Xavier de Callataÿ

The artist lecturing in front of Caring and Death movement, Symphony for Christine, in his Soho Studio, New York City 1992.

Books and Limited Edition Publications
1997 Brabant Wallon, L’Arbre et le Sillon”, Xavier de Callataÿ
and Chantal Blanchard - Verbiest, Editions Racine, Belgium

“Preservation Hall” by William Carter, W.W.Norton & Company, NYC and London.
Book about Jazz and the Famous New Orleans Jazz Hall.

The Jazz Musician Paintings of Xavier de Callataÿ are depicted
with live jazz musicians in several photographs.The photo of 1961 shows the
artist painting a live jazz band performing in his French Quarter
Studio above Preservation Hall.

1979 “Audubon Park Portfolio”, limited edition published in New Orleans, LA


ARTnews Review

Xavier de Callatay
Burial of Christine (detail from Death, the third movement of the cycle "Symphony for Christine"), oil on canvas, 92 by 72 inches
Symphony total size = 8 feet height by 62 feet (ca 3 meters x ca 19 meters)
Michael Walls Gallery, New York

In this extraordinary suite of fresh, beautifully painted, allegorical works, Xavier de Callataÿ celebrates the life of Christine Pleasonton, an idealistic young woman who died a suicide in 1985. But the series is much more than the memory of one life. It is the Belgian born artist's romantic affirmation of woman as a source of love. life, and continuity.

"Symphony for Christine" is a cycle of 11 canvases arranged in four movements: fantasized scenes symbolizing desire, caring, death, and love. In Caring Christine comforts a mother and child in the ambience of an Everglades swamp, as pink and crimson flamingos soar upward across the sweep of the 7-foot-high and 17-foot-wide triptych. What makes the piece work is the sense of light - combining sunrise and sunset - that the artist is able to convey, the naturalness of the figures, and his masterly application of paint, from thin scraped-down surfaces to rich impastoes to unselfconscious bravura squiggles.

In “Death“ there are multiple scenes of Christine's body being lowered down by loving friends. On the left a jeep surrounded by apes and monkeys may represent the encroachments of modem life and evil forces, while elephants, on the right, stand for strength and continuity. Somber browns and violets are enriched by the glow of a rosy sunset and the rich prints of women's dresses. The final panels - a lush underwater scene of Christine beckoning to nude lovers - is a vision that only an artist as talented as de Callataÿ could carry off without being maudlin or corny.

It is rare to find a contemporary artist who can develop his own symbols and present them with such technical skill and strength of conviction that they transcend their source in his private memories and beliefs to assume a universal meaning.

Ruth Bass
art critic for ARTnews, September 1993


Press Art Reviews - TV - Interviews - Documentary Films - Catalogues

ARTnews Magazine, Article by Ruth Bass, New York, NY, September 1993

Catalogue “Symphony for Christine”, Michael Walls Gallery, New York, February 1993,
and Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, February 1994

Four New York TV interviews of Xavier de Callataÿ and Gabriele Pallin, June 1991
Children Museum of Manhattan, NY

Le Soir, Article by Nathalie Mattheiem, “ Deux Peintres Belge”, Belgium, August 1991

New York Times, Article by James Hirsch, June 20th, 1988

Documentary Film “New York” by Maurice Vermeesch, 1984, National Television Belgium

ARTWORLD Magazine, Review of Exhibition by Judd Tully, November 1982
New York, NY,

Review of the “Human Figure” by Roger Green, The Times Picayune, March 21, 1982 New Orleans, LA

Catalogue Introduction by David Lawall, Joanna Dean Galleries, November 1982, New York, NY

ARTS Magazine,Xavier de Callataÿ, Article by Margaret Wolfson, November 1982 New York, NY

Review of Exhibition by Stephane Rey, L’Echo de la Bourse, Belgium, February 20th, 1982

Review of “The Figure” by Roger Rapp, The Woodstock Times, NY, July 31, 1980

Review of Exhibition by S. Joslyn Fosberg, The Courier, New Orleans, LA, July 1977

Documentary Film about Xavier de Callatay by Jean Antoine, Paris 1976 - put bold

Article “ Reflections of New Orleans” by Jennifer Quale, January 1972
Times Picayune, New Orleans, LA

Catalogue Introduction by Charles Kerbs, Bienville Gallery, New Orleans, LA, 1971

Review of Exhibition by Alberta Collier, The Times Picayune, March 10, 1968, New Orleans, LA

Review of Exhibition by George S. Dibble, The salt Lake City Tribune, March 2, 1957,
Salt Lake City, UT