La tarasque rouge (the red dragon)
Aubusson tapestry woven in the Goubely workshop.
Complete with certificate of origin signed by the artist, n°5 of 6.
« I became interested in the art of tapestry particularly because I was excited by the numbered cartoon technique consisting of the fabrication of a mental coloured image using a code…. Tapestry is an essential exercise. As I practised it, it is perhaps the desire to interrogate, down to the finest detail, a work which exists in two dimensions.” (quoted in the exhibition catalogue, Prassinos, rétrospective de l’oeuvre peint et dessiné, Puyricard, 1983). So much for the artist’s manifesto. Prassinos designed his first cartoons in 1951 (most of which, around 150, would be woven in the Goubely workshop); then he joined the A.P.C.T. (Association des Peintres-Cartonniers de Tapisserie). After several cartoons taking birds as their theme, Prassinos, like several other artists, despite being close to Lurçat, (Matégot, Wogensky…) turned resolutely towards abstraction, in a very personal style where sinuous shapes entwine in contrasting colours (often following a scheme of black-red-brown-beige).
If in this composition we are confronted by the familiar style of this artist characterised by the dramatic and contrasted limited colour schemes he habitually uses, the subject (or the title rather, tarasque being a traditional Provençal mythical beast) is a direct reference to the folklore of Provence (where Prassinos had made his home), but it can also be considered as an emulation of Lurçat who had already used the theme before him.
Exhibition catalogue Mario Prassinos, tapisseries monumentales, Abbaye de Montmajour, Arles, 1974
Exhibition catalogue Prassinos, Tapisseries, Angers, Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine, 1988