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Deux Avant-Gardes @ Musée du Niel
3/5/24 - 13/10/24, Hyères

"Deux Avant-Gardes, de la Nouvelle École de Paris à Supports/Surfaces"

at the Musée du Niel, Hyères


Following the shock, despair and the resignation of defeat and surrender to the Occupation, a group of painters including Bazaine, Bertholle, Estève, Lapicque, Le Moal, Manessier, and led by Jean Bazaine fired by a spirit of resistance, upheld their attachment to the great French tradition, which was a decidedly patriotic gesture for the time, and simultaneously defined a new way of painting inspired by the previous avant-garde movement. They also heralded the pictorial revolutions of the post-war period. They formed the core of what came to be known as ‘La Nouvelle École de Paris’ which dominated and monopolised the French art scene until the mid-sixties.

Almost thirty years later, in September 1970, a dozen painters, brought together by a profound desire to revolutionise and revive their art and the art of painting, launched the Supports/Surfaces movement. Claude Viallat, Noël Dolla, Marc Devade, Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Louis Cane, Patrick Saytour, Daniel Dezeuze et André-Pierre Arnal fundamentally challenged the main rules of the Nouvelle École de Paris and of all academicism with their creative works of deconstruction and innovation, making a deep impression on the history of art.

‘This exhibition offers an examination and an observation of the outcome and production of the two avant-garde movements. Two generations, two contexts, two sorts of influence and two visions, with a theory that reaches far back into history and a fierce counter theory, resulting in a testimony to the French creative and artistic reality of the latter half of the 20th century. However, in hindsight, there are also points in common that are found in the avant-garde movements such as the ability to transcend the challenges of figurative and abstract art as well as the inclination to share the same tastes, desires and the hunger for colour.’

Antoine Villeneuve, curator.