Fanou Montel

Curious about everything, Fanou Montel’s artistic awakening began the day she opened her eyes, she says. As soon as she could hold a pencil, her hand smeared, painted and then colored. Little by little brushes and knives have replaced her pencils. Subsequently, from class to class, from internship to internship, her technical training deepened over the years.

A juxtaposition of colors in the laundry basket, the punctuation of a cypress in a Tuscan landscape, a line of vines that contradicts the curve of a path, the poetry of a freighter sailing on the high seas, its sources of inspiration can be many. From total abstraction to semi-figuration, the theme of landscape is almost omnipresent. The abstract landscape allows Fanou a great freedom of gesture and structuring of the composition, while providing her with a visual base through a small touch borrowed from reality.

Fanou experienced an infinite pleasure in struggling with the material and the limits of her canvas, without any constraint other than that of the final balance of the composition. She then understood why the abstract has swept through the art world in such an intense and lasting way, the pleasure of creating is real and total.

However, for a few years now, she has felt a need to get a little closer to something more tangible. Total figuration does not attract her, she likes drawing but it is not enough for her. She wants to live this intoxication of abstract creation while giving meaning to her creation, which she concretizes by one or more small “earthly” signs. The meaning she puts into it is her own and she has no need for those who look at her canvas to find the same.


I have known artistic exaltation since I was very young. Nothing will disturb my impulse, neither my parents’ refusal to study at the Beaux-Arts that I coveted, nor my job as a teacher of economics and management, nor the education of my two children. As a globetrotter, I will draw from my travels countless creative sensations from the encounters I make, the landscapes I admire… armed with a notebook and colored markers.

I have had about fifteen solo exhibitions, participated in numerous French and international exhibitions and worked with several galleries. I like to confront my painting to the eyes of those who can see something that moves them.


Drawing, then very quickly ink, were the vectors of my sensitivity as a child and teenager. When painting imposed itself on me, a little later, it was through figuration that I tried to translate my emotions. Nudes, portraits, a lot of landscapes; then the strokes became more and more abstract. For a few years now, abstraction has become the tool of my creative liberation. And then, as nothing is immutable, some figurative transcriptions appear little by little, and I let it happen.

At the beginning of a painting, a jubilant phase, the gesture is ample, fast, distributing colored masses, establishing a rhythm by fullness, emptiness, lines, traces… It is rare that I fix myself a precise image to create, I prefer to explore all the possibilities by allowing myself to repent and to let myself be guided by the emotions which arise as the architecture is put in place. I paint for that! To live these intense moments that creation gives me. Even if doubt and questioning often plague me, they never prevent me from starting again, again and again…

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Chacun sa route, Acrylic on canvas, 39’x32′

Cascade, Acrylic on canvas, 51’x38′

Battement d’air, Acrylic on canvas, 69’x47′

Carré d’automne, Acrylic on canvas, 31’x31′

Variations, Acrylic on canvas, 51’x38′

Quand le ciel s’en mêle, Acrylic on canvas, 39’x 26′

Au jardin, Acrylic on canvas, 16’x16′

Envie de printemps, Acrylique on canvas, 31’x 16′

Moment suspendu, Acrylic on canvas, 16’x16′

Odyssée, Acrylic on canvas, 39’x32′

All images © Fanou Montel


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CURATOR | Joelcy Kay