A major retrospective exhibition dedicated to the painter Nicolas de Staël (1914-1955) is on view at the Musée D'Art Moderne in Paris. Nicolas de Staël was a leading figure in Post-War French Art when - after the destruction and chaos of the Second World War - the European artistic debate was facing the crisis of values of humanistic historicism, and colour and matter were suppressing the problem of an objective representation of reality.
During his short career, Nicolas de Staël was the only painter of his generation in France who was comfortable with both figuration and abstraction, as recalled by Fabrice Hergott, director of the Musée D'Art Moderne.
De Staël's use of colour and his ability to reconcile the tension between these two modes may explain his popularity and influence.
Nicolas de Staël, Marseille, Ménerbes, 1954, oil on canvas, 80,5 x 60 cm, courtesy Catherine & Nicolas Kairis/courtesy Applicat-Prazan, Paris / © Adagp, Paris 2023
The sensitive use of colour by French artists during the second half of the Twentieth Century is indeed the subject of the REVÊRIES exhibition, opening this evening at Studio Gariboldi in Milan.
The show presents works from the 1950s and 1960s by Jean-Michel Atlan, Serge Poliakoff, Hans Hartung, Jean Fautrier, Aurélie Nemours, Jean Messagier, Jacques Doucet, Alfred Manessier, Pol Bury, André Lanskoy, André Marfaing, Gérard Schneider, and François Morellet, highlighting strong ties with music, poetry and philosophy.
Serge Poliakoff, Composition rouge, jaune, noir gris, 1969, oil on canvas, 115x90 cm, courtesy Studio Gariboldi