"My style may be described as a kind of loving criticism" RB 1959

From Tibor de Nagy Gallery exhibition program of paintings and monoprints by René Bouché, New York, April 1951

THE WORK of René Bouché does not stay quite still till you have looked at it a few moments; inside their boundaries, his paintings shift and veer like the inner world of the human body, without seeming to. Yet they are objective, they are outside, they share with the cosmos its soothing stability. Their biomorphic geometries are made of the colors of sky and earth: the sun-yellows of jonquil dead ten thousand years or that in a florist’s window, the black of ebony or of nighttime, the red of Aurignacian dirt or of modern bricks, the white of paint or of the everlasting snows. Man is in them like a secret in an undeciphered icon, as though his destiny were exactly his physique, and his physique were composed of the square, the triangle, the oval and the circle found by ancient mathematicians in the four directions of the cosmos, in the sun and the moon, in the campfire and the mountain peak; figures identified by the mystics as the four elements.

Like the totem pole and the hieroglyph, René Bouché’s paintings are both ideas and images seen in a vision which has exiled words. In front of each rectangle, the spectator necessarily regards an architecture that came before buildings, before the most ancient ten or hut, and yet after the first sunrise. Every painter somehow tears apart eh given image of the cosmos and somehow reconstructs it. So with the image of man inhabiting the cosmos; man, whose fetiches and belongs are brought together by painters and arranged in groups…fixed in space…even as were the possessions of the Pharaohs in the great tombs of Egypt. Man lives to remould the heart of the darkness and show all his things transmuted in the light which shines beyond death. It is by the light, not the forms, that we shall recognize them.