Danièle Charlet has always enjoyed drawing. Originally from a small village in Artois, in the region of Hauts-de-France, and Norman by adoption, she naturally and spontaneously confirmed her artistic vocation in 2008 when she decided to attend the Fine Arts School of Rouen, whose teachings reassured and encouraged her on the path of pictorial creation. Although she would take pleasure from capturing on-site scenes of everyday life, and transposing them in all their spontaneity into dynamic and extremely sincere acrylic paintings, her inspiration very quickly prompted her turn to a more intuitive form of expression. Since then, she has developed a confident style, one that is both expressionist and personal and has found appreciation at the regional exhibitions in which she has participated in recent years.
Whilst Danièle Charlet’s work remains figurative, we are nevertheless drawn into an imaginary world where the theme of mankind’s transformation is omnipresent. Saying emphatically, “I paint humankind, crowds and solitary figures in the face of untamed elements,” the artist possesses something of a magic power in terms of recreating these seemingly obsessive beings. Her vivid palette confers them life in a surrealist, radical and almost insolent way. The painter’s fascination for faces is very present in her artworks, which are reconstructed, stylised, and reminiscent of the masks of James Ensor or Expressionist Emil Nolde. Yet unlike these latter, there is no sign of grating or grotesque caricatures; instead, “crowds” of whirling faces observe us and seek to communicate with the viewer. Portrayed in all their acuity and diversity, these are picked out in a simple, bright and daring colouring. Danièle Charlet’s landscapes are every bit as remarkable. In an exhaustive play on optical illusions, she uses the principle of pareidolia to reproduce human shapes, which emerge subliminally from an often hostile wilderness.
Danièle Charlet therefore invites us to follow her on her inner exploration, which she transposes into ambitious artworks that are brimming with energy and vitality. Her expressive painting is very much in line with symbolism, and encourages us in quite an astonishing way to adopt a new vision of a world that celebrates the human figure.
Francine BUNEL-MALRAS, Historian of Art