The paintings of Georges Meurant are labyrinths, mazes within which our gaze is lost.
The aesthetician Jean Guiraud coined the term 'figural induction' to designate the dynamic operative in the pictorial field, between the rectangular shapes and the bright colors laid in flat areas. Despite the stability provided by the compositions' geometric structure, it is indeed the notion of movement that first comes to the mind of the viewer. Movement of the mind and of the eye, which makes and breaks an infinity of combinations of color. But also movement of the color itself, seemingly never satisfied with the place allocated to it by the painter. "A signal attracts the eye, a configuration stands out for a moment. Soon other combinations supplant it, and then still others, ongoing forever. The more quickly I act, the more these appearances and disappearances unfold."
Guiraud pointed out the relationship between this aesthetic and Piet Mondrian's last works, in particular the unfinished Victory Boogie-Woogie (1944), where the artist attempted to transpose the frenetic agitation of the streets of New York where he’d found refuge. This said, the references of Georges Meurant are much more oriented towards non-European art, especially African. It was the discovery of the embroideries made by the Shoowa of Kasai (DRC), whose geometries "trap the eye in endless journeys," which will point the way to what we recognize in his œuvre today. And although luminous, even solar, the painting of Georges Meurant is born in darkness. It is in his shutters-closed studio, under the close surveillance of a multitude of African statuettes, that the artist poses color on a panel of poplar wood lit by spotlights. Next follows the patient job of sanding, this to reinforce the density of the colors’ shades. Gesture gives rise to composition, without study aforehand. "From here, I bear witness to the phenomena that occur. I anticipate them. I visualize or foresee, and then execute without emotion. I like this laid-out present that frees me from brooding thought.
The pleasure of making is certainly reflected in the ‘product’. My painting sets itself off from all others by the forever renewed time of a space that is perpetually unstable."
(All quotations are drawn from: Georges Meurant, Je peins et j’écris, Bon-à-tirer.com, n°105, 1er avril 2009).