For the past three years, Herve Constant has looked to Arthur Rimbaud not merely as an inpiration but as an artistic muse, governing his entire œuvre and enlivening his creative thought process.
Born in North Africa, trained in France and now living in London, Constant became familiar with the works of Rimbaud as a child. It is only recently, though, that the poet has been adopted as a talisman for a profound spiritual and emotional quest. The paintings are littered with references to Rimbaud's poetic imagery and to aspects of his personal biography. For Constant, the act of painting is a highly theatrical process. As he has stated recently : " Colours, words - everything together creates the drama". Listening to recordings of the poetry in his studio and surrounded by assorted Rimbaud memorabilia, Constant 's painting is more than mere hagiography. Rather, through vivid colour, texture and symbolism, Constant channels his search for the 'the heart, the soul, the spirit' ,for his own and everyone's.
Jonathan Livingstone, Plymouth Arts centre 1991
Artists included in the show: Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, John Bellany, Duncan Bullen, Marc Chaimovicz, Herve Constant, Ian Hughes, John Murphy, Tom Phillips, Keith Vaughan, Claudia Wegener, Adrian Wiszniewski