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Lumière, rire du ciel, Yahne Le Toumelin

Matthieu Ricard

“As her spiritual envelope becomes increasingly frail – she is now 93 years old -, her interior light shines increasingly towards those who surround her.” These words written by her son – Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard – can also apply to her painting. Yahne Le Toumelin, in her non-figurative style which we could call lyrical abstraction, proceeds like the painters of icons, taking paint off in order to reach a certain balance. Her storms, her gusts of wind, her rain, her aurora borealis, her mineral surfaces – which each person may freely interpret – joins the art of her friends Mathieu, Soulages and Zao Wou-Ki. But as this book reminds the reader, she also had a Surrealist period under the wing of André Breton (who exhibited her work in 1957) after learning her art from André Lhote. Her life had a major influence on her work: she was the daughter of Britton sailors, was the first wife of Jean-François Revel, was very influenced by her trips to Mexico, Tlemcen, Darjeeling and Bhutan, she merged classical techniques with Buddhist illumination. And she continues to do just that in her tenth decade.

Lumière, rire du ciel, Yahne Le Toumelin, by Matthieu Ricard, published by La Martinière, 2016, 144 p., €50

Lumière, rire du ciel, Yahne Le Toumelin - Matthieu Ricard

Review published in the newsletter #450 - from 24 November 2016 to 30 November 2016

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