Impressionnists in London

21 june-14 october 2018
Petit Palais

The Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the fall of the Second Empire and the Paris Commune pushed a number of artists installed in France to seek refuge in the United Kingdom. In the months and years following the end of these events, economic refugees joined their ranks. At the time, the British Empire was at the summit of power. London was a safe haven for the artists who left Paris, but the choice of their destination was also guided by the idea that the art market there was more dynamic. The works they exhibited and, in many cases, sold to English collectors brought a breath of modernity to British art and institutions. Reciprocally, the experience of exile in England exerted a new influence on French art. Some artists were already well-known (Carpeaux, Tissot, Daubigny); others would become known by teaching their art (Legros, Dalou), while future Impressionists (Pissarro, Monet, Sisley) had difficulty convincing the English audience, in spite of the support of Durand-Ruel, a merchant who promoted French art in London. These contrasting personalities from the French artistic scene were presented to a circle of friends and collectors who supported them during their stay in England. Co-organized with the Tate Britain in London, the exhibition brings together more than one hundred masterpieces born on the banks of the Thames in the misty, industrial atmosphere of Victorian London. The story ends in 1904 with Derain, who came to paint London in the colors of Fauvism.

The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the last Monet.

13 april-20 august 2018
Orangerie museum

In 1955, Alfred Barr brought one of Monet’s large panels of Water Lilies (W1992) into the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at a time when these great "decorations", still in the studio in Giverny, were beginning to attract the attention of collectors and museums.
Monet was presented at that time as "a bridge between the naturalism of early Impressionism and the highly developed school of Abstract Art" in New York, with his Water Lilies seen in the context of Pollock’s paintings, such as Autumn Rhythm (number 30), 1950. The reception of these later Monet works resonated with American Abstract Expression then coming into the museum collections. At the same time, the idea of "Abstract Impressionism" was forged. The exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie focuses on this precise moment - when the great decorations of the master of Giverny were rediscovered and the New York School of Abstract Art was recognised - with a selection of some of Monet’s later works and around twenty major paintings by American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Philip Guston, Joan Mitchell, Mark Tobey, Sam Francis, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Ellsworth Kelly.

In Colour: Polychrome Sculpture in France 1850-1910

12 june-9 september
musée Orsay

Relatively unknown, 19th century polychrome sculpture is one of the key facets of the history of the discipline. Until the beginning of this century, the only colours permitted in statuary were the white of marble and the monochrome patina of bronzes. But the discovery of the use of polychromy in ancient architecture and sculpture changed people’s perspective, as well as generating heated debate.

The question of applying colour to contemporary sculpture superseded archaeological debates, and pioneering sculptors like Charles Cordier began to specialise in this technique from the 1850s. Once the controversy had died down, colour began to establish its legitimacy of the Second Empire thanks to its decorative character, prevailing under the influence of Symbolism and Art Nouveau as of the 1880s.

The diversity of materials used testifies to the often sophisticated experimentation carried out, which sometimes produced surprising aesthetic results. Painted waxes and marbles, assembled coloured marbles, gold and silver bronzes, pâte de verre and enamelled stoneware became the new language of a new style of French sculpture, illustrating artists’ flair for experimentation at the end of the century. The major challenge in applying colour to sculpture lay in the illusionism of the representation, as demonstrated by the scandal caused by Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Coloured sculpture would became the preferred medium of Henry Cros, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Louis-Ernest Barrias, Jean-Désiré Ringel d'Illzach, Jean Carriès and Paul Gauguin.

The exhibition presents a selective overview of this very particular aspect of 19th century art through an ensemble of around fifty works from the collections of the Musée d'Orsay.

Picasso.Blue and Rose

18 September 2018 - 6 January 2019
Musée d'Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay and the Musée national Picasso-Paris are organising an exceptional event dedicated to Pablo Picasso’s blue and rose periods. This exhibition is the first large-scale collaboration between our two museums, allowing us to bring together a number of previously unseen works. It features masterpieces, some of which, such as La Vie (1903, Cleveland Museum of Art), are being presented for the first time in France, and proposes a new interpretation on the years 1900-1906, a critical period in the artist’s career which to date has not been covered in its entirety by a French museum.

The presentation of this exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay demonstrates the desire to analyse the young Picasso within the framework of his era. His different productions have thus been placed within the context of the work of his contemporaries and predecessors, both Spanish and French (Casas, Nonell, Casagemas, Steinlen, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin), who he was able to directly observe at salons and galleries, and indirectly through reproduction, among other things.

Dorothea lange

16 october- January 2019
Jeu de Paume

The Politics of Seeing features major works by the world famous American photographer Dorothea Lange (1895, Hoboken, New Jersey–1966, San Francisco, California), some of which have never before been exhibited in France. The exhibition focuses on the extraordinary emotional power of Dorothea Lange’s work and on the context of her documentary practice. It features five specific series: the Depression period (1933-1934), a selection of works from the Farm Security Administration (1935-1939), the Japanese American internment (1942), the Richmond shipyards (1942-1944) and a series on a Public defender (1955-1957). Over one hundred splendid vintage prints taken between 1933 and 1957 are enhanced by the presence of documents and screenings broadening the scope of an œuvre often familiar to the public through images such as White Angel Breadline (1933) and Migrant Mother(1936), which are icons of photographic history. The majority of prints in this exhibition belong to the Oakland Museum of California, where Lange’s considerable archive, donated to the museum after her death by her husband Paul Shuster Taylor, is conserved.

Like John Steinbeck’s famous novel The Grapes of Wrath, Dorothea Lange’s œuvre has helped shape our conception of the interwar years in America and contributed to our knowledge of this period. However, this exhibition also introduces other aspects of Dorothea Lange’s practice, which she herself considered archival. By placing the photographic work in the context of her anthropological approach, it enables viewers to appreciate how its power also lies in her capacity to interact with her subjects, evident in her captions to the images. She thereby considerably enriched the informative quality of the visual archive and produced a form of oral history for future generations.

Dutch artists in Paris, Van Gogh, Van Dongen, Mondrian

6 february-13 may 2018
Petit Palais

From traditional flower paintings to the aesthetic ruptures of modernity, this exhibition highlights the extensive artistic, aesthetic and amical exchanges between Dutch and French painters from the reign of Napoleon to the beginning of the twentieth century. Starting in the First Empire, and especially from 1850 on, over a thousand Dutch painters left their country to renew their inspiration. Almost all of them settled in Paris, inexorably attracted

by the dynamism of artistic life there. These stays, which more or less long, were sometimes the first step toward a definitive installation in France. In any case, they had a decisive influence on the development of Dutch painting, since artists like Jacob Maris or Breitner spread the new ideas they had acquired when they returned to Holland. In a similar manner, artists like Jongkind or Van Gogh brought their French counterparts themes, colors and ways of painting that reflected Dutch sensitivity and had their roots in the Dutch Golden Age, which was rediscovered by French audiences during this period. Throughout this presentation of a century of pictorial revolutions, works of contemporary French artists (Géricault, David, Corot, Millet, Boudin, Cézanne, Monet, Signac, Picasso, etc.) act as guidelines and can be compared to the works of Ary Scheffer, Van Dongen or Mondrian.