Robert Coutelas - I Seek The Small Golden Hand
Robert Coutelas (1930–1985) was an artist born in Paris, France. Promoted as “today’s Utrillo” or “the second Bernard Buffet,” he found working in the trend-dominated art world unpleasant. Instead, he chose to separate himself from galleries and paint in poverty. What this artist spent his life producing are works that, while humorous at first glance, are filled with a quiet melancholy; they include his cartes, his unique mythological images and abstract motifs on small scraps of paper, and his tranquil gouaches, filled with creatures somewhere between human beings and animals. What mattered to the artist, having trained and worked in his youth as a stonemason, was his yearning for the world of the medieval craftsman, the lives of the people and animals who inhabit the streets of Paris, and the folk art or, art populaire, that expressed the classic French spirit, art that had matured over the centuries, rather than the flashy fashions of the contemporary art world. In 2015, the thirtieth year since his death, a movement to reevaluate Coutelas’s oeuvre has resulted in exhibitions in France and Japan. This book includes some 160 plates of his work, including early oil paintings from his days in Lyon, cartes, gouaches, sculptures, and sketches. It also introduces photographs that communicate how Coutelas worked and a variety of essays, for a nuanced view highlighting Coutelas’s world as a whole.