Hervé Constant, RÊVERIES Exposition 2024

2 Jun – 16 Dec 2024
MUSÉE ARTHUR RIMBAUD, Charleville/Mézières, France

“The first study for the man who wishes to be a poet is his self-knowledge, entire; he seeks his soul, he inspects it, he tempts it, apprehends it…The poet makes himself a ‘voyant’ through a long, immense, and reasoned deranging of all his senses.

All the forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he tries to find himself, he exhausts in himself all the poisons, to keep only their quintessence. Unutterable torture in which he needs all his faith and superhuman strength, he becomes among all men the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed one – and the supreme Savant – For he arrives at the ‘unknown’.”

Thus wrote Rimbaud 1871, the young poet who revolutionised French poetry within five dazzling years. His mystical and religious themes and vision of the poet as an alienated hero, all accord with the concerns and illuminate the works of the painter Hervé Constant.

The lush symbolic language, and the poet’s intoxication with words, sounds, images, and dreams have found a continuing resonance within Constant’s psyche and resulted in a body of work that celebrated the life of the artist’s alter-ego.