Karen Joubert Cordier

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Karen Joubert-Cordier is a French-American artist born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on 29 August 1954. Upon completion of her studies at the Academy Charpentier in Paris, she was counseled by a famous art dealer Daniel Cordier. Her first show was a great success at the Gallery Beaubourg in Paris; followed by a permanent exhibition at the Georges Pompidou Museum.

Joubert-Cordier's work is very closed to her heart. At a younger age, she was fascinated by Caesar's (a French sculptor) garden and it was then that she decided to paint for the first time. It was also this garden that has inspired her to develop the vegetation series. She began to paint the signature gigantic imaginary forest and develop this research for over 20 years. Recently, her artwork has evolved into a series of narration figurative involving more comic elements mixed with Pop art. Recalling her childhood often spent abroad, where her father was a Chief Purser of the liner "France", she is widely traveled and has crossed the Atlantic Ocean 49 times. She has met legendary people, including Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin, and even the King of Belgium Leopold.

As the famous art critic Bernard Lamarche Vadel has described Joubert-Cordier's work: "pointillism, surrealism, all-over expressionism, all the principles of the great moments of the Twentieth Century pulled together". Joubert-Cordier has embraced the surrealist and disturbing side of Dalí, the colours of Le Douanier Rousseau, the technique of Arcimboldo and the modernity of Robert Combas.[1] Many Joubert-Cordier's paintings are now collected and showcased in national museums, including the Art Modern Museum in Toulouse and in the hands of prestigious international collectors, including the former French Prime Minister, Jean-Francois Girard, famous entertainer Elton John, and the Rockefeller Foundation.[2]


Le Dechainement de Vegetal[edit]

Le dechainement de Vegetal, the unbridled vegetation, is an accumulation of details of flowers and plants exploded by the expert use of fluorescent colours and freedom of composition. These gigantic and unusual plants and the ever-extending canvas captivate viewers to an "Alice in the Wonderland" fantasy of Joubert-Cordier's imagination. They evoke a world completely subjective to the vegetal reign, in which almost other loving forms are rejected like the surrealism of Dalí’s children dreams. As the famous art critic Bernard Lamarche Vadel has summarized, Joubert-Cordier's work is where "unbridled imagination explodes on the canvas with an accumulation of details in fluorescent colours expressed in a freedom of composition".[2]


Exotic animals are also one essential life form that cannot be ruled out from Joubert-Cordier's fantasy jungle. Filiing every part of the canvas with plants, animals and life, this series shows Joubert-Cordier's passion for nature and richness of her vision.

La Narrative Figurative[edit]

More recently, Joubert-Cordier's paintings are inspired by her travels. Being the daughter of the Chief Purser of the liner "France", she is widely traveled and has crossed the Atlantic Ocean 49 times.[3] Each of her journeys is a "true source of inspiration".[3] Her work starts on a point where she sketches cartoonlike images of days that passes by and is completed in her workshop where her brushes will interpret all the knowledge she had assimilated throughout her travelling, transporting the eye into different worlds. The collection could be subdivided into two genres:

French Prestige[edit]

This series is the story of the beginning of luxury and the real life. Joubert-Cordier was fortunate enough to be in touch with the other identity as American. From a privileged family where her father was the navy captain with Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and her mother whom she described as Judy Garland and as spicy as Marilyn Monroe was a model at that time, the couple led a luxurious lifestyle. Living under such glamorous limelight, Joubert-Cordier had all the opportunities to explore the world and meet many legendary people. She has met people Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin, and even the King of Belgium Leopold. Her unforgettable encounters mark a unique impression on her and have reinforced a unique vision in her illustrative work. Like an urban jungle, Joubert-Cordier translated her experiences with collage of memories, from glamorous Europe to the wave of Pop art and icons of the time.


Romantic Rivera[edit]

This title greets the arrival of English and American residents in search of a quiet place at the beginning of the last century. It is the Golden age of "Cote d'Azure" that Joubert-Cordier feels. She expresses this feeling in colours of the quiet blue of the sea, the intense and warm red of the sun and especially by Sienna dust which stresses the romantic, nostalgic and sometimes disturbing atmosphere of these subjects in black and white. in these peculiar settings, she introduces people who are the stars in business, movies, arts and novels. Through her descriptive paintings, we enter Joubert-Cordier's personal universe.

"We often stayed at the Negresco Hotel in Nice, the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, The Grand Hotel in St. Jean Cap Ferrat, in the most famous hotels around the world. I often encountered Salvador Dalí, dined with Hitchcock... danced with Sutherland and so many others. A delightful, enriching gift of experiences through my parents, a step in wealth and luxury which had to be transmitted one day through art - Karen Joubert Cordier [4]


Joubert-Cordier's Pop collection is a reminiscence of the comic strips of the childhood days, the American dream, and the chewing gum societies.[5] From economic intelligence to Andy Warhol's Marilyn, from Mickey Mouse to Superman, from Norman Rockwell to Bill Gates. Karen's world is colourful in pure pop art tradition.


Joubert-Cordier's works are collected by the Georges Pompidou Museum in Paris, which houses the largest museum for Modern Art in Europe. Her works are also collected by many others, including: former French Prime Minister Jean-Francois Girard, famous entertainer Elton John and the Rockefeller Foundation.


Bernard Lamarche Vadel (1949–2000):
"At first sight, Joubert-Cordier's paintings have only one recurring subject: the unbridled vegetation of nature falling prey to unlimited repetition, dissemination, proliferation. This means that each composition originates from a serial process transversing the painting and which the painting is only a detail of. And the famous disturbing Freudian strangeness emanating from each work has no other motive but this situation where we are facing the framework of a process unfolding outside all dimension. If, therefore, the ordinate accumulation of details in a painting which itself is but a detail serves first as a purely visual provocation, viewed again, Joubert-Cordier's paintings accomplish an original, exotic, and unexpected synthesis of modern tradition especially. Pointillism, surrealism, all-over expressionism, all the principles of the great movements of the century are convoked, collected, in order to draw out the image of a digital labyrinth. Because, here, vision seems to me to be but an inductive threshold, "aperitif" if I may say so, of a sensorial space very rarely utilized in the history of painting, that of the Touch. This so rare sensation is discernable in the complementarity of the formal characteristic of the works and of the Story of these same works. This great proliferating vegetation screened framed in a series of sites, and details therefore of an infinite process, is first of all the product of a proliferation of marks, touches, streaks. And the eye convoked in Joubert-Cordier's paintings as the synthetic sum of marks, in identifying the sumptuous microcellular carpet, identifies at the same time the procedural passage of the repetition of touches, rather than of the painted, the brushed. From which follows, considering these paintings and their disturbing strangeness: that it is not so much the visual aspect of this flora which inspires strangeness; the coherent and masterly application of touches; the quality of the tones, the organic unit of the ensemble, on the contrary, confers upon these works a great visual savour. But beyond the global visual threshold, I well believe that it is the spectator's hand which is, through these paintings, grabbed, the unconscious hand seized by the delicate touch of these great digital surfaces. It is not the eye here that is in danger, but through the recourse to vision, it is the body that is aimed at, the hand first, on this score of teeth, these stringy mosses, these carnivorous flowers, this vegetal cancer. This painting sees itself on the scale of the forbidden it forces on touch, and by enxtension, on the body. Bernard Lamarache is a highly lauded art critic whose opinion is valued by collectors around the world[2]

Mr. Jean-Pierre Thébault, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macao:
"Ms. Karen Joubert-Cordier is very talented, and her works attract all walks of life. Her paintings mix her love of nature, her travels, her meetings and contacts which throughout her life have proved such an inspiration" [6]

Ms. Regina Cheng, Art consultant and Representative of Karen Joubert Cordier in Asia:
"Karen is very different to other artists. She is passionate, colourful, lively and bewildering. her works escape from the traditions and embedded the idea of the 20th Century Art Movement - post modern, expressionism and fauvism.... At lot of people admire Karen's paintings. I feel this is largely due to the fat that Karen is so unique. Others may copy her style, the brush strokes, but her emotions and imagination cannot be replicated"[7]

Ms. Henrietta Tsui, the Director of Galerie Ora-Ora:
'"[Karen] has so much to tell us in each of her pieces that she leaves no part of the canvas empty. When you study her pieces, they would somehow broaden your perspective, Each painting is a story-telling process to Karen and each story allows you to use your own imagination based on her creation. There is also a chic and classy modishness to her paintings that make them collectibles for all. My gallery is presenting Karen's works, not because of her reputation and fame, her works well exhibited and collected by museums, but we want to show art lovers what genuine imagination could bring to a piece of art" [8]



  • Shanghai "My City Our Dreams" Gala Auction, Shanghai, China; 5 May
  • Lifeline Express "The Beauty of Nature" Charity Painting Exhibition, Pacific Place, Hong Kong; 16 - 19 Apr
  • Christine Gallery, Seoul, South Korea


  • Alife Fresco 7th Anniversary, Tokyo; 28 August MUST WATCH


  • Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair, Hong Kong
    Source: Downloaded from http://regineart.com
  • Museum of Perfume, Grasse
  • Gallery Take 121, Nashville, USA
  • Happy Art Gallery and Rotshield Bank, Cannes; 8th Oct[9]
  • Galerie Geraldine Zberro, Paris
  • Galerie Onega, Paris
  • Chicago Sister cities international, Chicago, USA; 8th Oct


  • Galerie Pelissier, Nice
  • Grand Hotel St. Jean cap, Ferrat
  • Galerie de l’eveche, Vence


  • Raffles Museum, Singapore
  • Ode to Art Gallery, Singapore[2]
  • Negresco Hotel, Nice
  • Kieba Gallery, Vence
  • Karement Karen College Nikide, St Phalle


  • French Affair with Singapore, Singapore
  • Villa Durazzo, Santa Margarita, Italy
  • Les Abattoirs, Art Modern Museum, Toulouse [www.lesabattoirs.org]
  • Beaubourg Gallery, Vence
  • Negresco Hotel, Nice
  • Château Ste Roseline, Draguignan
  • Cultural Center, Roquefort les pins


  • Business Center, Nice Airport
  • Galerie Loumani, Valbonne


  • La Verand’anne, Gstaad, Switzerland
  • Referencing at Georges Pompidou Library [www.centrepompidou.fr]
  • Fifth Gallery, Paris
  • Galerie de l’eveche, Vence
  • SNCP Champs Elysees, Paris


  • Cultural Center, Roquefort les pins
  • L’Abbaye, La Colle sur Loup
  • Mas d’Artigny, Vence


  • Gallery Aurora (William), Shanghai, China
  • Navy Museum, Le Havre
  • Mas d’Artigny, Vence
  • Negresco Hotel, Nice
  • Tatina Tournemine Gallery, Paris
  • Beaubourg Gallery, Vence


  • Chateau des fleurs, Marianne and Pierre Nahon, Vence
  • L’Ile en terre Gallery, Vence

1991 - 1999

  • 99: L’Abbaye, La Colle sur Loup
  • 98: Chateau Str Roseline, Draguignan
  • 98: Consulat du Canada, Chicago, USA
  • 96: New Eastside Art Works, Chicago, USA
  • 96: Nicole Gallery, Chicago, USA
  • 94: Majestic Hotel, Cannes

1980 - 1990

  • 89: Art Honction Nahon, Nice
  • 88: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
  • 87: Galerie Beaubourg, Paris
  • 86: Henry Clew Foundation, Mandelieu

Permanent Exhibition


Karen x FERIA DESIGN CLOSET has produced a line of products, including perfume (in collaboration with Givenchy), handbags, porches, keychains and T-shirts. Source: Downloaded from http://alife-select.com/products/list.php?category_id=1


  1. ^ "Artist Karen Joubert". Saatchi-gallery.co.uk. 1954-08-29. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Karen Joubert Cordier". OdeToArt. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  3. ^ a b "French May 2009 : Karen Joubert-Cordier - Consulat général de France à Hong Kong et Macao". Consulfrance-hongkong.org. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  4. ^ Ora-Ora International Limited. (2009). Karen Joubert Cordier, p. 9. Galerie Ora-Ora, Hong Kong.
  5. ^ Lumeau, J (2009). "La fresque de Karen au CERAM", LMS NEWS, 73
  6. ^ Consulat General De France a Hong Kong et Macao. (2009). "Karen Joubert-Cordier", p.1. Consulat General De France a Hong Kong et Macao.
  7. ^ CEO (2009) "Breathing art into life", CEO Hong Kong62(2-3)
  8. ^ Ora-Ora International Limited. (2009). Karen Joubert Cordier, p. 1. Galerie Ora-Ora, Hong Kong.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]

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