Michel Cornu

Michel Cornu, is a painter and engraver. He was born in the town of Nancy, which is in the eastern of France. From a young age he has developed a particular sensitivity and consciousness regarding his own emotions. He started drawing alone, or as he points out “confidentially.” In the 80s, the artist met the Japanese master of abstract art, Osamu Yamazaki, who resides in the country. They worked together for three years and Cornu recalls his teaching as “the passport to create and work in relation to movement.” After studying painting, he worked with ink and explored other techniques without neglecting his work as a painter. In Cornu’s work, the variety of materials and disciplines are at the service of his deepest perception about life and art. That was the way he was in those years and he continues to be like that today.

His work is based on an original and abstract guideline, which is a concept that he calls as “ le mendiant ” (the beggar): an evolutionary, conceptual form that indicates the tone of his freedom -the feeling he treasures most-, which focuses and guides in his strokes. According to what was mentioned and the personal view of his artistic form, Cornu defines himself as a “metaphysical artist,” instead of an abstract classical artist. He explores in his work the ethereal forms of calligraphy, that he identifies as sensations originated in the synergy adopted by the materials, the technique, and the complex philosophical framework, that he manifests in his speech and in the thorough result of his creation. 

From the studio he has in the city of Colmar, in the Alsace region, Michel explains his technical preferences, which surpass the current use of the ink. “I always use different materials: charcoal, black stone, pastel colors… I also work with painting and make etching,” states the artist, who has a printing house in his studio. “All those methods represent discoveries and different stages that have enriched my work,” explains the artist. Likewise, it’s the paper, the canvas that prevails in his most recent work, from which he expresses that “Nowadays, I prefer to work with all those fantastic papers: arches, washi, silk paper… They are unique because of the infinite possible effects. I can add or erase on them. I like their texture, touch, and smell,” says the artist.

Cornu creates on this canvas from the emotional and material sensitivity that he has identified in himself. “I have a sensitive perception with the artwork because there’s a direct contact between my hand and this support. Each type of paper uses a different calligraphy, and has its own reactivity and sensitivity,” states the artist.

Michel’s formal career in art began more than 30 years ago, when he worked in local workshops to explore painting and engraving, which are essential techniques to understand his current work. Finally, distanced from the trends and the temporary, Cornu points out that he will continue with his inner search in order to keep creating, because “instead of working with a single style, I am working the handwriting and calligraphy”.