In his paintings and his sketches he plays with ebony-colored ink, between light and shadows, making visible his ghosts of intimacy, in an erotic and phantasmagoric dance. He also depicts deserted urban landscapes, and flashes of everyday life, at the bistrot, around a bedroom’s alcove, or at the artist’s studio. Color in contrast brings a joyful and liberating release.
Literature plays a major role in the oeuvre of Kantorowiwz, who is an avid reader. Through his art, he constantly weaves links between himself and his favorite writers. The “book-object” becomes his canvas in an uninterrupted dialogue. He tears, scratches, draws, and paint over the pages to unearth the deepest meanings. The artist is in a quest to transcribe the emotions of the Word. Victor Hugo, who enflamed his youthful years, Balzac, Proust, but also the Polish avant-garde theatre director Tadeusz Kantor, Jacques Hadad, and many others are his life-journey companions.
In his pursuit of improvisation, Kantorowicz works today on the “Macula” or the art of the inkblot, based on the research of 18-century aquarellist, Alexander Cozens, he plays “ink games” to discover something that will surprise him.
Of his childhood in Paris, Serge Kantorowicz remembers the Dibbouk’s stories and other Yiddish tales his grandmother use to tell him. He remembers the sensation of blessed escape upon discovering reading, but mostly he still feels the unutterable grief of the orphan. It is in order to exorcise this pain and to go on living that began a search for a means to express himself. As a young man he briefly considers becoming an actor, but feels he can convey his emotions better as a painter.
The Master Engraver
Serge Kantorowicz starts by studying etching, first in the city’s evening classes, then at the renown Lycée Saint Etienne des Arts Graphiques, and finally at the Ecole des Beaux Arts of Bruxelles. He acquires a solid traditional technical base that he immediately chooses to toss away when he joins the prestigious and more experimental Ateliers Maeght. During his years as an engraver he worked for many artists such as Miro, Giacometti, Vasarely, Riopelle, Joan Mitchell, Henri Michaux, and Calder; on the side he continues his own research.
In the mid seventies Kantorowicz decides to devote himself entirely to his own creation. He explores with delectation many visual arts media, often mixing them together to achieve a richer art form. From miniature oils to large formats, painted books to bronze sculptures, ink works to etchings on ceramics, all are for the sole purpose to satisfy his devouring creative passion.
“The reading instinct and the painting instinct are both part of the same process”.
Recent Exhibitions :
2012 : Mes belles de nuit, exposition individuelle, Galerie Guigon, Paris
2012 : Serge Kantorowicz, voyage à travers Victor Hugo, Balzac, Kubin…, rétrospective, Château du Grand Jardin de Joinville , Haute Marne
2002 : Pages arrachées au journal de Victor Hugo, exposition individuelle, Hôtel d’Albret D, Paris
2000 : La Comédie Humaine en peinture: Le regard De Serge Kantorowicz, exposition individuelle, Maison de Balzac, Paris
2000 : Artiste invité lors du 10ème anniversaire de la mort de Tadeusz Kantor, Grand Théâtre de Varsovie, Pologne
(Born in Paris in 1942)
Artist painter, sculptor