Jacques Bage (Liège 1942) studied painting and engraving at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Mons, Belgium.
He created compulsory still lives and portraits, while much more interested in the observation of nature and effect of daylights.
Landscape and big open spaces were already his favorite subjects. Jacques Meuris, the author of the 1989 essay on the painter’s work even chose to title it “The landscape as metaphor”.
Initially perceptible, then allusive, the landscape as such would reach its peak with Bage in “sight” or reflection of his mood.
The compositions of seventies and eighties are vaporous, full of mist and smoke swept by the wind. They are marked with lights, caught between dusk and dawn and reveals a mysterious nostalgy. Rather than colours, it’s diluted tones and shades of white. They reveal an almost impressionist touch, full of transparency. The pastel technic is one of intangible touch, strengthening the meditative intention of the work.
From the nineties till present, the canvas and drawings are rich in contrast, born of the juxtaposition of bright colors.
The yellow evokes sand, the blue the sea or air, the red for sun or blood. According to the artist, we should not seek to read meanings and he refers to it as his « pictural wanderings ».
Large and flexible movements are at the basis of the spontaneity of the primitive move and chromatic dispersion.
As time passes, Bage proceeds with more linear and radical lines, modulated by supple and fragmented lines.
Many composition develop into different depths, creating focal points of soft energy.
Like warm and rythmic music, the free and vibrant organisation of shapes is an invitation to enter these « virtual well of lights ». The soul of his work. Often painting on large scales, Bage seems to inhabit these landscapes with an ascending strength. Above the horizon, and towards the sky, his paintaings rise in front of the viewer’s eyes.
Jacques Bage reminds us, with a smile, of our condition of « beings close to the ground by essency ». He declares : « we are close to the ground, isn’t it our fate to look upwards, always seeking the rainbow after the storm ? »
Michel Van Lierde, 2017, February.