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I have complex and lifelong ties to expressive media and abstract artistic forms. Trained as a concert musician, my knowledge of jazz composition provided the platform for my transition into the visual arts and my expression as a painter. My work is dependent on design fundamentals: form, color, and composition, and I believe the most complex emotions can be evoked from the simplest forms. My style explores the intimate relationship between nature, art, and modernist ideas in musical composition. On a material level, there is an innate rhythm to my process. Birchwood panels are meticulously prepped using three coats of water-based glue and two coats of gesso to provide a rich surface texture. The physical act of applying paint with trowel and knife in very fine layers, and then manipulating it on the panel’s surface, works to reveal a natural harmony between tool and medium. I draw inspiration for my paintings directly from music; rather than re-creating a landscape on a canvas, I aim to express its energy and essence. Where some people see places and things, I am stimulated by light, form, and emotional response to my surroundings. Sometimes my paintings contain elements that are almost recognizable, although I often make the decision to obscure certain attributes, pushing the final image further toward abstraction. The varying colors and subtle network of shadows and light that are revealed through the layers project a sense of atmosphere and tension that draws the viewer into the mystical and mysterious. At this point, it is my hope that what begins as a visual experience transcends to a deeper emotional journey. “
Marc-Antoine Goulard was born in Neuilly sur Seine, France, in 1964. Growing up in Paris, he began playing the flute at a young age and went on to train as a concert musician at the Conservatoire in Paris, where he graduated with honors. Goulard arrived in America in 1984 to take up the saxophone and continue his studies in jazz composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. However, while music, with its foundation of tone and composition, provided him the means for expression, it would ultimately be in painting that Goulard found his creative voice.
At last, with the intention of starting his career as a painter, Goulard began travelling regularly to New York City from Boston to meet with other artists and visit museums and galleries. Early influences included such visionaries as Mark Rothko, Antoni Tàpies, Josef Albers and Nicholas de Staël, who, interestingly, were ardent lovers of music and drew inspiration from musical performances. Continuing to study and refine his craft, Goulard first saw his work exhibited in Boston in 1987.
The next year, Goulard moved to New York City, where he began work on a series of figurative, large-format oil paintings on canvas. Born out of this exploration, his style began to evolve into looser and more abstracted narratives that often combined landscape with figuration. He also began to experiment with different materials and techniques. His resulting process of applying paint with trowels and knives onto wood panels and linen marked the beginning of a new direction in the artist’s work.
From 1987 until 2009, Goulard remained in New York and exhibited extensively in galleries in London, New York, Switzerland, Bruxelles, Dubai and Paris, establishing a collector base. In 2006, he was granted a residency from the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany, Connecticut. This residency has tremendously changed his approach to combining colours. Studying the work of Josef Albers gave Marc-Antoine a new direction and helped him to expand his palette as well as the composition of his paintings.
Goulard currently lives in London where his primary studio is located, and also works in the south of France in the Gard.