them homage to all the steps of economy day labourer and domestic by enriching them by the capacity to become aesthetic testimonys of individual release.

Between the horizontal ones and verticals of the grid "Madras", between painting and the tar from where emergent all while immersing the subjective letters "Madras coco maré ", the artist désenfouit roots, the rhizomes and the bruises which are at the same time them his and those of the American continent. It is an art which proposes to the spectator an at the same time small account (within the meaning of individual and clean with the artist himself) and large (that of all the human community), it acts well there of an art which "opposes to the transparency models the open opacity of the nonreducible existences", to take again what writes Édouard Slipping into its "Treaty of the all-world", when it claims for each one what he names the "right to opacity", to irreducibility.

The work of José Legrand ultimately raises the question of the relevance of an abstract research going beyond the formalism, i.e. the question of the possibility of a reading of the abstraction with a view to a political engagement. Is it possible to work starting from a repetitive abstract screen (in the sphere of the reason) while referring to the policy and the ideological one?

In its urgency and its engagement vis-a-vis with this question, José Legrand leads me towards the memory of a painting of singular and emblematic youth produced by the American artist Robert Motherwell. Its table paints between 1941 and 1944 is entitled "The Little Spanish Prison" (the small Spanish prison), in reference to the Spanish civil war. It acts of one oil-base paint where on a lemon-yellow yellow bottom take shape six vertical bands of moderate white color and a small magenta horizontal bar, the whole painted in a free and significant geometry. This table makes coincide a geometry in remote recall of Mondrian with the reality of the bars of prison which lock up the yellow of the Spanish flag.

It is within this double engagement of the eye and the mind that José Legrand's work move implacable. The continent where he lives his neither young nor  conquered. Irrigated  with history and upheavals, whit terrors and squarings, whit beneficial mixes and hybridizations, the territory in which José Legrand moves today undoubtedly the terrible privilege of having to show us the path to follow so that a new plural humanity inscribed in the sensitive aptness of the gesture,  sign and the thought. can be moven.

Giovanni Joppolo (mars 2003)


Variations on a Theme in the work of José Legrand

José Legrand's paintings dating from the '90's seem to be organized according to the principle of the series and to form two large groups which consist of variations on the theme of the coconut (1994-95) and Madras (1997-98). This part of its pictorial production clearly bears witness to the persistence of a choice - that of the redundancy-which far from being a simple game, represents a  creative method  a  deliberate practice enabling in-depth research. The variation on the topic again does not have in oneself anything and the history music as that of painting are marked out famous examples. But it is important to note that, on a side, in a process where each part is indissociable whole only totality of the variations constitutes completed work and gives him its direction and which, other, each artist makes of this method a quite particular use. What allows - though an evolution towards a richness and a thickness increasingly larger of the representation takes shape from one time to another - to establish a parallel between the two series of fabrics entitled "under the coconuts greyness" and "Madras Còmò Maré".

First of all, because almost all these canvases include their caption within the space of the painting an age-old aesthetic practice that the artist uses to affirm his narrative bias and above all to create a diversion, even of reversal of meaning: underlining the close relationship between calligraphy and image, creating a link between the written text and the painted text which must make body to produce a meaning, produces here a different meaning.

The evocation of the coconut which forms part of the daily landscape of any exotic place is recurring in the works of the European travellers who went in the Caribbean surface at the XIXe century and continuous to feed the tourist stereotypes of XXe and of XXIe centuries. Thus starting from a local element (one thinks of the postcards representing the place of the Cabbage trees in Cayenne or Savanna in Extremely-of-France), the artist intends to go explicitly beyond the exotic frontage which masks a universe how much problematic. Moreover, the title the echo of a political slogan - the sentence-key of May 1968 wasn't is made "under the paving stones, the beach"? - whose direction is reversed. If the dispute did not hold its promises, that to say tropical gardens and that to make these stereotypes long to die if not show the perverse effects of them, by using the French language significantly?

In the same way, in the second series, using Madras, achieves a similar, but more complex and more codified step. Universal symbolic system that inevitably in oneself any image of vegetation luxuriante carries opposed to the greyness of the real daily newspaper (although contrary to the Guadeloupe and Martinique, this third French department of America which is Guyana does not enjoy the same statute in imaginary European), the artist concentrates on another typical element of the inheritance caribéen: Madras. It then invites us to go on a long journey to wrong way in time and space, in a laminated history of which not only it is still today impossible to make abstraction but which on the contrary must be considered with a new glance. From the Eastern Indies where is born this coloured and invaluable fabric (on order express of the English), while passing by the various counters of the famous Company and the chances of the occupation of the insular territories by the European powers, Madras unloads in the Western Indies to settle there definitively. Object folk and now obsolete, pertaining to one completed time, Madras has a history which changes significance according to the place where it is observed. Raised proudly by the downward ones of the slaves, the "head scarf" of the West-Indian doudous also finds in the famous creole refrain "Good-bye scarves, Madras good-bye" which one sang at the time of harbour separations to celebrate - nostalgiquement - the abandoned woman. Integral part of the old colonial imagery, it recovers so at the same time as it strongly fits in the field reference frame caribéen, one of its components essential that one too often tends to occult, namely its African dimension.

Enraciné without question in the humus guyanais and projected start in a non-European reality, the speech of José Legrand is built with the crossroads of multiple references. It is done before any permanent questioning of a memory which - whatever the reserves of France to face it - by convening the history and the geography deliberately registers its step in a horizon postcolonial.

The choice of the creole language, for this second series, testifies to a more specific rooting in the lived local one at the same time as the concision of the words draws the attention to the somewhat mysterious message than it is possible to perceive several manners: while letting itself carry by the foreign magic of the words to consonnance for nonthe natives of the area (pond: Italian sea, como or komo: secret society at Bambaras of Mali, etc), or by deciphering it to make some emerge all violence.

Madras thus revisited joins again with its popular component and becomes, thanks to the valorization of the creole matrix, a completely new icon.

The totality of the fabrics which make the series of Madrass could be conceived - beyond the explicit reference to the patchwork on which José Legrand was expressed on several occasions - according to a process of setting in abyme, as large Madras which would contain many others of them. Indeed, the partition of space in rectangles, which generally go by four or six, constitutes units whose each element is made the echo of another, until exhaustion of the possible ones, just as new painted Madras - somewhat irregular, demolishes, shoddy and dirtied by the tar traces on the white fabric - must be obviously read, without need to force the etymology, like a true text in the text. At the same time critical and metacritic posture that that of the artist, who starting from a certain number of plays on the direction, indicates the crucial stakes of his operation which consists nothing less than to try to rewrite a world, the postmodern world, designed a little with the manner of the all-world of Édouard Glissant.

To privilege disparate life, to reveal the plurality of the memberships while stressing cleavages, means for José Legrand to explore the infinite potentialities of the squaring, the grid, the cage in order to express a made world, certainly, brought back parts ("we are people of races end to end", wrote in 1975 the poet guyanais Élie Stephenson), but especially to return with insistence on a prison universe.

How consequently to correspond to a parcelled out reality, made more heterogeneous still by recent migratory flows, how to lighten heavy tribute of the last one - as mortifère as a maré còmò - and to testify in the way in which the memory lives people?

José Legrand is totally commited to a project that challenges preconceived ideas and breaks the silence on the colonial past. he doesn't hesitate to mark his denial on the vivid colors,  particularly  the bright  reds and oranges of  Madras, it does not hesitate to mark its denial, to demystify with great blows of black signals an pseudo-order alienating imposed bus of outside. The reelaboration of the diverted cultural references of their symbolic system of origin leaves place in burst Madras, with finally released contours, only able to account for the imaginary collective of people in becoming.  

This is truly an act of protest, made all the more difficult because French Guiana, more than any other, is a marginalized land, an act which restores the different levels of stratificaton where meaning is expressed, while appreciating the impact and the importance that such a practice can have both in the present cultural arena and, way beyond it, in its transhistorical dimension.

"Because of its constituent mosaic the Creolity is an open specificity",  the authors of the Eloge taught us in1979, and if it is not always easy to grasp its dynamics  work such as José Legrand's, based on a exploration that penetrates deep into the intertext of its fabrics, can be understood as a tribute to a land and to its people,  and as an invitation to let go of any passivity and devote ourseleves to what   the writers of Créolité called "a freely artistic reading of the world in which we live".

Rome, 12 mai 2003  Marie- José Hoyet



By Raphaël Confiant
Author of many novels, tests or poems
Raphaël Confiant is today one of the leader of the movement of Créolité

He is certain artists by the way which one hesitates to employ the "aesthetic" word so much this last resounds nicely, "gréco-latinement" could one say: José Legrand is these. I knew that which I will describe as "marker of print" _ _ as one says writers of Créolité which they are "markers of word" _ _ as of his whole first steps, in the Seventies of the century which has been just completed, in the middle-class woman quoted of King Rene, Aix-en-Provence. What immediately struck me at his place: the fire of its glance, crossed gleams of irony; the softness of its voice, in charge of abrupt storms. In him, not the mythical Negro-chestnut of the middle-class men who live by procuration an epic that they magnifient (in their writings, their songs or their fabrics) but of which they would not be ready to make the experiment only one second, but well it Man-Saramaka-upright-in-the eternity-of-river, theAmazonian one, it Man-Creole-energy-of-the-pure-survival-in Dwelling-and to place it. Three contradictory, wild identities almost, which make of José Legrand a ball of nerves contained which explodes on material that it works.


Its first works work the photographic print which they endeavour to divert on their side Peeping Tom and esthétisant. Corpse of the young militant Marie-Louise, risen body thrown by the gendarmes on a beach of rocks of the Atlantic coast of Martinique with photo__publiée by "Paris-Match" _ _ of a sheaf of hands of West-Indian anticolonialists holding with end of arm a French flag which burns while passing by the austere face of Frantz Fanon, the artist wanted to release the indelible one. What remains when one very forgot. The mark which lasts and which swears with instantaneous photograph. That requires to evacuate the colors and to play on the black, the gray and the white, each one being able to evoke, in turn, at his place, mourning, the purity, sadness or courage. Legrand sought to exhaust reality, to empty it its load futility "To perpetuate the unbearable one" writes it itself, superbly.

  Little by little, it invested the truth of its own body and which says the latter better that our shade, that which follows us step by step, our life during, without never we not being able to face him? Being based on the technique of the frame (shade itself of the photograph), it gives to see bodies ghostly and dislocated, silhouettes with whiteness relentless, symbol of the vacuum, obliteration, on funds of a black also without concession. These assemblies can invest any place, privileging the corners of wall, the deserted streets, the paved grounds of dumb anguish. One imagines the artist the amount, dismounting, going up almost on the run, fragile structures which can yield and be carried under the arm, such money, and which so can invest any place. Everywhere, Legrand wants to leave the print of our reports erased, to disseminate the traces that centuries of ignominie got busy to erase. Voluntarily unfinished prints, which question us, us obliging to supplement them. With us to rebuild. Because the Shade is naked as one says the king is naked. Us here are vis-a-vis with this truth which we refuse to face! Sufficient creatures manufactured of all parts by a colonialism yesterday violate, today underhand.


Very quickly, José Legrand passes to the direct action, the happening. It does not cut out any more photographs in newspapers to divert them, it does them itself to preserve only pullings of them (their towards thus!) that it photocopies then before reprinting them on a support of paperboard. These successive transformations, made into real time, without any doubt aim at representing, in the etymological sense of the term, those which affected our off-set African bodies. And it is the finished product of this assimilation, Felix Eboué, general black guyanais, hero of Free France (and Guyana Captive), large friend of General de Gaulle, statufié with beautiful the mitan of Cayenne, which makes the first of it the expenses. The artist, naked bust, are made connect in full day with the monument which it takes care to cover with a dark cloth, then to photograph, always in black and white, before joining four pullings of an astonishing force. The eye passes gradually from glory in the shade, of the arrogance to nothing, the creole officer to the barded uniform of medals to the simple cutting of a formless creature, the whole hiéropglyphé by below thanks to extracts of the plan of the Parisian subway (in order to recall that Eboué is the name of one of its stations).

Will pass through this subversive filter, a convocation to achieve the National Service in the French Army accompanied by one reproduction to identical, ten times of continuation, two terrible images: that of a connected slave and that of a Senegalese rifleman... attacking a German soldier; a setting in scene of the song "the time of the colonies", hexagonal success without precedent, of the racist singer Michel Sardou. If the first words say "Me, Sir, I made Colo/ Dakar, Conakry, Bamako Me, Sir, I had the beautiful life", the small pocket of the disc exhibe (provocation or involuntary irony), the title of the second "tube": "I had you well"! ! ! ; desacralization of famous the European "Rebirth" (of which it spells both "S" with the manner Nazi), contemporary of the colonial expansion and the Draft of the Negros, by a jet of urine of the artist himself on what this time has of emblématique: "Mona Lisa"


To the occasion of a unforeseeable occurrence (the third open-heart operation of his/her young brother), José Legrand, which haunted the empty corridors of the hospital where it was held, came from there to meditate on its own person. Little by little, it discovers that waiting is one of the conditions first of existence of being colonized it. Here, the artist will privilege the gray, color of undecided, of the transient, funeral color, worrying. The black lead will replace the brush then. Paperboard, misadventure (with the direction hindouist of the term) of paper, the fabric, too noble. Make an attempt, dispossession, asphyxiates progressive, inexorable, are expressed in series of squarings in which the artist, once more, puts itself in scene. There is a rage iconoclast to destroy the colors like Aimé Césaire, one half-century earlier erased the worms exotisant of the regionalistic poets West-Indian amateurs of blue sky, hummingbirds and beautiful doudous. As Senghor tore the Banania laughter on the walls of France. Painful but combative Négritude, "wild thought" with the direction where hears Lévi-Strauss, not yet domesticated, rebellious. José Legrand greyness, squares, adhesive, goes up, dismounts, seeking inlassablement the frangible joint: that where To be it finally reveals itself in its nudity. Ever not reached of course. Search always unfinished but never abandoned. Because, never, waiting did not mean despair nor resignation. Never.


If at the beginning of its career (horrible word which is appropriate if little with this always anxious vital tension, always revolted), José Legrand appeared to defy creole universe and of its signs, here that twenty years after its return to the native land, it rediscovers our fundamental emblem: fabric-Madras. It was folklorisée so much that one forgets of it almost that it was brought by these tens of thousands of Hindu immigrants who were off-set in the Antilles and in Guyana in order to replace the Negros in the fields of cane with sugar, once abolished slavery. The history of this fabric, of the clans Scottish in rebellion against English oppression with rotten and so proud scarves of the creole Negresses while passing by the British counters of India where hordes the Untouchable ones esquintaient their life in the spinning mills, is that of a squaring of the imaginary one. Each feature, each square, each rectangle, in their violent colors, testify to a will, that to impose the law of the strongest. Fabric-Madras east at the same time oppression and release, tenderness and despair. José Legrand the déstructure, makes even more unbearable its contradictory nature and, final of account, restores it to us in his Créolité. It brings it at the edge of this moment when it would be enough to little so that us meanings to become what we are and ceased of mimer what we are not.


Beyond the various routes of José Legrand, of its gropings, its experiments and these provocative audacities, there is the will to make of the spectator, not simply a "regardor", an admiror; but a participant in the creation who is offered to him and it is the reason of this margin of unfinished which the artist reserves. There, in this No mans' Land, impossible to immediately find a center, one hangs from which to interpret work. The latter multiplies the centers, the supports, decentres itself would say one, obliging us to invent new reference marks, to inventory our fears, to survey our doubts, in short to cease deviating of our rough truth: that of colonized satisfied. The work of José Legrand works to reveal us.

  Raphaël CONFIANT





























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