26 march 2018
César, one of the most renowned artists of his age and one of the most misunderstood, passed away twenty years ago. He had become famous at the age of 25 when after having come up to Paris in 1944 he developed his welded iron sculpture technique. Misunderstood too, for the loquacity and confidence he affected in public hid a permanent dissatisfaction with the works that won him success.
Far from being simply the man of the welded iron, the compressions, impressions and expansions for which he was famous, César remained attached to a sculpture peopled with animals and human figures, work he hoped equal to that of the masters he admired. He was modern in the manner of the Nouveaux Réalistes, whom he joined in the 1960s. Inventive, guided only by the logic of the material, endeavouring to give expression to the spirit of the age, he made and remade his art through decisive new moves that gained him worldwide attention. While transforming the language and practice of sculpture, he returned constantly to the techniques he had discovered when penniless, welding scrap metal. Carried by the mythic narrative of their conception, Le Poisson, La Vénus de Villetaneuse and La Ginette were the iconic representatives of that art, embodying the intimacy of the creative act and a practice that relegated nothing to machinery, dependent on the artist’s hands alone. Later, Le Centaure, a tribute to Picasso, would elicit the same passionate engagement. And César also had an interest in the question of the monument.
From this opposition between hands-on passion and a practice based on industrial technology and the power of machinery, César elaborated a dialectic, a back-and-forth method, opening what his friend Raymond Hains called “sites” to which he returned over and over, inventing new tools, pushed ever further by his curiosity. Faced with his “Envelopments” in Plexiglas sheets, his “Champions” created from crashed cars, his “Suite milanais” of new cars crushed and painted, César drew on his experiments, replaying them as exercises, guided by a reflection on the language of sculpture in the time of modernity. At Cluny in 1996, he still strove “to do new things again”.
25 february 2018
On the centenary of his death, the Musée d'Orsay pays tribute to Edgar Degas (1834-1917) with an exhibition based around the little known work by the writer, poet and thinker, Paul Valéry (1871-1945).
The friendship between Degas and Valéry lasting more than twenty years resulted in an essay published by Editions Vollard in 1937, Degas Danse Dessin. Both intimate and universal, it conveys a poetic, fragmentary image of the painter’s personality and his art, and a kind of meditation on the creative process.
In the exhibition, documents on display and archival documents show these men and their social interaction. Degas’ numerous drawings and Valéry’s famous notebooks reveal the importance of these works, which were, for both, the crucible of their art.
The main themes explored in the exhibition Degas Danse Dessin are expressed by linking extracts from Valéry’s essay to the graphic works, paintings and sculptures of Degas.
This resonance between text and images offers an insight, by turns, into the artist’s drawing and his fondness for the worlds of dance and horseracing, which Valéry links to his own search for line and movement.
21 march- 30 july 2018
As the first retrospective since the 1975-1976 exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Kunsthaus in Zurich, and that in 1989 at the Paris National Museum of Modern Art, it covers the artist’s entire career, from his early works characterised by symbolism to his final pieces in the 1950s. Thanks to the European journey of František Kupka (1871-1957), from his roots in his native Bohemia, via his studies in fin de siècle Vienna to avant-garde Paris, the exhibition will be adopting a new approach to two major 19th and 20th century movements – symbolism and abstraction – of which Kupka was one of the main pioneers.
This exhibition has been organised by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais in partnership with the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Národní Galerie v Praze, Prague, and the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki.
13 april-20 august 2018
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.
28 march-16 july 2018
The exhibition devoted by the Centre Pompidou to the Russian avant-garde between 1918 and 1922 focuses on the work of three of its iconic figures: Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky and Kasimir Malevich. It also presents works by teachers and students of the Vitebsk art school founded in 1918 by Chagall: Vera Ermolayeva, Nicolai Suetin, Ilya Chachnik, Lazar Khidekel and David Yakerson.
Through 250 works and documents never seen together before, this event sheds light for the first time on the post-revolutionary years during which the history of art was written in Vitebsk, a long way from Russia's big cities.
6 february-13 may 2018
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.
7 march-15 july 2018
the Musée Maillol in Paris is presenting an exhibition devoted to the Japanese artist, Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, who acquired French nationality. More than a hundred major works, originating from public and private collections, show the exceptional nature of Foujita’s period in Montparnasse—where his friends Modigliani, Zadkine, Indenbaum, Kisling, Pascin, and Van Dongen lived— during the Roaring Twenties. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s first and very productive Parisian period between 1913 and 1931.
The exhibition retraces the unique life of an artist whose career developed between two cultures. From the beginning of his career in Japan to his rise to fame and the discovery of his work, his career eventually led to the creation of a unique persona in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties. His recurrent themes—women, cats, still lifes, children, and selfportraits— are characteristic of his extensive artistic production. Foujita was part of the major modernist movements but never broke away from his distinctive approach, which was consistent with his Japanese origins and the classicism of the great Western masters.
His works are reminiscent of other works—those of his confrères, friends, admirers, and guiding lights—, creating a rich dialogue that makes it possible to assess the originality and complementarity of the artists grouped under the term ‘School of Paris’.
The major works from noteworthy institutions and museums and around a hundred rare works from forty-five private collections in Japan, the United States, and Europe, highlight Foujita’s extraordinary creative genius and invite the visitor to discover the world of an incredible artist. The two monumental diptychs, Combats I et II and Compositions au Lion et au Chien (1928)—loaned by the Conseil Départemental de l’Essonne and which perfectly reflect the Roaring Twenties and are at the heart of the exhibition—, show the incredible power of Foujita’s work and its influence on the period. The scenography, designed by Hubert le Gall, highlights both the fantasies of the extravagant man and the various stages in his rise to fame as an artist at the height of his powers.
The exhibition shows the talent of the artist who loved drawing, and who, like his illustrious predecessor Hokusai, painted with great skill. Foujita’s drawing is incredibly assured and his lines have an exemplary calligraphic finesse, achieved through the use of sumi (Japanese black ink) on paper and in his oils. Colour played a secondary role in his works, but was used in such a decisive way that it enhances the drawing. The subtlety of the gouache and watercolour fills the forms with layers of flat colour, creating subtle effects of transparency in his oils. His gold backgrounds strengthen the impression of refinement and preciousness.
Fifty years after Foujita’s death in 1968, the Musée Maillol is highlighting the luminous and unique work of the most oriental painter in Montparnasse.
9 march- 23 july 2018
musée Jacquemard André
Mary Cassatt (1844–1926). Considered during her lifetime as the greatest American artist, Cassatt lived in France for more than sixty years. She was the only American painter to have exhibited her work with the Impressionists in Paris.
The female representative of impressionism
The exhibition focuses on the only American female artist in the Impressionist movement; she was spotted by Degas in the 1874 Salon, and subsequently exhibited her works alongside those of the group. This monographic exhibition will enable visitors to rediscover Mary Cassatt through fifty major works, comprising oils, pastels, drawings, and engravings, which, complemented by various documentary sources, will convey her modernist approach — that of an American woman in Paris.
A franco-american approach of painting
Born into a wealthy family of American bankers with French origins, Mary Cassatt spent a few years in France during her childhood, continuing her studies at the Pennsylvania Fine Arts Academy, and eventually settled in Paris. Therefore, she lived on both continents. This cultural duality is evident in the distinctive style of the artist, who succeeded in making her mark in the male world of French art and reconciling these two worlds.
The originality of her vision
Just like Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt excelled in the art of portraiture, to which she adopted an experimental approach. Influenced by the Impressionist movement and its painters who liked to depict daily life, Mary Cassatt’s favourite theme was portraying the members of her family, whom she represented in their intimate environment. Her unique vision and modernist interpretation of a traditional theme such as the mother and child earned her international recognition. Through this subject, the general public will discover many familiar aspects of French Impressionism and Postimpressionism, along with new elements that underscore Mary Cassatt’s decidedly American identity.