- On 2017-09-29
- In blog
Derain,Balthus,Giacometti : An artistic friendship.2 June-29 October 2017.modern art museum
Hi friends !
the little Art Seeker is back ! Autumn is beautiful in Paris and many new exhibitions will be on display in the months to come in the capital ! So for you folks, the Little Art Seeker saw the very beautiful exhibition dedicated to three art monsters in France : Derain, Balthus and Giacometti.
The three men were friends in life and the exhibition at the musée d’art moderne manages to show their close links in all the fields of art: Sculpture, paintings but also theatre sets and costumes.
The exhibition starts with a sentence from Giacometti: “from that day in 1936, when a canvas by Derain that I saw by chance in a gallery-three pears against a huge background -stopped me in my tracks,struck me in a totally new way (then for the first time,I really saw beyond its appearance a painting by Derain” Alberto Giacometti.1957
After World War I, Derain who had come back from the battlefields was very famous.He had been attracted for a while by fauvism, so was Alberto Giacometti who presents us a beautiful self-portrait in his young days.
All the the three artists ,had the same taste for modernity ,but they were also fascinated by the old masters and the art of other civilisations.They all met in the artistic milieu of Saint Germain des Prés and Montparnasse;Their deep friendship led to a straight collaboration between the three artists who shared strong similarities in the topics of their works.The three of them created very strong links until their respective deaths.
The exhibition begins with three self-portraits of the three creators,Derain being the eldest ,represented without a paintbrush in front of a blank canvas in his studio .
During their lives ,Derain,Balthus and Giacometti were all inspired by the great artists of the past.Derain was very much inspired by the works he discovered in the National Gallery and the British museum and his art revealed his taste for humanism which appears in his bagpiper ,and his baigneuses .Giacometti,loved more the Egyptian art and the African statuary and above all the Etruscan art which stirred him to the tears and that you refind in his elongated characters .Balthus ,had a real crush on Piero della Francesca ‘s frescoes and loved to say that modernity came from the past.
Still lifes were very inspiring for the three friends but they were exploited in different ways.Giacometti used a very geometric style inspired by the graphic arts, whereas Derain and Balthus were very much inspired by the painters of the 17th century,,in the delicate treatment of light and the precision of the stroke. The little art seeker loved Balthus ‘s still lifes because in them there’s always a narrative atmosphere with strange characters,doing strange things!!!
Derain, Balthus and Giacometti were inspired by the theme of games and introduced it into their works.Balthus showed interest in the world of childhood and its games like diabolo,hoops and toy boats.Derain’s characters Harlequin and Pierrot faces us in a huge canvas with their commedia dell’arte costumes .The oddity of the scene coming from musical instruments with no strings.Giacometti’s sculpture objects oscillate between references to African objects and a certain cruelty.
A part of the exhibition named “intermezzo”shows how during several decades the three friends were all involved in stage collaborations, notably for the Aix en Provence festival which Edmonde Charles-Roux a close friend of Derain’s had created. Derain realised gorgeous costumes designs for Rossini’s barbier de Séville and Mozart’s cosi Fan Tutte .Giacometti imagined the minimalist set ,a solitary tree,for Waiting for Godot by Samuel Becket.The costumes are just gorgeous and bring us back in the theatre performances of the 1960’S..Balthus was invited to design costumes for the play Julius Caesar in 1960.
Artists are supposed to spend days inside their studios which at certain times become also subjects of inspiration.It’s in the studio that creation takes place and beautiful pictures from Giacometti’s one show it full of tools and spashed by paint.You also see Derain whose enormous figure appears perched upon a stool totally immersed in the creation.
The last part of this huge exhibition is focused upon the artists’s inner struggles .The difficulty to interpret the reality, the efforts to leave a mark.The darkness of the human soul and its complexity. All these three great painters have their own interpretation of the world and we follow them with a lot of pleasure in their inner worlds.
So folks, if you have a few hours to spend in Paris museums, run to see this amazing exhibition.
The little art seeker warmly recommends it.
See you soon !!