OUDOT Roland
French painter; born in 1897 in Paris. His paternal grandmother and his father both were painters. In 1912 he entered the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs for four years of study and later taught there. Oudot belongs to the group of artists who, without trying to shock, have asserted themselves between the two wars and been given the name of 'painters of poetic reality'. They are generally considered as the final product of Impressionism. This has meant giving Impressionism and its consequences an interpretation that the movement certainly did not have at the beginning; and it is not because these painters have taken the landscape as an essential theme that they should be credited with Impressionist descent; Oudot's art has, in fact, a fixity that contradicts the mobility of Impressionism. His large blue skies, his dominant greys, his slate tones are the opposite of scintillating light; he seeks stability rather than instantancity. After having very strongly felt, until about 1920, the influence of Cézanne, Oudot turned toward Fauvism and Cubism, but without allowing himself to be diverted from close contact with Nature. Afterwards he collaborated with Léon Bakst on the décors for the Ballets Russes, and worked with him till his death in 1923. Oudot worked also for the decorators Sue and Marc, and furnished fabric and furniture designs. He has been very much influenced first by Cézanne, then by Bonnard. Towards 1921 his production undergoes a short realistic period. But his true personality did not distinguish itself till 1923. At first interested by the landscapes of the Îlede-France, he has recently taken up those of Provence, whose austerity suits his temperament. His dominant grey is far from being monotonous; it gives a mineral resonance to his very intense reds and hard blues, which are softened by the contact. Even though his landscapes maintain in austerity from which man is nearly always absent, Oudot introduces into his compositions a note of calm fantasy, of sober and reserved elegance. His compositions attest a rigorous sense of balance, and a nice disposition of elements allows him to adjust his style to the requirements of mural composition without recourse to systematic formulae. He is one of those who remain true to a very classical conception of art, in which an always controlled emotion admits of no facility. Nature remains his inspiration under all circumstances, but it is Nature conceived anew, seen through a tense, penetrating sensitivity that is never lacking.He exhibited for the first time at the Salon d'Automne beside Legueult and Brianchon; and he exhibited with them again at the Galerie Romanet in 1956; then regularly at the Salon d'Automne and at the Salon des Tuileries. He has interested himself in all subjects: portraits, still life, and especially landscape; he is a painter of land, earth, seeing the desolate, static, solitary aspect of Nature.
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