BRUXELLES | Châtelain

21 Oct > 25 Nov 2023


Every exhibition of Dominique Corbasson’s work is an invitation to embark on a journey. From the 21st of October to the 25th of November 2023, her paintings and drawings take us from the coasts of California to Scotland’s lush expanses and from Brittany to the Norwegian fjords. Whether bathed in light or shrouded in the softest haze, the sixty-odd works on show at the Huberty & Breyne gallery reflect the artist’s consummate skill with colour – how her palette of deep, contrasting tones invites us to escape to other worlds and never ceases to dazzle.

“Dominique Corbasson spent a great deal of time painting landscapes. In the same way that she made her cityscapes, she would draw in situ, noting the colours on her sketches. Her representation of the natural world relied on an approach that was both immediate and fluent. For Dominique, colour harmony was to be found in a subtle combination of several different hues because that is how things are in nature. Her landscapes do not mirror the rigour of her urban scenes. They are more relaxed and reflect a technique that is very bold and very free.”  
François Avril

Ode to nature

For over 20 years, Dominique Corbasson enchanted both the press and the publishing world with the light touch and poetic quality of her art. Sketching with great spontaneity, she captured, on paper, cityscapes and urban scenes from all over the globe. Whether she was drawing or painting, colour was fundamental to Corbasson’s work. Brilliant reds, sparkling yellows, darkest blacks, luminous blues, fluid greens and always that immaculate white… “White is essential to a drawing,” the artist observed. “It gives the drawing a chance to breathe. Without white, the composition becomes suffocating. It’s those neutral tones like white, grey and black that enable the other colours to show themselves off to full effect and make the work come alive.”

The intensity of her compositions executed in colour pencil is quite simply astounding. Hatched lines, drawn with great energy, intersect and harmonise on the page without ever actually merging. Corbasson weaves gentle lawns, embroiders landscapes, produces great sweeping expanses in works that are simultaneously delicate and dense. “I work with pencils as if I was working with fabric, juxtaposing colours in the same way that wool or cotton is woven,” explained the former textile designer. “To obtain a brown, for example, I play around with green and red. I create new colours by overlaying them, never mixing them.”  

While her drawings are full of painstaking detail, the formal repertoire of Corbasson’s paintings tends to be more abstract. Painting – in which she was influenced by the work of Bram Van Velde – offered the artist the freedom to work with large areas of colour. The result is a less intricate representation that derives its harmony – and the very purity of the image – from these areas of single colour. “I am very aware of colour proportions,” said Corbasson. “When I observe landscapes and buildings, it’s the coloured forms they make that make me want to draw them.”

The sixty or so works on show at the Huberty & Breyne gallery offer a panorama of landscapes drawn by the artist throughout her career. Here, every living, vibrating scene opens our eyes to the infinity of the world. Our gaze is lulled by the movement of grasses caressed by the wind, wanders along endless beaches edged by the sea, and contemplates a grandiose array of dazzling vegetation. And as the landscapes recede ever further into the distance, the viewer is invited to travel beyond the frame itself, beyond time…

Dominique CORBASSON (1958 – 2018)

After graduating from the ENSAAMA School of Art and Design in Paris, Dominique Corbasson began her professional life as a textile designer before switching to illustration, working variously in advertising and for the press and children’s publishing. From 1995, she turned her gaze beyond France’s borders, notably towards Japan and the United States.

Corbasson’s light, relaxed way of drawing produced a distinctive style that enabled her to capture scenes from everyday life as readily as she sketched the New York skyline.  

In April 1997, her first exhibition, entitled “Les Grands Magasins”, was held in Japan, PIE Books publishing a collection of the works on show. In September 2000, the exhibition “Paris et Moi” was once more hosted in Tokyo, in the Daikanyama neighbourhood, and was accompanied by a book of the same title, published by CWC Books. Corbasson’s drawings and paintings were regularly shown in Paris, Geneva, Tokyo and Dinard and featured in numerous collective exhibitions. The artist also illustrated a great many children’s books, primarily for Éditions Gallimard and Nathan, focusing notably on the novels of Michel Amelin and Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod.

In 2009, Corbasson published her first comic strip, Les Sœurs Corbi, a story that drew heavily on her own family history, and in 2010 she began making numerous large-format works using acrylics and colour pencils. These were shown at various art fairs (BRAFA, Drawing Now, Art Paris) and solo exhibitions hosted by the Huberty & Breyne gallery, which represents the artist’s work in Paris and Brussels. In them, she developed urban themes (inspired by Paris, London and New York) and a highly personal take on the natural environment (drawing on her observations in Brittany, England and Norway).

Throughout her life, Dominique Corbasson produced art that has a luminous, poetic quality and is characterised by its sheer exuberance.

Friday 20 October 2023 from 6pm to 9pm

From Saturday 21 October 2023
to Saturday 25 November 2023

Bruxelles | Châtelain
33 Place du Châtelain
Wednesday > Saturday 11am - 6pm