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Last updated: 1/25/2017
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Gérard Titus-Carmel (French, b. 1942): Suite Chancay

Titus-Carmel Forging the Real / Titus-Carmel Paintings / Titus-Carmel Watercolors / Titus-Carmel Drawings
The Pocket-Size Tingit Coffin (1975-1976) / Sarx (1977) / Suite Narwa (1978) / Suite Chancay (1985) / Interieurs / Forets

For an extended biographical-critical essay, see Titus-Carmel Intro
Gérard Titus-Carmel is an artist of the same generation as my wife and I. Born in 1942, he, like the others of our time, grew up in an international world, a world where national boundaries exist as memories of a world we can no longer afford, a world of national interests, rivalries, wars. Born during the second world war, we know it only through the nightmares of our parents, the memories of our elders. We are the children of the bomb, survivors of grade school civil-defense exercises in case of nuclear attack, the adolescents of the nervous and electric rhythms of hard-bop, voyagers with musicians like Thelonius Monk and Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy (with whom Titus, a drummer, played, for one set, once) and John Coltrane, explorers of the musical unknown. We have listened to the same music, read the same books, visited many of the same places, looked at much of the same art. Living in the same world, and trying to come to terms with the things that shaped it, we came of age during the Cuban Missile crisis with its threat of a holocaust greater than any that haunts the dreams of our parents' generation. We have lived almost our entire lives in a world held in uneasy peace only by the threat of "Mutual Assured Destruction." Yet we have also walked in the ruins of Monte Alban and stood in the ball court of the Olmecs; we have listened to ancient mariners as the surf laps the shores bordering the oceans of our dreams. For our generation, the problem has been one not so much of finding reality, but of finding a reality that will permit us to live not just within our world but within ourselves as well. For that effort, we need more than the "superrealism" or the theatrical "neoexpressionism" of the '80s, more than an art that commercially derides "the system" for being too commercial; we need an art that can take us beyond the surfaces, that remembers its past and our past, that can teach us what to remember and how to forget what we do not need to remember to go on with life.

Jacques Henric's essay in presentation of the Suite Chancay (Repères, 1985) suggests that Titus' wrapped sticks reminded him of the expression, "You might as well bandage a wooden leg," and concludes that such may well be the job of the artist today, "a sort of Mister First Aid in white, kit in hand, running from one end of the planet to the other (at times without leaving his studio) to repair all the damage, but the damage he has the feeling he himself caused." Far more than bandaging the broken objects of our lives, Titus-Carmel’s art bandages our broken lives themselves. His images have a dramatic quality that denies their factual existence as two-dimensional objects. His work is for us a necessary restorative. Like Shakespeare's King Lear in search of remedy, we need artists like Titus-Carmel to "sweeten" our imagination so that we may continue to discern and to live out the miracle of our lives.

Titus-Carmel is one of the most written-about contemporary French artists, having been the subject of studies by Jacques Derrida, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Gilbert Lascault, Werner Spies, Jean Pierre Faye, Denis Roche, Jean Louis Schefer, and many others. He is also one of the most widely shown artists of his generation (b. 1942), having received over 150 one–person shows at museums and galleries including The Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris (1971), the 1972 and 1984 Venice Biennales, the Royal College of Art in London (1972), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1973), the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (1975), the Centre Georges Pompidou / Musée National d'Art Moderne (1978), the Museums of Dusseldorf (1979), Bielefeld (1980), Kassel (1980), Nuremberg (1981), Oslo (1981), Lubceck (1981), Les Sables d'Olonne (1981), Luxemburg, Calais, (1984), Nice, Carcassonne, and Lille (1985), Quebec (1986), Budapest, and Châteauroux (1987), Caen (1989), Montaubon and Avignon (1990), and Tokyo (1991). In addition, the French Cultural Ministry also organized touring exhibits at the Instituts Français of Stuttgart, Hamburg, Munich, and Bonn (1985), Damascus, Aleppo, Alexandria, Cairo (1990-1991), and Palermo, Naples, and Rome (1991). His works are in the permanent collections of over 100 public institutions including the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Museum of Modern Art (N.Y. and Paris), the Chicago Art Institute, the Bibliotheque National and the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and many others. Museums have twice organized complete retrospectives of his prints (in 1979 and 1991), each time publishing catalogues raisonnés. He has been the subject of seven films, including one produced by the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou and RTL Télévision, Luxembourg, and innumerable books, essays, exhibition catalogues, and reviews. Among his awards are first prize at the 2nd International Exposition of Original Drawings at Rijeka (1970), the Grand Prize at the 6th International Print Biennial at Krakow (1976), and the Jurors’ Special Award of Honor at the 1977 World Print Competition in San Francisco. Titus-Carmel is deservedly one of the best-regarded painters, draftsmen, and printmakers in the world today.
The Suite Chancay derives from Titus' fascination with a pre-Columbian ax-head from Peru. It consists of 12 paintings (of which we have one; the Guggenheim has another); 12 medium-sized collages on wood or canvas (of which we have 3); 12 small collages on paper; and 12 intaglio prints, for which see below.
Chancay: Peinture No. 6. Oil on canvas, 1985. Illustrated in a full-page color plate in in the Titus-Carmel issue of the large-format series, Eighty: Les Peintres En France Dans Les Années 80, 1988. Exhibited in 1985 at Galerie Lelong, Paris. Another painting in this series was purchased by the Guggenheim museum and was included in their 50th Anniversary Show and Catalogue of the most significant acquisitions of their first 50 Years. Image size: 1300x1620 mm (51.2x64 inches). Price: $80,000.
Chancay: Varia No. 4. Collage on canvas, 1985. Illustrated in a full-page reproduction in repères: cahiers d'art contemporain n. 27 (Paris: Galerie Lelong, 1986, p. 16. In his Notes on the first collages of the Chancay suite, Titus-Carmel talks about both the "dismemberment" of the drawing by the pasted additions, its survival under the weight of the additions, and concludes "Nothing that disappears truly disappers: like a heavenly body momentarily occulted, to the great disappointment of a cloud passing by, it shines from behind, retaing, despite everyting, the strict memories of its outlines. He concludes by noting that collage ulimately offers us "the full enjoyment of a privilege: forgetting." Image size: 720x930 mm (28-3/8x36-5/8 inches). Price: $45,000.
Chancay: Varia No. 12. Collage on canvas, 1985. Image size: 720x930 mm (28-3/8x36-5/8 inches). Price: $45,000.
Chancay: Varia No. 3. Collage on wood, 1985. Illustrated in a full-page reproduction in repères: cahiers d'art contemporain n. 27 (Paris: Galerie Lelong, 1986, p. 11. Image size: 540x650 mm (21-1/4x25-1/8 inches). Price: $32,000.
Chancay 1 (Machida 142). Original drypoint, 1985. 10 signed proofs plus 50 unsigned impressions for Henri Meschonnic's Voyageurs de la voix. Ours is one of 2 signed HC impression. A very rare state of a fairly rare print! exhibited in the Musée Ingres 1990 Titus-Carmel retrospective. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 184x125mm. Price: $1250.

All of the prints in the Suite Chancay were printed on white Arches paper the color of the sheet to the left. Where some of them look darker, that is not the paper's fault by the photographer's (me).
Both the preparatory drawings and the finished prints for the first 4 Suite Chancay gravures are illustrated in Gérard Titus-Carmel: Oeuvres 1984-1993 (Amiens: Fonds régional d'art contemporain de Picardie, 1993), pp. 82-91 where they are discussed by Patrick Casson.
Chancay 2 (Machida 143). Original drypoint, 1985. 10 signed proofs plus 50 unsigned impressions for Henri Meschonnic's Voyageurs de la voix. Ours is one of 2 signed HC impression. A very rare state of a fairly rare print! exhibited in the Musée Ingres 1990 Titus-Carmel retrospective. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 184x125mm. Price: $1250.
Chancay 3 (Machida 144). Original drypoint and aquatint, 1985. 10 signed and numbered proofs plus 75 signed impressions for Jean Frémon's's Rhetorique. Ours is a signed impiression. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Exhibited in the Musée Ingres 1990 Titus-Carmel retrospective. This is a little smaller than life-size; it is also one of the most beautiful prints I have ever seen. Image size: 184x125mm. Price: $1750.
Chancay 4 (Machida 145). Original drypoint & aquatint, 1985. 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 75 signed impressions (of which this is one) for Rhetorique, a livre d'artiste with poetry by Jean Frémon. Exhibited in the Musée Ingres 1990 Titus-Carmel retrospective. This series of 12 paintings (of which one is in the Guggenheim Museum Collection and was included in their book on their most impoprtant post-war art-works and one may be seen above (or at Titus-Carmel: Paintings), 12 large collages mounted on wood or canvas (of which we have three), 12 small collages, and 12 prints, is based upon a pre-Columbian ax-head from Chancay, Peru. In this piece, the ax-head turns into the doorway to another world, a world, lit by a light brighter than that which shines in our world. Another very wonderful image. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 107x78mm. Price: $1250.
Chancay 5 (Machida 146). Original etching & drypoint , 1985. 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 75 signed & numbered impressions (of which this is one) plus 2 HC impressions. Exhibited in the Musée Ingres 1990 Titus-Carmel retrospective. This series of 12 paintings (of which one is in the Guggenheim Museum Collection and was included in their book on their most impoprtant post-war art-works and one may be seen above (or at Titus-Carmel: Paintings), 12 large collages mounted on wood or canvas (of which we have three), 12 small collages, and 12 prints, is based upon a pre-Columbian ax-head from Chancay, Peru. In this piece, the ax-head turns into the doorway to another world, a world, lit by a light brighter than that which shines in our world. Another very wonderful image. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 165x120mm. Price: $1250

All of the prints in the Suite Chancay were printed on white Arches paper the color of the sheet to the left. Where some of them look darker, that is not the paper's fault by the photographer's (me).
Chancay 6 (Machida 147). Original etching & drypoint , 1985. 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 75 signed & numbered impressions (of which this is one) plus 2 HC impressions. Exhibited in the Musée Ingres 1990 Titus-Carmel retrospective. This series of 12 paintings (of which one is in the Guggenheim Museum Collection and was included in their book on their most impoprtant post-war art-works and one may be seen above (or at Titus-Carmel: Paintings), 12 large collages mounted on wood or canvas (of which we have three), 12 small collages, and 12 prints, is based upon a pre-Columbian ax-head from Chancay, Peru. In this piece, the ax-head turns into the doorway to another world, a world, lit by a light brighter than that which shines in our world. Another very wonderful image. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 165x120mm. Price: $1250

All of the prints in the Suite Chancay were printed on white Arches paper the color of the sheet to the left. Where some of them look darker, that is not the paper's fault by the photographer's (me).
Chancay 7 (Machida 148). Original drypoint , 1985. 75 signed & numbered impressions (of which this is one) plus 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 2 HC impressions on Arches paper. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 278x379mm. Price: $2000

All of the prints in the Suite Chancay were printed on white Arches paper the color of the sheet to the left. Where some of them look darker, that is not the paper's fault by the photographer's (me).
Chancay 8 (Machida 149). Original drypoint , 1985. 75 signed & numbered impressions (of which this is one) plus 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 2 HC impressions on Arches paper. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 278x379mm. Price: $2000.
Chancay 9 (Machida 150). Original etching and aquatint , 1985. 75 signed & numbered impressions (of which this is one) plus 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 2 HC impressions on Arches paper. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 278x379mm. Price: $2500

All of the prints in the Suite Chancay were printed on white Arches paper the color of the sheet to the left. Where some of them look darker, that is not the paper's fault by the photographer's (me).
Chancay 10 (Machida 151). Original aquatint, etching and softground, 1985. 75 signed & numbered impressions (of which this is one) plus 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 2 HC impressions on Arches paper. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 278x379mm. Price: $2000.
Chancay 11 (Machida 152). Original etching and aquatint, 1985. 75 signed & numbered impressions (of which this is one) plus 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 2 HC impressions on Arches paper. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 278x379mm. Price: $2000

All of the prints in the Suite Chancay were printed on white Arches paper the color of the sheet to the left. Where some of them look darker, that is not the paper's fault by the photographer's (me).
Chancay 12 (Machida 153). Original etching and aquatint, 1985. 75 signed & numbered impressions (of which this is one) plus 10 signed & numbered artist's proofs plus 2 HC impressions on Arches paper. All of the etchings in the Suite Chancay were printed by Piero Crommelynck, Paris, Picasso's favorite printer of engravings, etchings, aquatints, and drypoints. Image size: 278x379mm. Price: $2000.

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