Télémaque
& collect
Hervé Télémaque naît à Port-au-Prince, le 5 novembre 1937. En 1957, il quitte Haïti pour New York et s’inscrit à l’Art Student’s League où il étudie avec Julian Levi, jusqu’en 1960. Durant son séjour aux États-Unis, il s’est simultanément nourri de l’expressionnisme abstrait alors régnant et du surréalisme tel qu’il a été réinterprété et exploité par les artistes américains, notamment sous l’influence d’Arshile Gorky. Mais c’est dans les préceptes du Pop’Art qu’il va véritablement trouver sa voie bien particulière. Dès 1959, la peinture, Sirène, marque son originalité. Déjà il veut s’ancrer dans la réalité et échapper à l’abstraction : même le titre se réfère à son quotidien, évoquant les sirènes des bateaux qu’il entendait depuis sa chambre de «Brooklyn Heights». Il vient en France en 1961 et s’installe à Paris. Il y fréquente les Surréalistes, sans adhérer formellement au groupe. Télémaque entend composer son propre vocabulaire plastique. Dans ses tableaux se retrouvent des objets usuels : cannes blanches, chaussures de tennis, tentes de camping. Il participe à l’aventure de la «Figuration narrative», celle d’artistes comme Klasen, Monory, Rancillac, Fahlström, que le critique Gérald Gassiot-Talabot réunit en 1964 dans une exposition intitulée «Mythologies quotidiennes». Après une longue période où il pratique exclusivement le collage et l’assemblage, Télémaque est revenu au cours des années 80 à la peinture et au dessin. Dans le tableau comme dans la sculpture, il s’agit de rendre surprenants les choses ou les objets banals, d’ouvrir des possibilités de sens multiples à des icônes ou des bribes d’icônes, à l’origine, univoques. À partir des années 90, Télémaque continue ses recherches au travers des dessins au fusain et d’étonnants bas-reliefs où la scie-sauteuse remplace le crayon. Marqué sans doute par le souvenir du Vaudou qui régnait dans son île, il pratique sa propre magie mélangeant du marc de café aux pigments de couleurs pour donner à celles-ci une lourdeur sensuelle. En 2000, il reprend une activité qu’il n’avait plus pratiquée depuis de longues années, l’illustration de livre avec deux séries de gravures et de lithographies pour deux ouvrages de Serge Fauchereau. Depuis l’exposition Fusain et marc de café – Deuil : le dessin, l’objet, à la galerie Louis Carré en 1994 (catalogue préfacé par Yves Michaud), Hervé Télémaque a exposé en 1995 à Paris à la fondation Électricité de France, Œuvres d’après nature (catalogue préfacé par Philippe Curval). Après la double exposition à la Fiac’96 (stand galerie Louis Carré & Cie et stand galerie Marwan Hoss), suivent trois rétrospectives, d’abord à Johannesbourg, Electrical Workshop au printemps 1997 puis à Valence (Espagne), IVAM au printemps 1998, au Centre d’art de Tanlay (Yonne) pendant l’été 1999. À la suite de plusieurs séjours en Afrique, Télémaque réalise une série de peintures intitulée Trottoirs d’Afrique à l’acrylique présentée en 2001 à la galerie Louis Carré (catalogue préfacé par Gérard Durozoi), tandis que la galerie Messine-Thomas Le Guillou montre des lithographies, des gravures et des dessins. En 2002, l’IUFM de Lyon présente une exposition autour du grand tableau Fonds d’actualité n° I, un hommage indirect aux dessinateurs satiriques Plantu et Pancho, avec la figure de Jacques Chirac. À l’occasion de la parution de la monographie par Anne Tronche chez Flammarion, dans la collection «La Création contemporaine», la galerie Louis Carré présente sur son stand à la Fiac 2003, une exposition réunissant un ensemble d’œuvres majeures des années 60, intitulée Paris 1961.
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