Jean-Jacques Dournon photo portrait recouvert de peinture

Photo credit: Hervé Cohonner

Jean-Jacques Dournon was born in Paris in 1953.
He lives and works since 1999 in Port-Louis in Morbihan.

A student at the technical high school of Sèvres in the artistic section (1970-1973), he joined the School of Fine Arts of Saint-Étienne (1973-1977) in the middle of the Support/Surface movement, but there he encountered some difficulties with the teaching provided. . Bernard Ceysson, his art history teacher, qualified him at the time as rebellious.

He paints in oil on canvas the landscapes of Rochetaillée where he lives, likes the series of trees by Mondrian, the bathtubs and self-portraits by Bonnard, the watercolors by Cézanne, the still lifes by Morandi, the materials of Charchoune and the canvases and temperas of his great friend Arpad Szenes.

A National Fine Arts graduate, he returned to Paris where the Cité Internationale des Arts welcomed him between 1977 and 1980.

After winning the Fénéon Prize in 1979, he left Paris to spend two years in Rome, at the Villa Médicis as a resident of the Académie de France in Rome.

In 1986, he left Paris again to stay 9 months in Madrid, at the Casa de Vélasquez as a laureate of the City of Paris.

In 2000, Jean-Jacques Dournon discovers Vietnam where he remains 2 months to draw on the Mekong.

In 2006, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul invited him for a 3-month artist residency.

From his many travels, he brought back a number of drawings and paintings. But it was in Brittany that he felt closest to his emotions in the face of the Landscape, which echoed his sensitivity and his research: "Being in the charcoal material, in his footsteps." Living charcoal as his friend Henri Meschonnic used to say. During this period finding the "retinal color" this colorful atmosphere that envelops us is one of the leitmotifs of his research.

In 2010, aware of the importance of landscape photography, Jean-Jacques Dournon left the external representation of nature to professional photographers. He then set himself a new challenge: to discover his own landscapes, his own nature by developing a singular technique based on charcoal, dry pastels and acrylic juice. He abandons the motif to draw interior landscapes most often guided by current events in the world. This is how the Drawings-Paintings on large sheets of paper are born: the Monades, Les Territoires, les Paysages cosmiques, les Impacts  …

In 2007, the first hair stuck on canvas appeared. A few years later, this organic component will be mixed with sawdust, dust, ashes to create a new material, pictorial and symbolic specific to the artist.

At the cost of a freedom of creation conquered day after day and 50 years of daily practice, Jean-Jacques Dournon notes:

Painting for me means living as close as possible to the transformation of elements, whatever they may be, without the notion of what has been learned or knowing, and accepting the enjoyment of novelty, always or almost on the edge of the hiccups of discovery and of freedom. The unbearable lightness of painting where it is necessary to eliminate the superfluous and paint only what must be, human material in the paint material, together in the fresh.

If on certain works, I stick hair, it is that I feel a physical need to do it, yes a necessity. The same for sawdust and ash.

Today, painting is no longer just transmitting an emotion of any kind, facing a landscape, a person or more abstractly transmitting a feeling, but it is increasingly being in painting, being IN painting. It is she who helps me to paint, to be a painter, to be alive, a living painter. Each canvas, each drawing is an eruption. What happens to be in my painting are seething dross of life coming from deep within me, the rest is less important.

Being a painter, being painting is what happens inside him.

In this magma of the Before Naming, perhaps the first flowers appear, those before the pattern, funny birds, plants, while the color by effervescent touches clears a path through the fault lines of matter.

What if Dournon's work went back in time to the creation of the world?


– Jean-Jacques Dournon was born in 1953.
– He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Saint-Etienne.
– National Fine Arts graduate in 1977.
– He obtained the Fénéon prize in 1979.
– In 1980, he was a resident of the French Academy in Rome and spent two years at the Villa Médicis.
– In 1986, he was awarded a scholarship from the City of Paris for the Casa Velasquez in Madrid.
– In 1992, he won the second drawing prize for the Ile-de-France Region.
– In 2000, he spent two months in southern Vietnam. Partners: A.F.A.A. and Paris City Hall.
– In 2006 the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul (South Korea) invited him for a three-month artist residency.


2021 – Ephemeral Gallery and Media Library Pondicherry, Port-Louis : Suite amazonienne 1 et 2
2019 – Art library Pierre Tal Coat, Hennebont : Territoires, Traces, Ecritures
2018 – Library-gallery Chapter XII, Brussels : Traces et territoires
2013 – Contemporary Art Center of the Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Bignan : Sur le motif
2010 – Hieron Museum, Paray-Le-Monial : Etats d’âmes
2009 – Media library of Port-Louis : Histoires d’Arbres
2009 – Gallery Ditesheim, Neuchâtel, Suisse : Paysages et fruits
2008 – Paris Gallery Le Coin des Arts
           – Brescia, Chiesa di San Zenone : Canto Libero e Potente
2005 – India Company Museum, Lorient : Carnets du Mékong
2002 – Libourne museums, Carmel chapel: Tension: Icomages et paysages
           – Gallery Ditesheim Neuchâtel, Swiss: Paysages et Visages
2000 – Chapel of St. John, Guern, Morbihan : L’Art dans les Chapelles
           – Pierre André Benoit Museum, Alès : Dix ans de peinture
           – Hotel d'Albret, Paris: Sur le Mékong, carnets de voyage
1999 – Carnac : Terre à menhirs Site of Kermario, presented by the National Fund for Historic Monuments and Sites


2022 – Gallery Ditesheim & Maffei fine Art of Neuchâtel, Swiss. 23 artistes de la galerie on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the gallery
2021 – International drawing and print fair, Grand Palais Ephémère, Paris, gallery Thaddée Poliakoff
2021 – Gallery Ditesheim and Mafféi, Neuchâtel, Swiss: Trésors révélés 2
2017 – Villa Medici Rome, retrospective through images of works by former residents on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the French Academy in Rome
2016 – Gallery Ditesheim and Mafféi, Neuchâtel, Swiss: Des arbres, passionnément
         – Gallery Ditesheim and Mafféi, Art Paris, Grand-Palais, Paris
         – International Drawing and Print Fair, Grand-Palais, Paris
         – Gallery Jean Fournier, Paris: For 25 years of art in the chapels,
2015 – Museum of the Cohue, Vannes: Vivant Végétal
2014 – International drawing and print fair, Grand Palais, Paris gallery Thaddée Poliakoff  « Le coin des arts »


Frac Bretagne
Frac Ile de France
Departmental Council of Morbihan
City of Paris
City of Vannes
( Museum of the "Cohue" )
City of Paray le Monial
( Museum of "Hiéron" )
Vatican City
( Hall of Ambassadors )
Brescia Museum, Italy


Etats d’âme, movie by Nadine Michaud
18 mn, 2010


1982 Stained glass windows for the chapel of the Madeleine, Carnac
1989 Painted outdoor complex of 530 m² for the administrative city of Clamart


Approach to the work of Jean-Jacques Dournon
by : Olivier Campa, Serge Champeau, Serge Gaubert, Marie-Françoise Le Saux, Henri Mitterand

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