In this show, the Musée de l’Art Moderne investigates the impact of the Second World War (1939-45) on the art world in occupied France. Subject to oppression and violence, sometimes even imprisoned, artists had to change both their techniques and subjects profoundly while living under the Nazi regime. The great majority among them worked clandestinely, fighting their own battles with every stroke of the brush or chip of the chisel. ‘L’Art en Guerre’ (‘Art at War’) shows 400 paintings, photographs and films by around 100 artists, including Klee, Chagall, Matisse and Picasso. It shows how, even in the darkest times, art struggles on – both futile and essential.
Giorgio de Chirico, 'Mélancolie d’un après-midi', 1913 / © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN / Jean- Claude Planchet / © ADAGP, Paris 2012
Jean Dubuffet, 'Mur aux inscriptions', avril 1945 / The Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2012 / © ADAGP, Paris 2012
Pablo Picasso, 'Tête de mort', 1943 / Musée National Picasso, Paris © RMN / Béatrice Hatala / © Succession Picasso 2012
Pablo Picasso, 'Nature morte à la tête de mort, poireaux pot devant la fenêtre', 1945 / Collection particulière / © Succession Picasso 2012
Joseph Steib, 'Le Conquérant', 1942 / Collection particulière, Strasbourg / © Joseph Steib / Photo © Klaus Stoeber