(1909 - 1995)
Through his paintings, the viewer apprehends a beautiful and intense local breath, that of the Pays d’Auge and its immediate surroundings. Alain Tapié notes about him: “Normandy is his locality, but we do not believe he remains a prisoner. He subjects it to perpetual questioning. » (Extract from the catalog of the 1992 exhibition at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Caen)
Relentless worker, André Lemaitre followed a solitary and secret path, and traced far from fashions, critics and cities, the outlines of a vigorous and powerful work, landscapes and still life, portraits and bouquets, nudes and rivers, all his canvases tell of the obstinate quest of a man firmly anchored in reality, in this Norman land where one sinks, but where dreams cling to the gallop of clouds. If the sun sometimes stops at the bend of a bouquet, illuminates a body or a face, it is in a universe dominated by grays and greens that André Lemaitre has shown his talent, and a fervent melancholy like a character by Maupassant.
Painter of intimate, rural and silent Normandy, André Lemaître transcribed his love of the land through his deep landscapes, his still lifes of small everyday objects and his portraits of harmonious beauty. He delivers a painting with solid and structured writing, powerfully masonry, serious, imbued with realism. Indifferent to the motif he tirelessly repeats, insensitive to the anecdote, he constructs his paintings with large vertical, horizontal and oblique strokes, without bothering with detail and preparatory drawing. The plans write down the essential that is in the composition and the color balance. “It’s the paint that makes the pattern, not the other way around,” he says. Finally, he finishes the painting in the studio, taking the time for reflection and meditation.