1922 – 2010
Michel Kouliche: A rebellious and prolific artist in the sometimes perverse universe of contemporary painting.
Kouliche is undoubtedly different. When one talks to him for the first time, one notices immediately that his verve without concession is as filled with pertinent words as his paintings are with color. When he is provoked and the discussion interests him, the artist lets himself be dominated by the man and adventures into a truculence that invites his interlocutor to listen to him with application in order to better appreciate him.
Whole as a block of granite just extracted from the quarry, Kouliche makes us forget his age as he relates the story of his life, which one has to know to seek out, for the man, always on guard, delivers little of himself. In his eyes only art, in its incomparable grandeur, deserves the respect that men do not know how to give themselves today.
Having established himself in the United States at the end of the fifties, after a war that decimated his family, Kouliche found the artistic appeasement that his creations needed. He was influenced in his youth by the great names of the school of Paris such as Kisling, Soutine and Mane-Katz. The artist created with time his own pictorial writing, a composition of Expressionism and Fauvism of an abundant and colorful texture. Working pure, his paintings reflect the spiritual force that is his and the inexpressible flame that animates in permanence the cerulean depth of his glance, always on the look-out.
Living just for painting, Kouliche never stops eclipsing, in his discourse. His own career and talent as a creator, speak of the history of art, the great history. Abnegation or humility? I would dare to say both. Because like all sincere artists who are in search of the answer to the question of their talent, Kouliche doubts. Is this not the appanage of the great servants of art who, like certain monks, lived confined in the universe of their studio?
In his paintings, the audacity of his touch shows through without restraint, while his attentive respect of volumes, reinforces even more the expressive simplicity of the ordnance of his paintings. In the magnified strength of the colors and by the abundance of matter deposited in planned relieves, Kouliche shows us his vision of the world, while intensive and sober at the same time, imprinted with key questions that were left and were never answered.
The closeness with the impact born of his synthesis of Expressionism and Fauvism conducted his painting along a creative path far removed from the customary metaphysics of contemporary painting. Completely filled with sensitiveness, this humane painting, universal in its candor, expresses clearly all the natural contradictions of the artist who seeks and sometimes finds himself, only to doubt once again and better surpasses himself.
Though Kouliche’s painting is as provocative as his speech, it never gave rise to the excesses that could have dominated the subjects of his life as an artist confronted with the metamorphoses of the universe of the twentieth century.
Kouliche is an artist to discover, or to return to, for his creative force devoid of impenetrable rational calculations.
~ Valeurs DE L’Art / COUP DE COEUR – By Alain Vermont
Kouliche Michel, Born in 1922, in Paris, 20th century, France
Painter of landscapes with people. Expressionist. He formed himself in the evening art classes in the schools of Paris. He received advice from the Masters Kisling and Mane-Katz.
During the occupation, he fought in the “Forces Francaises Libres” from 1942 to 1945, is holder of the “Medaille Militaire” (military medal). “Croix de Guerre” (war cross) and was made “Chevalier of the legion of honor” in 1988.
He exhibits paintings regularly in Paris at the “Salon Des Independants, Grand Palais” of which (he) is a member since 1952 and at the “Salon Comparaisons (Museum of Modern Art, which represents all the Contemporary Art in Paris)” He displays groups of paintings in personal exhibitions (one man shows), in Paris, Luxembourg, Montreal, Brussels, Toronto, New York and Miami Beach.
He paints in a generous and vividly colorful way. The allusive expressionism in his landscapes are sometimes close to abstract.
~ E. Benezit 1999
Museum of modern art of the city of Paris: Salon de Noel
Galerie Cimaise de Paris, France.
Galerie Barbizon, Paris, France.
Galerie Bradtke, Luxembourg.
Galerie d’Art Contemporain, Montreal, Canada
Gaelerie Dresdnere, Montreal, Canada (Exhibited with Jean Paul Lemieux).
Galerie Sem, Deauville, France
Peikin Gallery, New York City (Fifth Avenue) (exhibited with Bernard Buffet).
Lowe-Levinson Art Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida
Exhibition in Salon Pernod in Champs-Elysees, Paris, France
Displayed paintings at Gucci
Carel Gallery, Miami Beach, Florida
Galerie Monique de Groote (Paris, Brussels & Montreal).
G. Burger Collection and Library (Germany).
Gold Metal: awarded with the title Academician of Italy.
Grand Prix International de Deauville, Paris, France (Received an Honorable mention for a portrait).
Painted Two murals for the foundation Michele Darty, Paris (France), Inaugurated by Jacques Chirac, President of France.
By invitation of the Canadian Government, exhibited at L’lle St. Helene Montreal Canada
Grand Palais: Member of the Salon des Independants since 1953.
Salon Comparaisons (Pavillon XI). All the actual Art in Paris.
Listed Who’s Who in Art and Antiques.
Listed in: French contemporary painting, a book by Gabriel Mendel with an introduction by Jean Cassou, curator of the Museum of Modern Art.
Listed in the book: The artists and masters of the 20th century, published by: arts et Images du monde.
Biography: La Revue Moderne Des Arts ET DE LA VIE, PARIS.
Listed in: La Pittura Francese contemporanea, Milano, Italy.
In the works of Kouliche, one can clearly see the same palette as that of Soutine, Chagall and Atlan. In their canvas, one observes the same anxiety… The same passion… The same red… The same green… The same yellow and the same blue. Kouliche’s individuality is reaffirmed every day. His latest canvases are a mosaic of rich colors motivated by an energetic force.
~ A.M.I.F., Paris
Kouliche employs the fantastic images of Boch and Ensor, and renders them with passionate feeling.
~ La Gazette
Kouliche is an expressionist painter whose landscapes are a powerful turmoil of color calling to mind shipwrecks and hurricanes. How can one work with such a constant passion.
~ Petit Journal
Kouliche is an expressionist who paints with tortured movements and harsh colors, stressing the agony of his subjects. His landscapes are far removed from the idyllic scenes of Watieau, but are a happy compromise of Soutine and Ensor. The fine blending of technique and content makes Kouliche’s paintings highly promising for the future.
~ La Gazette (Montreal)
Kouliche paints in the tradition of Soutine. His vibrating landscapes and urban scenes are formed by bold streaks of vivid colors.
~ La Presse (Paris)
Kouliche is a vigorous artist who actively applies the paint to his canvas. His forceful expression is real.
~ Jean Chabanon (La Peintre, Paris)
The Vibrating fire of gold and yellow wheatfields on a torrid day is the work of a genuine talent, with a true feeling for color, and the promise of a great future. These paintings are signed by Kouliche.
~ La Presse (Paris)
Kouliche’s paintings are vivid.
~ Jean Chabanon (La Peintre, Paris)
Kouliche’s eager and heavy brush strokes, typify an expressionist painter similar to Wlaminck. With little discipline, but maintaining his personality, Kouliche could create fine works worthy of his talent.
~ Revue Moderne, Paris
Kouliche, like Monticelli, expresses himself with a thick and alert canvas and at the same time suggests the movement and uproar of life.
~ Devoir, 1959
One must recognize Kouliche’s young talent and the dynamism of his landscapes.
~ Presse Nouvelle, Paris