Marc Ronet. Obstinate Painting: A Donation
Exhibition from 7 October 2023 to 7 January 2024
Benjamin of the Roubaix Group, a loyal friend of La Piscine who has exhibited his work on several occasions, Marc Ronet, with the active involvement of his wife Monique, wanted to offer the museum a set of around 20 paintings which would tell the story of his career as an artist, entirely founded on a feverish struggle with painting. This donation, which was put together to enhance an already substantial collection kept by the museum thanks to repeated purchases and especially certain donations made by various collectors, including Bernard and Marie-Hélène Duchange, and by the friends of the museum, came at a time when the MUba, in Tourcoing, was dedicating a major exhibition to the artist.
Trained at the Académie Saint-Luc in Tournai in the workshop of Eugène Dodeigne and close friend of Eugène Leroy that he deeply admired, Marc Ronet trod his path while maintaining an ongoing and challenging relationship with painting. The recurring themes or motifs in his work – self-portraits, tables, boxes, flowers, hanging laundry – have no narrative meaning but emerge as part of an array under constant review within the solitude of the studio. While the references to Rembrandt, Goya and the master painters seem to establish the ground rules of lighting effects and spatial constructions, they never obscure the uniqueness of a body of work which is tamed by the permanence of the viewer’s gaze. While this fruitful showdown with the material and the medium creates dazzling effects, it also expresses a consummate intimacy in this melee between what the artist knows and especially what he himself seeks to discover in assemblages that go with the flow of colour, the fierce attack of the stroke of charcoal or the constant repetitive breath of the copper plate.
The superb donation of 2023 is an open book covering more than 60 years of painting. It is also an unprecedented step in a dialogue that is now possible between the concerned yet obstinate artist and a general public that cannot be left unmoved by this creation that is always steeped in emotion and poetry.
Bruno Gaudichon, head curator, and Adèle Taillefait, curator, La Piscine – André-Diligent Museum of Art and Industry of Roubaix.
The design was made possible thanks to generous support from the paints distributed by Tollens.
Key: Marc Ronet, Curtain in front of a window with a green reflection, 2011. Oil on canvas. 130×97 cm. Roubaix, La Piscine – André Diligent Art and Industry Museum (proposed donation from the artist in 2023). Photo: Alain Leprince.