20TH CENTURY GALLERIES
A NEW CIRCUIT AMONG THE MODERN COLLECTIONS
As part of the annual rotation of themed exhibitions-files presented in the tour of the collections, the Musée National d’Art Moderne is paying homage to some of the great dealers in modern and #contemporaryart, who were active in France from 1905 to the end of the 1960s. This new programme is installed in ten rooms and aisles in the museum and will be two cycles. The first begins on 22 May 2019 and lasts for one year.
Although museums have occasionally devoted exhibitions to some of these great art dealers, these players on the French artistic scene of the time have never before been highlighted in this way by a national institution. Since the beginning of the 20th century, galleries have nevertheless played an essential role in the development of living art, and over the years the Musée National d’Art Moderne has developed a special relationship with some of them.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GALLERY OWNERS ON THE ARTISTIC SCENE IN THE 20TH
Gallery owners first appeared at the end of the 19th century and quickly became indispensable intermediaries between artists and the public, like their precursor Paul Durand-Ruel, the Impressionists’ dealer. By building up the reputation of artists in France and abroad, the most enterprising galleries quickly became the main instruments of artistic legitimization. In the history of 20th century art, they thus played a role of capital importance in the development of the Fauvist and Cubist movements, the early moves toward abstract art and Surrealism. After 1945, they also played a role in developing the “New Paris School”, gestural and geometrical abstraction and the New Realism.
FROM AMBROISE VOLLARD TO IRIS CLERT, A RICH AND ECLECTIC CIRCUIT
This first cycle proposes exhibitions-files devoted to Ambroise Vollard, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, the À l’ Étoile Scellée gallery directed by André Breton, and Jeanne Bucher. This circuit also pays homage to Louis Carré, Denise René, to the Galerie de France, directed by Myriam Prévost and Gildo Caputo, and Iris Clert. A large section will be devoted to Daniel Cordier as his centenary approaches. In two aisles of the museum, the spotlight will be on the Alphonse Chave gallery in Vence, along with Christian and Yvonne Zervos.
Alongside this first cycle, an exhibition will be presented in the Focus Room of the Museum, devoted to the activities of dealer Paul Rosenberg. Each of the rooms-files making up the “Galleries of the 20th Century” circuit presents a group of works featuring the leading artists represented by each gallery. Generally, these works come from the collections of the Centre Pompidou, several coming directly from these art dealers, either by acquisition or donated by the dealers. A large compilation of documents and archive items (manuscripts, invitation cards, photographs from opening nights, catalogues) from the Bibliothèque Kandinsky’s exceptionally rich collections in this domain is also showcased and presented to visitors.
The second cycle will focus on other essential gallery owners, including, amongst others, Léonce Rosenberg, Pierre Loeb, Aimé Maeght, René Drouin, Paul Facchetti and Colette Allendy.
Since the beginning of the themed exhibitions-files in the collections circuit initiative, the following themes have been explored in turn: the role of some of the great art critics (“Les Passeurs” in 2015), the relationship between artistic production and ideologies (“Art et Politique” in 2016), the relationship between art and music (“L’œil écoute” in 2017) and currently the history of our institution from the creation of the Musée du Luxembourg to the opening of the Centre Pompidou (“Histoire(s) d’une collection”).
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