1992 - Television interview of Arthur Conte about great modern artist Yatridès


Translation of the video:

Journalist : Good afternoon. Art, media, drama, weather, Helvetia and politics; that’s a quick summary of today’s news bulletin. Painting: Yatridès, a painter from Grenoble featured in a book by Arthur Conte, who is our guest today.
Journalist : Mr Arthur Conte, Good afternoon.
Arthur Conte : Good afternoon.
J : A historian, former chairman of the ORTF and an art enthusiast - since you are here - you have come to tell us about two books, one of which is in front of me right now: Yatridès Maitre du temps, Maitre et Espace Edition - Yatridès, who is clearly more famous abroad than here.

C : Yes. To tell the truth, he was not born in Grenoble. He comes from Grenoble and he is a world-class painter. He is famous throughout the world. I saw admirers of Yatridès in Japan and in the United States. He is ranked amongst the greatest and as it happens, he is much less popular in France. And this is exactly why I wrote this book: to make him more popular.

J : You have a keen interest in his work, which we will see as we speak.

C : Absolutely. I saw him after a conference I held in Grenoble, once, and I was immediately struck with awe. He is a prodigious genius, amongst the best there are like Van Gogh or Modigliani, who were unrecognized artists.

J : The pictures you see are paintings he produced at the beginning of his career and then, little by little, he works, he changes, he works on his material, on transparency.

C : In fact, there has been several Yatridèses, until today’s Yatridès, who is indefinable. Yatridès is Yatridès. But at first, one may recall the colors, the flames of Van Gogh’s; next, he becomes a Soutine, then he switches to the Abstract, light compositions, and now he has an extremely elaborate technique.

J : Nonetheless, one can sense the influence of the Surrealists in his new style.

C : I don’t know. There were all sorts of influences. You must know that he has lived in Greece and in California, both harmonious countries. But he has also lived in Mexico and the Congo, where he came in contact with the greatest mysteries. And I believe he owes more to the Congo and Mexico than to the Surrealists.

J : So you discovered him, you met him. This book is a résumé of his career today, of course, because it continues, and you are its author.

C : I wrote it because I was so thrilled and I had kept memories of France’s prodigious injustices. Remember how Van Gogh died. Modigliani died miserable and desperate, just like so many.

J : So you compare him to such famous names?

C : I think so. I think so. You know how many Impressionists we gave up to the State Hermitage Museum in St-Petersburg or American museums. We failed to recognize some great painters; and he is one of the greatest.

J : I should also point out that the quality of this book is beautiful. It was made here in Vaulx-en-Velin, in the vicinity of Lyon.

C : Yes, it is truly an admirable work. It is extremely difficult to create a book about a painter that remains faithful to him.

J : Especially when it comes to transparency.

C : Take the colour nuances for example. Because Yatridès works a little like Leonardo. Because he painstakingly elaborates his paintings. He invents colours. He has very rigid lines and he seems an alchemist – watch him work: it is alchemy. And he works painstakingly. This book – more exactly the printer has worked in the same fashion, with the same exact standards.

J : Arthur Conte, thank you. Again, here are the two books about which we talked today: Yatridès maître du temps, a very very beautiful and luxurious book.

A : It is in the printer’s honour. Really, it is a masterpiece.

J : It shows if you take a look at the reproductions inside the book. Also, L’Epopée colonial de la France, (The Epic of French Colonialism) published by Plon. Thank you Arthur Conte for coming today.

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