Introduction to the art of Luc-Peter Crombé
The art of Luc-Peter Crombé is the art of a perfectionist. His craving for perfection, merely on the technical aspect as on the artistic scrutiny, can be traced thru his whole work.
There are many artists, ancient and current, who discovered their own style, the summary of their ability, and from that moment on stayed in place for safety reasons. In Crombés there were many moments where he considered himself as ‘arrived’. But for a restless seeking perfectionist as Crombé, standing still is not an option. In observing his art one can see that again and again, from within the achieved acquirements, he will explore new grounds, as well about the subject and content as esthetic, artistic or simply technical.
Crombé was always pushed in his art, by his restless seeking artist soul, by exterior factors influencing his life, by everything that occupied him. Thereby he had different interests, such as religiously cycles, exclusively composition of figures where he was striving for spiritualism or the southern landscapes which he brought back from his trips; in between we found portraits, bouquet of flowers, still life, always back to the human figure.
Esthetically and artisticly Luc-Peter Crombé has always followed a classic attitude who was of all times and the trace to follow in his work. This classic attitude is expressed in his use of colours, in the drawing, that asks for attention; but especially the composition, who from painting to painting was his biggest concern and never showed a weak moment. Crombé has perfected every year his technical skills.
It is clear that in the art of Luc-Peter Crombé the technique is predominantly important. On his trips to Italy he discovered light and colour. This was a milestone in his work. He started to paint in ‘tempera’, the only way of painting to give luminance to light and colour, the transparency, the glow to –he who comes from the North- suddenly had discovered. Colour and the influence of light, pleases him so much that this is the moment where he accredits the colour an independent role, loose from reality, only carried by feeling.
The technique, the craft in the work of Crombé. In certain periods of his art, one has the impression that he is to concerned about perfection, at the cost of all other. It is certain, more than usual these days, that he was fully committed to the craft, searching for reliable foundations, mixing his own paint en testing it on durability, experimenting like an alchemist. His search has lead to a technique that can defy for centuries to come, starting from the tempera, elaborating in an emulsion of tempera and oilpaint, he has found the means that gives the wanted tranparency, wherefore different colour layers can be applied, in an optical colourmix, a liveliness, a depth and a glow which no other painting means could reflect.
During the years in the work of Luc-Peter Crombé the drawing has claimed the attention. The study of the Italian masters from the quatrocento and the quinquecento are the reason for this. In Crombés early works arises the profiling of colour surfaces, it is present but secondary to the pictural demands. But the draughtsman we know from several charcoal drawings will more and more demand his rights, the lign –as element of movement- gets more important as the colour gets more saturated and more depth. In later stages we see how the painter mixes the drawing with the wet underlay, like at the time fresc painters drawed in a wet calcium layer. It is a definitive, non amendable drawing, which needed an accurate draughtsmans hand and was confined to a sensitive description of silhouets.
In his later work we will see that Luc-Peter Crombés technique evolved continuously. The mixed tehnique is less prominent because the underlayer where it is captured becomes thinner and more fluent, while within the colour surfaces from which every painting is build, the surface is optically broken by one module of forms, that stands more picturally than graphically. More than ever, each colour is mixed, sparkling of the colour tones in different layers, which in depht keep living and afterglowing. The magic of colour depht, from a palet of no more than five colours: blue, cadmium-red en sometimes carmine, ochre and yellow.
The art of Crombé is in his whole career, set aside some resting moments with landscapes, bouquet of flowers en portraits, been literary-intellectualistic charged; he was always enticed by subjects that he elaborated in cycles, until he exhausted them en then searched new terrain.
Educated from A to Z in the artist painting by skilled masters with various disciplines and his love for artist painting Luc-Peter Crombé has tried to discover the secrets of great conquerors in this noble craft. This to be active in the spirit of his time but not as a slave of his time.