Le Nen Bernard

Bernard Le Nen is a French figurative painter. He was born in 1954.

He lives and works in Lasalle, in the Gard, France.

 As a teenager, I remember I used to imagine becoming a painter. It was a great dream but in the end, it seemed out of reach. In reality, it was about as likely as becoming a cosmonaut or the president of France.

Artists were heroes, magicians, madmen, but they were worlds apart from my culture and universe! I was convinced that you had to study for years at a fine art school to be an artist. My school reports were not exactly glowing, so the idea was nipped in the bud. But I looked and was fascinated by pictures I discovered, from Lascaux to Picasso.

Drawing is something I have done for years. I used to try imitating different artists. Then one day, I realized that I should just let my hand make lines on its own, let my imagination do as it pleased, free from judgement. There was an opening and I took the plunge.

Then came painting. It was inevitably instinctive, direct, fast, spontaneous, almost childish and colourful. Inspired by comic books, primitive and raw art, painting slowly took over. It was unhindered. As my hand worked gradually, the main thing was to make up compositions with whatever emerged. Once finished, the figurative pictures were there for each “onlooker” to interpret in their own way. People could make up their own story from them. I jumped in at the deep end without really knowing what I was doing. It was sink or swim. I learnt to swim.

It has now been 30 years since I started working in the studio and exhibiting. I am not sure if I did become a painter, but figurative painting is still on the agenda. My imagination still guides my hand and spirit. Above all, drawing remains the basis for everything. My painting is now more learned, more thought out. I am more careful with colour, its subtly and transparency.

Painting is now leading me towards darker, muffled tones, at the edge of night, dreams and death. Light is rare but precious. The figures, which used to be numerous and full of movement, have settled. They are often alone, they pause and have the gaze of fascinating portraits from another age, another world.

Painting is constantly shifting. It is renewed each day, at one with life, with passing time. It brings us knowledge and strength.

Bernard Le Nen, June 2015

Traduction: Isis Olivier

Solo exhibitions (selection)


L’Auberge des arts , Givors, 69

L’Usine , Paris, 19


Filature du pont de Fer Lasalle, 30

Domaine de la Jument Rousse Lagrasse, 11


Invité d’honneur Mythimages, Marciac, 32


Galerie La Rage , Lyon, 69

Group exhibitions (selection)


Passage à L’art, Salon d’art contemporain, Cherbourg

Grand Baz’art à Bézu, 27

Caravanes d’artistes, 66, 21

Epicerie de l’Art, Collias, 30

Salon Comparaisons, Grand Palais, Paris


Galerie Art Aujourd’hui Paris, 09

Temple de St Germain De Calberte, 48

Art Hors les Normes , Praz sur Arly, 74

Chapelle St André de Sevanes, 30

Salon 109, Paris

Caravanes d’artistes, 31,69


Caravanes d’artistes, 74,32

Altiport de Megève, 74

Singulièrement Vôtre, Montpellier

Salon 109, galerie l’Ecu de France ,Viroflay, 78

Salon d’Automne, Paris

Salon d’Automne, Palais des rois de Majorque, Perpignan

La Boîte noire, Tours


« Rêves et Chimères  » Galerie l’Ecu de France, Viroflay, 78

Puls’art Le Mans, 72

Artist residency

Octobre 2012 à L’atelier Beauvisage, Lyon 08

Museums and collections

Collection Céres Franco, Lagrasse

Musée De la création Franche, Bègles, 33

Musée d’Art Naïf Anatole-Jakovsky, Nice

Collection Hang’art, Saffré, 44

Artist's artworks

There are 9 artworks

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