one of the reasons for Régis Chabal's choice
of painting as a career lie in his childhood? His
father studied at the School of Fine Arts but had
to take over at the head of the family's large business,
and his mother was a woman of very sound artistic
taste. Both were friends with many painters and
artists, whom they always made very welcome. His
eye and spirit, filled with this beauty in which
he bathed, undoubtedly gave him the idea that one
day he could join these artists, and that painting
would be his world. Yet this journey towards the
birth of his vocation would happen gradually.
started drawing as a teenager, encouraged by Yves
secondary education, in 1954 he was accepted at
the School of Fine Arts, in Louis Arretche's Workshop,
where he would study architecture for five years.
1959 he changed direction and focused on painting:
he became a pupil of Yves Brayer at the "Grande
Chaumière". The following year he took
part in the group exhibition at the "Grande
1962, he decided to devote himself exclusively to
painting. From then on, he would constantly be guided
by the desire to learn all about his craft. Throughout
his life, he would strive to achieve mastery of
his art with humility and passion.
in 1962, he presented his first individual exhibition
in Paris, at the "Galerie des Orfèvres",
and I remember the stir that this shy, handsome
young artist caused with the vigour of his large
paintings, which erupted with light on the picture
rails on which they hung.
exhibitions piled up and at the same time, he took
every chance to perfect his skills: after an invitation
from the Fine Arts Institute in Antwerp, he would
go on to work in François Bret's Workshop
in Marseille, then at the Cimiez Academy in Nice
with Fontana Rosa. With the same thirst for discovery,
he would later meet Japanese painters with whom
he would exhibit his work.
would explore the widest variety of techniques throughout
his entire career: drawing, watercolour, engraving,
lithography, silkscreen printing, tapestry cartoons...
He was keen to find out the best way to highlight
the profound truth of a character or a landscape.
would also travel a lot: Spain, Greece, Italy, Israel,
Mexico, Morocco, as well as the Cévennes
(where his family were from), Collioure, Brittany...
Each trip enriched his palette and deepened his
the same time, as a theorist he explored the work
of the Impressionists, the Cubists, Picasso, and
above all Cézanne, who influenced him greatly:
he showed the importance of light in a painting,
the role of the colour white that circulates throughout
the whole painting and becomes a shadow itself...On
several occasions, he expanded on his thoughts at
widely documented conferences.
this period he painted numerous variations on Mont
Gaussier and the rocks of Les Baux, far from any
anecdotal interpretation, restoring their majesty
and their sometimes tragic beauty. With great sobriety
yet also with brilliance, he offers us the spectacle
of Provence's countryside in the changing seasons...
while Régis Chabal was enriched by everything
he saw on his travels, Provence was the place where
he chose to stay and where he succeeded in extracting
the essence from all his experiences and nourishing
his work with it, this land with which he is sometimes
in tension, but most often in harmony, and which
he is able to show us in all its authentic light
Although he has now passed
away, his legacy of light and beauty lives on.