Etude Passion - 2016

fusain, sanguine et collage sur papier

120x 80 cm

fusain et collages sur papier fusain et collages sur papier


Publication : 24-05-2017

24 June – 10 September 2017

Vernissage on Friday, June 23, 2017

Centre d’Art Sacré de Lille

Modern crypt of the Cathedral Notre Dame de La Treille – 59000  Lille

* Every Saturday and Sunday from 3 pm to 8 pm – free admission

Exhibition of 12 contemporary artists around a set of monochromes by the painter Boulonnais Franck Longelin, accompanied by paintings from the Delaine collection, « the Passion of Dunkerque ».

*Nicolas Alquin (1958), *Georg Baselitz (1938), Benloÿ (1967), Marie-Claude Bugeaud (1941), Pierre Buraglio (1939) , Joël Brisse (1953), *Louis Cane (1943), Frederique Chauveaux (1956), *Chu teh Chun (1930-2014), *John Christoforou (1921-2014), *Robert Combas (1957) , Nicolas Delay (1977), Thierry Diers (1954), *Albert Féraud (1921-2008), *Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), Bernard Gaube (1952), Bernard Guillot (1950), Christine Jean (1957), *Bengt Lindström (1925-2008), *Mimmo Paladino (1948), Franck Longelin(1956), Yvan Theys (1936-2005), Erlend Van Landeghem (1965) et *Andy Warhol (1928-1987).

* Collection Gilbert Delaine

co-curated: Nicolas-Xavier Ferrand et Thierry Diers


A major theme in the history of western art since the Middle Ages, Passion has been unflaggingly dealt with by the artists. What is not so well known is that it was also dealt with all along the 20th century.

 The artists have known how to enlarge a subject which from the very beginning was eminently based upon faith. Of course we find again a few mystics, who have sought for an echo to human condition through the suffering of Jesus of Nazareth, and others who have questioned the deeply iconographic nature of the theme, and that of its visual importance in our visual culture. Others also have known how to capture the henceforth ‘pop’ nature of a type of image which sometimes wavers between cliché and kitsch. In the 21st century, while brotherhood between men is at stake and has never seemed so urgent, the story of a man suffering for his fellowmen can again be used as something to lean on.

The artist who eradicates a part of his privacy in order to give it a shape and to allow the onlooker to mend his soul secretly fits in with that dynamics. Some turn it into an abstract parable, others re-interpret the image, others also, who are not very much attached to the idea of the original sin, see, on the other hand, other breaches of mankind toward his fellowman, such breaches as need to be repaired. If everyone has his own belief or lack of belief, every artist considers his work as a means of positive exchange between men. The idea, here, is to display a creator’s panorama, men and women, coming from all horizons and all generations, and who have tried to reconstruct the souls of their fellow creatures during the lapse of time of a work of art.

Nicolas- Xavier Ferrand


Passion (s)

This exhibition follows upon an adventure which started in the 1970’s in Dunkirk in the beginnings of the Delaine collection which I was discovering. Then there followed the encounters with Eugène Leroy, Eugène Dodeigne, Yvan Theys, the visits to Philippe Leclerc’s collection in Hem, the sharing with the Syrian-Lebanese engineer Pierre Eid who made me discover Egypt and experience the progress of our history before arriving here in Notre-Dame de la Treille on Franck Longelin’s proposal to put on an exhibition about his own canvasses and about the Delaine collection, ‘The Passion of Dunkirk’. The second collection of a man who was facing illness, was questioning the meaning of life and questioned his artist friends, asking them to re-read in order to get going again on Matthew’s, John’s and Mark’s gospels. To throw oneself into that mad idea : to die in order to save men. Texts so often heard and that I have just started to decipher, disconcerting parallels with the creators’ solitary lives.

Years after a painter’s and an artistic director’s course. Weary of the speeches on contemporary art and of the tracks which muddle up the most cultivated people and make us remember little except gossips, careers, financial investments, inevitable events of shows of hammered art. I needed to find some meaning, some concept external to conventional ideas and themes. The plan comes in time, Passion(s) is born with the complicity of the historian Nicolas-Xavier Ferrand.

The modern crypt of Notre-Dame de la Treille is a place which is as big as it is secluded in ‘Vieux Lille’. It is situated in the centre of a town, which once was the European capital of culture, bordered with museums and ‘Maisons Folies’, the capital of a region where culture is brimming over with places, with means which are administrated with the weight of officialdom and which often present references coming from elsewhere.

This exhibition gathers twelve contemporary artists round a collection of monochrome drawings by the ‘Boulonnais’ painter Franck Longelin. It is accompanied by canvasses belonging to the Delaine collection (Baselitz, Fontana, Warhol…).

Twelve artists with paths which became asserted in the course of time whom we entrusted with texts which they re-read in order to question the theme of Passion which belongs to our history, which adorns our churches, our museums, and is considered good to ignore and to discard from our modernity. In spite of the dizzy aspect of the subject and in spite of everyone’s approaches, they all have accepted and have been fascinated, sensing the importance of a moment to live, an experience which is built without any certainty on a sensitive subject.

The canvasses, sculptures, photos and videos which have been achieved are as many interruptions of time amid everyone’s productions. Paths in the pursuit of a story which has been unflaggingly dealt with by artists. Quests for the thickness of a world which witness, question and are aimed at everybody in order to open spaces and maybe help to find a meaning as an answer to the pervading void. To find again Gilbert Delaine’s energy and his questioning.

Thierry Diers


“You will never get to know completely the solitude of this painter” (Shirley Jaffre, about Kandinsky).


  • Sputum

    Oil on cancas- 2016- 97x130cm

  • Passion

    Oil on cancas- 130x97- 2016

  • Tears

    Oil on cancas- 92x73- 2016

  • Beyond

    Charcoal- 120x80- 2016

  • Crown an totem

    Charcoal- 115x65- 2016

  • Alone

    Cjarcoal- 120x80- 2016

  • Passion (détail)

    Mixed media and editing on paper- 240x150- 2016