The exhibition Paris et nulle part ailleurs (Paris and Nowhere Else) immerses the public in the years of post-war tumult that saw the emergence of new artistic visions, in the fields of abstraction, figuration and kinetic art, between 1945 and 1972.
In the first half of the 20th century, Paris was the world capital of the arts, a hotbed for avant-garde movements, attracting artists and intellectuals from across the world. After World War 2, despite the increasing appeal of New York, Paris and – for many people – nowhere else, was still the place you had to go to be trained, to create, to exhibit, to compare your work with that of others, to write the very history of art.
Of the 15,000 artists active in Paris at this time, 60 to 65% of them were foreigners. Whether they spent a few months, a few years, left and came back, or settled there definitively, why did these artists come? How was their work impacted by this change in environment, how does it express that? Are their migratory paths similar to those of their compatriots? Paris et nulle part ailleurs examines 24 artists of various origins (Europe, Africa, Latin America, USA, Asia) who came to Paris and whose work helps us grasp the key issues of migration.
Organised into four themes: going into exile, blending home culture and host culture, reacting to the strangeness of the world they were discovering, building a universal language without borders, the exhibition covers the motivations for leaving, the experience of settling in, socializing, and a sometimes difficult everyday life in a more or less welcoming and cosmopolitan city, now their new home..
The exhibition features around one hundred works from private and public collections – drawings, sculptures, paintings, collages – by Shafic Abboud (Lebanon), Eduardo Arroyo (Spain), André Cadere (Romania), Ahmed Cherkaoui (Morocco), Carlos Cruz-Diez (Vénezuela), Dado (Montenegro), Erró (Iceland), Tetsumi Kudo (Japan), Wifredo Lam (Cuba), Julio Le Parc (Argentina), Milvia Maglione (Italy), Roberto Matta (Chile), Joan Mitchell (USA), Véra Molnar (Hungary), Iba N’Diaye (Senegal), Alicia Penalba (Argentina), Judit Reigl (Hungary), Antonio Seguí (Argentina), Jesús Rafael Soto (Venezuela), Daniel Spoerri (Romania), Hervé Télémaque (Haiti), Victor Vasarely (Hungary), Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (Portugal), Zao Wou-Ki (China).
At the heart of Abstraction Works from the collection of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art
July 2 - November 22, 2022
The exhibition at the Fondation Maeght will show works from the collection of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art from the 2nd of July until the 20th of November 2022 and offers an immersion in the vibrant creation of the years 1945 to 1980.
Home to a collection of more than 13,000 works, Fondation Maeght is always keen and honoured to showcase other collections, some of which are rarely accessible to the public, as it has consistently done in the past. This summer, from 2 July to 20 November, it is unveiling some 120 works from the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art (Geneva) and offering a riveting immersion into abstraction from the 1950s to the 1980s.
In the wake of Second World War, as many European artists exiled in the United States headed back to France, Paris regained its status as a hotbed of creativity and a global cultural capital. Driven by a thirst for freedom and a craving to rethink painting in the post-war years, artists from all over the world returned to their studios, abandoned during the German occupation, and engaged in an era of creative effervescence, be it in the arts, literature or filmmaking. While the breakthroughs by the vanguards of the first half of the 20th century were an invaluable post-war stimulus, abstract art renewed itself from the most gestural expression to the interrogation of materials, mediums and techniques.
The Fondation Gandur pour l’Art’s outstanding collection displayed at Fondation Maeght reveals the variety of forms em- braced by abstraction during these creative years. Works by Hans Hartung, Martin Barré, Simon Hantaï or Pierre Soulag- es trace the evolution of non-figurative art over four decades. In a thematic and chronological layout, the exhibition invites the viewer to discover lyrical and gestural abstraction by Georges Mathieu, abstract expressionism by Sam Francis and Joan Mitchell, geometric abstraction by Victor Vasarely, kinetic works by Alexander Calder and Jean Tinguely, through to the rethinking of painting by the Supports/Surfaces group. The 1980s ushered in an era of revitalized abstract art, building on the hectic experimentation of earlier years.
Guest curator: Yan Schubert, the Gandur Collection pour l’Art curato
Embrassant une vaste période, des années 1910 aux années 1960, l’histoire du modernisme portugais, dont le poète Fernando Pessoa fut la figure tutélaire et son principal fondateur, se déroule entre le Portugal et Paris : la capitale française, centre artistique international depuis le XIXe siècle, attire les Portugais en quête de modernité.
Cette histoire méconnue s’insère dans un contexte international bien plus vaste et met en lumière, à partir d’artistes de générations et de styles différents, un modernisme de tous les pays, de tous les continents.
Avec plus d’une centaine d’œuvres d’artistes portugais célèbres ou peu connus en France, mais qui tous ont contribué à l’art moderne lusitanien comme international, cette exposition nous amène à déplacer notre regard, à le faire voyager, et à penser l’histoire de l’art en dehors de ses grandes figures.
Sont exposées, les œuvres de Sarah Affonso, José de Almada Negreiros, Mário Cesariny, António Dacosta, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Ofélia Marques, Santa Rita Pintor, Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Árpád Szenes, Eduardo Viana, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva.
With Anna-Eva-Bergman as with Hans Hartung, the fact of archiving and archiving everything (sketches, letters, photographs, press…) was at the heart of their life and their work. It is one of the common dominators of the two artists, who are otherwise so autonomous in their aesthetic approach. The Hartung Bergman Foundation which emanates from their will is the embodiment of this obsession. Rich in an exceptional collection of canvases, drawings, notebooks, innumerable documents, the Foundation makes it possible to trace almost from day to day the intertwining of the creative process and the daily existence of this couple of painters among the most outstanding. and originals of the modern period. From May 11 to September 30, 2022, the exhibition “Les archives de la création” is a dive into the secrets of their production, whether free gesture, mathematical meticulousness, sometimes even the memory of an ancient craft. From a simple tool to the entire structure of the workshop, passing through contemporary or classical sources of inspiration, the “factory” of their respective and common universes is revealed here for the first time in the sumptuous setting of their villa in Antibes. .
To celebrate the centenary of Simon Hantaï’s birth (1922-2008), Fondation Louis Vuitton is organising an unprecedented retrospective exhibition curated by Anne Baldassari. It includes more than 130 of Simon Hantaï’s works, many of which have never before been shown, and the majority of which are large format works from 1957 to 2000.
Simultaneously, the Fondation will present La couleur en fugue exhibition, in which paint is free to escape the limited scope of the canvas.
The starting point for the didactic circuit is the painting Écriture rose (1958 – 1959, which was donated to the government by the artist. Musée national d’art moderne / Pompidou Centre). It goes on to explore the successive periods of his work: Peintures à signes, Monochromes, Mariales, Catamurons, Panses, Meuns, Études, Blancs, Tabulas, Peintures polychromes, Sérigraphies and Laissées, before concluding with the “last workshop”.
Hantaï’s works are shown alongside the works of other major artists that had an influence on the artist, including Henri Matisse and Jackson Pollock, whose artistic influences were decisive in Hantaï’s development, and Michel Parmentier and Daniel Buren, who were Hantaï’s peers in the 1960s scene at the Cité des Fleurs. An unprecedented in situ intervention by Daniel Buren, called Mur(s) pour Simon (“Wall(s) for Simon”) and designed as a tribute to Hantaï, is on display.
Curator and manager of the catalogue: Anne Baldassari
Fondation Louis Vuitton 8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris
“La Luce del Nero” is the title of the upcoming exhibition hosted in one of the two museums of Fondazione Burri, the Ex Seccatoi del Tabacco in Città di Castello, Italy. Here, the color Black shifts from the concept of dark and absence to becoming an actual color. This event has been designed to be inclusive for a public with visual impairment, besides offering an immediate and highly stimulating sensorial experience to all visitors.
Bruno Corà, curator of this exhibition and President of Fondazione Burri, highlights how Black “between the Middle Ages and the XVII century was no longer considered a color. Artists restored its chromatic value and among them, in particular Kazimir Malevič, author of the well-known “Black Square on white background” (1915), a print of which is present in our exhibition”.
Among the artists of the second half of the XX century, Burri is the one who most used the color Black, to the extent of painting the Ex Seccatoi del Tabacco completely black. These industrial buildings became the museum hosting its major pictorial cycles.
Together with Burri, other artists included in this exhibition created artworks using black, such as Agnetti, Bassiri, Bendini, Castellani, Fontana, Hartung, Isgrò, Kounellis, Lo Savio, Morris, Nevelson, Nunzio, Parmiggiani, Schifano, Soulages and Tàpies. Each one of them with different modalities, intentions and meaning, all capable of arousing in the visitor different feelings, perceptions, sensations. Eventually, poets feelings as well are turned on Black and caecitas to explain the inner gaze of the psychic and poetic look in opposition to the actual vision.
The exhibition “La Luce del Nero” has been organized within the framework of the Creative Europe programme, through the “Beam Up” project (Blind Engagement In Accessible Museum Projects), which addresses the issue of accessibility of contemporary art for a public with visual impairment at an international and inclusive level.
This exhibition crowns the reopening of the venues of the Ex Seccatoi del Tabacco after 7 years of constructions, which fully upgraded these exhibition areas. As stated by Mr. Corà “in the world, there are very few artist’s museums such as the Burri museum in Città di Castello, which can pride itself on having a museum itinerary that starts from Palazzo Albizzini and ends to the Ex Seccatoi del Tabacco without fearing comparisons with any other museum”.
Auguste Herbin, Geneviève Claisse ou encore Jean Dewasne, artistes abstraits géométriques originaires du Nord et férus de sciences exactes, dont le musée départemental Matisse possède une importante collection, ont utilisé le cercle comme un élément récurrent de composition.
Le travail de ces artistes entre en résonance avec les photographies que le spationaute français Thomas Pesquet a faites pendant ses loisirs à bord de la Station spatiale internationale (ISS). Quand il nous montre la Terre depuis l’espace, nous sommes frappés par l’extrême beauté de notre planète. De même, quand il photographie son environnement, l’absence de pesanteur donne à son Habitacle une sensation de sphère ou de cercle.
Cette exposition établit un rapprochement de ces deux visions : celle de l’artiste qui s’inspire de la science et celle du scientifique qui traduit sa fascination de l’espace par la photographie. L’une et l’autre dialoguent et se complètent mutuellement.
Ce projet a été enrichi par des prêts émanant de deux autres musées du Département du Nord : le Forum antique de Bavay par celui de statuettes de Mars et d’Atlas, le Musverre par celui d’œuvres contemporaines. Le Forum départemental des Sciences nous a en outre apporté un précieux concours scientifique et pédagogique, sans oublier le partenariat avec l’Abbaye de Vaucelles.
L’exposition met en regard, dans un dialogue qui se veut aussi formel que poétique :
21 œuvres d’Auguste Herbin,
19 œuvres de Geneviève Claisse,
5 œuvres de Jean Dewasne dont le monumental Habitacle rouge,
Un bronze de Joan Miró,
Quelques extraits de revues et de livres illustrés édités par Tériade et photographies des artistes exposés,
2 statuettes antiques prêtées par le Forum antique de Bavay,
9 œuvres contemporaines prêtées par le MusVerre,
32 photographies et une courte vidéo de Thomas Pesquet et de la NASA, vues intérieures et extérieures de la Station spatiale internationale (ISS), de la planète Terre et d’aurores boréales.
At the end of World War II, Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985) began exhibiting paintings that defied entrenched artistic values. He rejected principles of decorum and classical beauty, along with pretentions of expertise. Instead, he looked to the commonplace and the unheralded, employing crude materials, mundane subjects, and a style that spurned any outward sign of academic training. In this approach, Dubuffet was challenging norms that he believed obstructed authentic expression and devalued everyday experience. However, his goal was not only to reveal how threadbare cultural conventions were; he also wanted to illustrate the vitality of life freed from them. As he once claimed, “I would like people to see my work as a rehabilitation of scorned values and . . . make no mistake about it, a work of ardent celebration.”
Throughout his career, Dubuffet’s output was characterized by this celebratory impulse, as much as it was by his commitment to critiquing culture. His work of the 1940s and 1950s invited audiences to fundamentally reconsider the concept of beauty, and it demonstrated how worthy of admiration ordinary things could be—whether rocks, crumpled aluminum foil, or thickened paint. From the 1960s through the mid-1970s, Dubuffet showed the potential for adventure, creativity, and discovery that can be unleashed by diving into fantasy. For the last decade of his life, he strove to inspire a rethinking of the most basic structures of the mind, as he imagined the possibilities of approaching the world without the constraints of learned categories. This exhibition, drawn entirely from the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, offers a survey of his production from these defining decades. It seeks to affirm that across Dubuffet’s shifts in focus, he kept his ever-evolving project grounded in its dedication to sharing new and revitalizing perspectives with viewers.
FROM FAUVISM TO SURREALISM. MASTERPIECES FROM THE MUSÉE D’ART MODERNE DE PARIS
February 11, 2022 - May 22, 2022
Musée Guggenheim Bilbao
The Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (MAM) and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao present a selection of nearly seventy masterpieces by significant artists that illustrates the history of the MAM collection while offering an overview of the avant-garde artistic movements born in Paris during the first decades of the twentieth century.
The MAM was built on the occasion of the historic Exposition Internationale (1937) to be a home to the collections of modern art of the city of Paris, which expanded rapidly in the following years thanks to major acquisitions of works by important artists of the Parisian art scene. However, MAM was only formalized as a museum in 1961. Patrons were an integral source of support for this project, especially Dr. Maurice Girardin, whose museum bequest of 1953 became the nucleus for the collection of modern masters, including the Fauves, Cubists, and representatives of the School of Paris.
Organized chronologically over three successive sections, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the period following World War II, the selection of works in this exhibition presents an historical perspective of the main protagonists involved in these pivotal artistic movements. The exhibition begins with representative works of Fauvism and Cubism, emphasizing those artists whose audacious freedom revolutionized art and changed traditional perception of landscape, human figure, and still life; followed by the generation of international artists who gave birth to the School of Paris during the interwar period; and finally a presentation of artists involved with Surrealism, which was led by the poet André Breton since its founding in 1924 in its historical home of Paris.
Through the present day, MAM continues its dynamic approach to acquisitions through its artistic and cultural policy of gathering exemplary representations of historical avant-garde movements. Many of these works are presented in Bilbao for the first time in this exhibition.
Curated by Fabrice Hergott, director of the Musée d´Art Moderne de Paris in cooperation with Hélène Leroy, curator of the Musée d´Art Moderne de Paris, and Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, curator of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Exhibition organized by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Paris Musées
La magnifique rétrospective Jean Dubuffet présentée à la Fondation Pierre Gianadda, en collaboration avec le Centre Georges-Pompidou à Paris, propose une relecture du travail du grand défenseur de « l’Art Brut ». Bien qu’il ait, paradoxalement, refusé la culture dominante, les écoles, les courants et les techniques enseignées, son œuvre occupe une place majeure dans le paysage artistique de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle.
De par sa diversité, cette exposition témoigne de l’inépuisable créativité de cet artiste prolifique – né en 1901 et décédé en 1985 – qui sut faire évoluer son style tout au long de son existence. Érigeant le non-savoir en principe pour créer une œuvre singulière, rythmée par des séries successives, Jean Dubuffet ne cessa de développer de nouvelles recherches aux « tonalités » audacieuses, toujours déconcertantes. Insoumis aux normes en vigueur, « le vrai art », selon lui, « est toujours là où on ne l’attend pas. Là où personne ne pense à lui ni ne prononce son nom. »
Riche de plus de dix mille œuvres répertoriées au catalogue raisonné, le travail polymorphe de Jean Dubuffet couvre six décennies du XXe siècle. Aussi, pour rendre compte de tous les aspects de sa création, l’exposition présentée à la Fondation Pierre Gianadda s’articule autour de temps forts, faisant alterner chefs-d’œuvre de sa peinture et ensembles majeurs de travaux sur papier (dessins et gouaches), présentés selon un déroulement chronologique.
The Hypothesis of Gravity is a monographic exhibition devoted to the contemporary artist Bernar Venet. This monumental work fills the 1,000 square metres of the luminous Glass Pavilion, reconfiguring the museum’s internal and external landscape.
Inside the Glass Pavilion are around one hundred corten steel beams in the form of Arches, Straight Lines, and Angles. Piled on top of each other in a jumbled accumulation on the floor, these sculptural and linear elements, simultaneously monumental and graphic, have collapsed in on each other.
In this work, Bernar Venet is putting forward the hypothesis of gravity as a formal proposition. Matter here is no longer governed by the forces of nature: the industrial motifs are arranged in a disordered way that recalls the spontaneous organisation of plants. The sculpture releases energy and a fierce beauty, offering visitors a physical and artistic experience of space that is poetic and unpredictable.
The work is a continuation of the artist’s exploration of matter, its capacity to resist and its reaction to gravity, and of the question of entropy, which is central to his work. The practice of piling and collapsing, and the use of random combinations as a form of creation, are essential to Bernar Venet’s work.
Hosting a large exhibition devoted to Pierre Matisse, the Musée Matisse revisits the exceptional career of Henri Matisse’s youngest son, a New York art dealer and a key figure of the 20th century art world.
For about sixty years, the Pierre Matisse Gallery played a prominent role in the art world: it tirelessly championed French and European modern art in the United States during a key period which saw the formation of major private and institutional American collections. The 300 or so exhibitions organised at the gallery allowed a generation of European artists to gain visibility and take part in the New York art scene.
Pierre Matisse applied himself to build his artists’ reputation and promote the American careers of major figures represented by the gallery: Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Balthus, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet and Marc Chagall to name but a few. He supported individuals rather than movements like fauvism, cubism, surrealism or the School of Paris. Without claiming to be exhaustive, the exhibition Pierre Matisse, an Art Dealer in New York retraces this odyssey through the presentation of seventy artworks by twenty-three key artists of the gallery.
As underlined by Balthus, Pierre “saw things as a painter’s son”. The exhibition puts strong emphasis on the gallery’s publications as they testify to Pierre’s remarkable creative skill at designing these sometimes modest yet original publications. It also shows, through numerous installation views of the gallery that he curated and hung his exhibitions with great care too.
These two themes which are documented by a wealth of images of the gallery’s publications and exhibits are central to both the exhibition and the catalogue. The latter, published by Bernard Chauveau, brings together essays by Serena Bucalo-Mussely, Catherine Dossin, Fabrice Flahutez, Jack Flam, Claudine Grammont, Marianne Jakobi and Johanne Lindskog.
The exhibition includes major loans from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation (New York), the Ezra and David Nahmad collection and private collections. 15 masterpieces, donated in lieu of inheritance tax by Pierre Matisse’s heirs to the French state in 1991 and kept in the Musée national d’art moderne’s collection, have been generously loaned to the Musée Matisse, paving the way for a multiyear partnership agreement signed by the City of Nice and the Centre Georges Pompidou.
GROUP SHOW | ALICIA PENALBA SE RÉVÈLE DANS “ELLES FONT L’ABSTRACTION”
May 19, - August 23, 2021
Centre Pompidou, Paris
L’exposition propose une relecture inédite de l’histoire de l’abstraction depuis ses origines jusqu’aux années 1980, articulant les apports spécifiques de près de cent dix artistes femmes.
« Elles font l’abstraction » donne l’occasion de découvrir des artistes qui constituent des découvertes tant pour les spécialistes que pour le grand public. L’exposition valorise le travail de nombre d’entre elles souffrant d’un manque de visibilité et de reconnaissance au-delà des frontières de leur pays. Elle se concentre sur les parcours d’artistes, parfois injustement éclipsées de l’histoire de l’art, en revenant sur leur apport spécifique à l’histoire de l’abstraction.
On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Karel Appel (Amsterdam, 1921-Zürich, 2006), the museum opens an exhibition with the most beautiful works of Karel Appel from its own collection, supplemented with a number of special loans.
This exhibition selects an important artist from the Dr. Alfred Gunzenhauser Collection: Serge Poliakoff. The artist originally came from Moscow. In Paris around 1950 he developed his own very distinctive formal idiom. Drawing on Cubism and the colour theories of Robert and Sonja Delaunay, he produced works that linger neither in geometrical stringency and analytical constructivism, nor in the informal free gesture. Instead, in his characteristic polygonal forms, he used the finest of colour nuances to create a tension. Form and colour blend into a harmonious tone as a result of their successive compaction in the centre of the image. The exhibition highlights Poliakoff’s artistic development by means of ten paintings from the Gunzenhauser Collection along with works from international lenders. The presentation traces an arc from his still figurative beginnings to his unmistakable abstract forms of expression. Poliakoff’s »serial« works are also focused on, for after stabilizing his pictorial idiom he then began to explore it tenaciously. Often he worked on several works at a time. Each painting goes further than its predecessor; each anticipates its successor. The works in the Gunzenhauser Collection are complemented by paintings the artist did around the same time. These »series« not only testify to Poliakoff’s insistence on the formal order he had developed, they also enable us to see the artist’s delight in variation.
Alexander Calder reimagined sculpture as an experiment in space and motion, upending centuries-old notions that sculpture should be static, grounded, and dense by making artworks that often move freely and interact with their surroundings. “One of Calder’s objects is like the sea,” wrote the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, “always beginning over again, always new.” Bringing together early wire and wood figures, works on paper, jewelry, mobiles in motion, and monumental abstract sculptures, the exhibition takes a deep dive into the full breadth of Calder’s career and inventiveness.
Calder’s ever-changing artworks invite a viewer’s sustained attention; and The Museum of Modern Art has provided a setting for this productive exchange ever since his work was first exhibited here in 1930, just months after the Museum opened its doors. This exhibition looks at Calder’s work through the lens of this connection. Throughout MoMA’s formative years, Calder, in his unofficial role as “house artist,” was called upon to produce several commissioned works—including Lobster Trap and Fish Tail, a multicolored mobile that hangs in the same stairwell for which it was made in 1939. His works have been a mainstay of the Museum’s galleries and Sculpture Garden ever since.
Drawn from MoMA’s collection and augmented with key loans from the Calder Foundation, the exhibition celebrates one of the most beloved artists of the 20th century and presents rarely seen works, including the large-scale Man-Eater with Pennants, which will be on view in the Sculpture Garden for the first time in more than 50 years after new conservation.
Organized by Cara Manes, Associate Curator, with Zuna Maza and Makayla Bailey, Curatorial Fellows, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
Le Musée d’art de Pully collabore avec la Fondation Gandur pour l’Art autour d’une exposition consacrée à la peinture informelle des années 1950 à 1980.
Les années qui suivent la Seconde Guerre mondiale connaissent une grande effervescence artistique. Paris reprend rapidement sa place de capitale culturelle et attire des peintres du monde entier. La tendance géométrique, qui prend sa source dans les avant-gardes du début du XXe siècle, connaît alors de nouveaux développements. De nombreux artistes mettent l’accent sur le geste ou la matière, recourent à de nouvelles techniques et repensent la peinture et ses supports.
Composée d’œuvres issues de la Fondation Gandur pour l’Art rarement présentées au public suisse, l’exposition propose un parcours original à travers la production bouillonnante des années 1950 à 1980, provenant des deux côtés de l’Atlantique.
Centrée sur les formes plurielles que prend l’abstraction au cours de cette période, elle montre les principales tendances : l’abstraction lyrique et gestuelle de Georges Mathieu ou de Hans Hartung, l’expressionnisme abstrait de Pierre Soulages ou de Sam Francis, l’abstraction géométrique de Victor Vasarely ou de François Morellet, ou encore la peinture minimale de Martin Barré, la sculpture cinétique de Jean Tinguely ou un monumental mobile d’Alexandre Calder. Quant au mouvemenent Supports/Surfaces, qui remet en question les moyens picturaux traditionnels, il marque à la fois une conclusion à cette période d’expérimentation intense et le début d’une aventure qui se poursuit aujourd’hui encore.
La Fondation Gandur pour l’Art a été créée en 2010 par Jean Claude Gandur, grand collectionneur d’art, afin de rendre accessible à un large public ses collections d’envergure internationale. Basée à Genève et reconnue d’utilité publique, la Fondation s’emploie à préserver, documenter, enrichir et exposer ses collections dans des institutions de renom en Suisse et à l’étranger.
Riopelle, the call of northern landscapes and indigenous cultures
November 21, 2020 - September 12, 2021
Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is dedicating a major exhibition to Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002), a towering figure in Canadian, Quebec and international modern art. Based on original research, the exhibition explores, the artist’s interest in the North and Indigenous cultures, with nearly 160 works and more than 150 artifacts and archival documents. It sheds new light on the artist’s work during the 1950s and 1970s by retracing the travels and influences that fed his fascination with northern regions and North American Indigenous communities.
The exhibition Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures reveals an artist imbued with a Surrealist’ interest in non-Western art, as inspired by his friend and collector Georges Duthuit and the writings of anthropologists and ethnologists, such as Marius Barbeau, Jean Malaurie and Claude Lévi-Strauss.
It explores the influence of Riopelle’s hunting and fishing trips with Dr. Champlain Charest by seaplane to Quebec and Canada’s North and Far North during the 1970s, as evidenced in the series Jeux de ficelles (1971-1972), Rois de Thulé (1973) and Icebergs (1977). Using an intercultural approach, the exhibition offers a parallel between Riopelle’s works and some of the sources that inspired him, in particular a selection of Inuit masks and works of Pacific Northwest coast First Nations.
This sensory, poetic exhibition offers a fresh perspective on masterpieces of the History of art. Almost 75 years after the legendary exhibition ‘Black is a Colour’, it provides an engrossing exploration of this fascinating colour, which has been endowed with a multitude of symbolic meanings in Western art, from antiquity to the present day. A paradoxical colour, is black the absence of light, emptiness, a joyous amalgam of all the colours or something that dazzles ?
Right from the outset, visitors are immersed in a familiar experience of black thanks to artistic depictions of themes that have been omnipresent throughout the history of art, such as night with its dark sky. The colour of beginnings of every kind, and of infinity and timelessness, as well as of death and ignorance, black was a structural but ambiguous element in representations of the sacred. It aroused fear as well as fascination, both of which were sources of the melancholy sought by artists when revealing this colour’s beauty and sensuality in their works.
As a result, black became a colour that was emblematic of modernity in both industry and art. Imbued with a strong social dimension, black was a symbol of power and the colour of elegance, reflecting the codes adopted by fashion designers and artists.
Throughout the 20th century it was used increasingly freely, becoming a visual substance that was endlessly experimented with, as demonstrated today by the works of Pierre Soulages. Inspired by the flat slagheap on which the Louvre-Lens stands, the exhibition pays tribute to its mining past, images of which are dominated by coal and the infinitely nuanced traces it left.
The exhibition features nearly 180 works, intermingling periods and disciplines, and spanning painting, fashion, the decorative arts, the moving image and installations. Ranging from Velázquez and Ribera to 19th- and 20th-century artists such as Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Kandinsky, Malevich, Reinhardt and Soulages, together with creations by designers like Jeanne Lanvin and Yohji Yamamoto, ‘Black Suns’ explores the paradoxes of black and the myriad ways in which it has inspired artists, from Antiquity to the present day.
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