Michael Bastow

Born in 1943, he lives and works in the South of France.

 

Working with soft pastels and charcoal on handmade papers, his subject matter is primarily the female nude, often life size, although he has also produced a several series of landscapes and tree portraits. He generally works up a first study which he then pins to the studio wall. After a period of reflection, which can last weeks if not months, the works are taken down either to be framed or reworked or in extreme circumstances torn up with fragments extracted and collaged into other drawings.

 

In the tradition of the great painters of the female nude, Titian, Rodin, Klimt, Schiele and Gauguin, his works reveal the magnetic and hierarchic splendor of the female in all her sensuality.

 

In 2000 he bought the Saint Alexis Chapel in Malaucène which over the years he has decorated with a series of ephemeral frescos celebrating the seven ages of woman, work which Françoise Heretier described in an essay as Woman in all her Majesty.

 

In 2012-13, inspired by an exhibition of the works of Giuseppe Castiglione, a Jesuit painter working in the chinese imperial court, he realized a series of 100 portraits of chinese women, not only empresses but courtesans and warriors and adolescents. These portraits were to be installed in rows like the terra cotta army in the tomb of Qin Shi Huang.

 

He has recently started working on a series of large landscapes.

 

Selected recent solo and group exhibitions

2014      100 chinoises, Galerie De Zwarte Panter, Antwerp

2013      Rêves chinois, Galerie Alain Blondel, Paris

2003      D’une Certaine Gaieté – Cirque Divers, Liège

2000      Cloître des Cordeliers, Tarascon

1996      El Eterno femenino, Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Selected Press

De Wereld Morgen Michael Bastow

Victoriaans naakt en Chinees zwanenwit in voorjaarstentoonstelling De Zwarte Panter

Le Sauvage Alain Hervé

Les femmes de Michael  Bastow arrivent du fond de l’Asie et d’époques héroïques. Elles exposent leur nudité et leur harnachement guerrier.

Le Soir Daniele Gillemon

Aux cimaises de l'Autre Musée, place des Martyrs, une peinture suprenante défiant l'époque, les modes, les appétits peureux et les faiblottes pudeurs dont parlait Félicien Rops auquel l'Anglais Michael Bastow fait penser par la vigueur du tempérament. Pensez: des nus, rien que des nus jouant la couleur et la matière à fond, des nus crevant la toile avec une franchise et un sens de l'organisation de l'espace dont nous avions perdu jusqu'à l'idée...