A thousand and one vibrations

by Pascal Marchetti-Leca


Art has always been beyond restrictions and only those who accept no limitations can command a due respect. Caroline Mattéoli certainly merits that respect.
When she was a little girl partly inventive, somewhat secretive, a little rebellious in baggy pants she streaked the walls of the family home with mischievous arabesques.
A few years later, having completed her primary studies Caroline Mattéoli joined the School Met de Penninghen or the High School of Graphic Arts. (ESAG). Concurrently she D'avance je t'en remercie at the studio of her mentor Jean Podevin, friend of Jacques Prevert, of Emmanuel Roblès and Roger Ikor.

“Enchanted, hesitant and often in revolt, she becomes an addict to painting, caught at her own game while accepting my demands of incorruptibility regarding our work”. He reminisces somewhat paternally.

Later the pupil became more confident, even audacious. In her mind of course were the names of great artists such as Cezanne, Braque, Modigliani, Nicolas de Staël or Poliakoff.
Caroline Mattéoli’s creations are radiant. She has nothing of the tormented artist draped in a misunderstood solitude. Joyfully she makes her canvases sing, and if occasionally her talent must make concessions to important business firms such as Sommer Allibert, Kodak, GMC Services, her palette certainly remains free. She is the child of literary travel, of geographical wandering and of unbridled emotions.

“I reject nothing that catches my attention. I paint nothing I have not seen. I search only for the subject that is visible to all” said Nicolas de Staël. Without realizing it, the “stricken prince” thereby stated the universal rules.

The oils of Caroline Mattéoli are the result of that frank and determined modesty (“I enjoy working with the textures”). So what does it matter if her work seems to explode in divergent representations. Everything converges in the need to eliminate the superfluous, the values of the construction and the perfection of balance; the gentle abandon of the woman at rest, the measured opulence of a still life or the quiet exuberance of an interior. “ The coast lines have inspired me to many patches of colours .I have wanted to vary that style with a colour range of reds and yellows. I have reworked sketches made during a voyage to the west Indies” she tells us referring to “The African”.

In reality the spiritual successor of Nicolas de Staël, Caroline Mattéoli also relates closely to Mühl and Doutreleau.” It is often possible that from an initially figurative subject one arrives eventually to the near abstract, because gradually as one paints one is one is diverted more by the structure, the relativity of colour and the texture, while the original form becomes less important” she explains.
Far from being an anguish, for Caroline Mattéoli painting can only be a joyous game of creation. In an abstract way, she “ paints a thousands and one vibrations” with her unique honest determination.

BFM Tv, November 2013

Pratique des Arts, May 2004



Magazine France (US), autumn 2002

Stratégies, 07/01/2000


Detail of Stratégies, 07/01/2000


Figaro Madame,


Figaroscope, Mar 1989

Point de vue, Mars 1989



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