Typified by their breezy lyricism, wherein subjects are transposed into dreamlike settings, Brasilier's images portray a peaceful world with delicate harmonies in composition and color. Though his works reflect the influence of expressionist artists, Brasilier derives inspiration from Japanese prints, and among his favorite themes are pastoral scenes, musical instruments, the sea, women, and horses. A painter, watercolorist, lithographer, and ceramist, Brasilier sought to create a harmony between composition and emotion in each of his works. He defined himself as a "transfigurative" painter, believing that painting was above all a transfiguration of reality as opposed to a realistic translation thereof.
Born to two painters in Saumur, Touraine in the Loire region of France, Andre Brasilier attended the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts beginning in 1949. In 1952 he won the Florence Blumenthal Prize, and the following year he won the Prix de Rome Painting Prize. In Rome, he was artist in residency at the Villa Médicis from 1954 to 1957. The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg held a major retrospective honoring the artist's work in 2005. Today he lives and works in Paris.
"When I see a motif that interests me [now], I take notes and I re-transcribe my impressions much later in front of a canvass. In my opinion, a painting is a physical object, [but] it must represent an emotion born from life. In my canvasses, I try to establish a harmony between the two."
André Brasilier completed Le Pavillon Royal just four years after winning the Prix de Villeneuve-sur-Lot in 1962. Le Pavillon Royal was, and remains to this day, a "unique place in the heart of Paris, combining heritage and modernity," offering an event space at the center of the city's Bois de Boulogne park in the 16th Arrondissement. Built in 1857, Le Pavillon Royal is a historical landmark and a significant vestige of Second-Empire France. Utilized for weddings, parties, and other high-society festivities, it is a perennial signifier of entertainment and celebration. This subject comes naturally to Brasilier, who, in his work, fixated on dreamy, peaceful, lighthearted compositions generally centered around the idea of harmony between man and nature. In this park scene, Brasilier transports the viewer to an elegant gathering-rendered in a surreal, simplistic compositional mode-complete with fashionable women, beautiful flowers, and, at center, a group of musicians. As a theme, music is central to Brasilier's oeuvre, and served as the inspiration for his very first exhibition. As the artist himself notes:
"I love, above all, life, and in all of its forms. Music is one of these forms that I especially appreciate. My first exhibition in 1959 was entitled "Autour de la musique" ("About Music"). Since then, I've always liked to work with this theme. All is beautiful in music, the discipline of the orchestra, the harmony of a quartet"
Collection of David Barrett, New York