Australian Contemporary Art

Marc Rambeau

A key figure among western painters working in the South Pacific, Marc Rambeau is one of the most comprehensively represented artists in the region. Exploring the boundaries between different media, he examines more fluid styles to help express his meaning.

Through his paintings he reveals how he reacts to life around him. Movement is an important part of his discourse. He invites the viewer to share his perception of movement: from the Tahitian dancers and their regular – sometimes hypnotic- motion, to the ballet of canoes during the July races’ festival. He captures the exhilaration and the rush. The colours are strong but warm. It is simple, bold, and yet expressive. Rambeau’s choice of subject matter and his increasingly free and vibrant use of paint and colours characterize a new era in his life. With his mixed media on rice paper works, he is concerned with the interaction of different cultures. It is the very background of this influence that Rambeau presents his works on Tahiti. Here west meets east in a feast of colour and movement. In his works on hand made paper he displays the strong impact of the uniquely Australian landscape and colours.

Born in 1945, Rambeau grew up in Vallauris in the south of France, where Picasso lived. He studied art in Nice at the Villa Thiole and in 1961 entered the Beaux Arts (National School of Decorative Arts) in Nice where he studied until 1963. In 1964, he joined the Robert Boell Atelier in Toulon (France). His first visit to the South pacific in 1968 would have a far-reaching impact on his
sensibility and his life. He fell in love with the region and established himself in New Caledonia where he spent 11 years. During this period, he traveled extensively in New Zealand, Australia and Chile. He settled in Sydney in 1985 and became an Australian citizen in 1989.

Since 1992, Rambeau has had 22 solo exhibitions between Australia, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Caledonia. In 1994, he was included in the Australian component of the 26th Festival
International de la Peinture in Haut de Cagnes (France). His residencies include Paris in 1994 and 96, Beijing in 1995 and 96, Tahiti and New Caledonia in 1997 and Oman in 1997. His work is on permanent display in Australia, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Tahiti.

By Jonathan Bogais

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