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Texture and surface. The great innovations of post-war abstract painting are concentrated at their intersection. Atypical materials, expressive gestures, mistreated surfaces… The artists who defined their singularity by inventing a new artistic language knew no limits.

Extended until May 6, 2022, the Galerie A&R Fleury presents Intersections, an exhibition designed as a dialogue between the techniques developed by the gallery’s artists. It focuses on their constant search for innovation through materiality, by means of textural or surface effects.

In a unique movement, escaping the categorisation of their work, each exhibited artist renewed the notion of painting, transforming its visual reality, thereby opening up new methods of expression. The history of abstraction has been significantly and lastingly influenced by their pioneering research.

The exhibition brings together approximately twenty major works that testify to the diversity of the artists’ practices, to better reveal the Intersections.

“The artist must invent everything, he must launch himself headfirst into the unknown, rejecting any prejudice, including the study of techniques and the use of so-called traditional materials. ”

Antoni Tàpies

For Antoni Tàpies, the artwork is a “battlefield where wounds multiply to infinity.” Four Red Crosses from 1962 is certainly the most significant work of the exhibition, thanks to its textural effects obtained by scratching, notching and deeply marking the raw materials covering the surface of the canvas.

It is part of his Matterist compositions, created in the 1960s, marked with ideograms, a cross or a “T,” which can be read as a signature. Tàpies’ art explores a language that bears  witness to the presence of the physical and metaphysical worlds.

“The practice is inseparable from the art that is born with it. In other words, the substance and the form are one. I am always invented instruments, most often in an emergency. When I can’t produce anything anymore, I use what I have on hand.”

Pierre Soulages

The selected oil on canvas by Pierre Soulages is one of the first works where the Outrenoir is associated with blue in order to intensify the reflection of light.

By means of an extensive vocabulary of materiality – flat planes, streaks, stripes, reliefs – Soulages structured spaces with undeniably sculptural dimensions. This interplay of textures and colours between the different areas of the canvas creates a transmutation of light by means of black.


Pier Paolo Calzolari, like Alberto Burri, is one of the pioneers in the use of unusual materials. He used fire, cold, metals, plants or salt, in the case of the piece on display, to better approach the idea of time, of passage, of transformation.
His creations reveal certain evolutions of the heterogeneous materials borrowed from everyday reality towards a new state of surface and matter. In the exhibited work, Calzolari used salt, associated with charred wood, and gave it new life according to new arrangements.

Jean-Paul Riopelle acted directly on the surface of the canvas by sculpting and stretching powerfully chromatic matter. His Matterist practice focused on the application of small, thick paint strokes, arranged with a spatula, creating mosaic effects.

Des marais, an oil on canvas painted in 1973, is part of the “Rois de Thulé” series, the produce of an intense period during which the artist returned to the “Grand Nord.” These lands, which in winter take on particular colours, reduced and dominated by cold tones, stimulated Riopelle’s imagination and enabled him to renew his pictorial approach.


Pierre Soulages

Peinture 35 x 55 cm, May 29th, 1987
Oil and acrylic on canvas
35 x 55 cm | 13 3/4 x 21 5/8 in.

Yves Klein, Monochrome IKB 280


Simon Hantaï, Tabula


Pier Paolo Calzolari, Untitled


Antoni Tàpies, Four Red Crosses


Hans Hartung

T1988-E27, 1988
Acrylic on canvas
154 x 195 cm | 60 5/8 x 76 3/4 in.

Jean-Paul Riopelle, Des marais


Bernar Venet, Two indeterminate lines


Bernard Aubertin, Tableau Clous


Claude Viallat, Sans titre



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