Documents of Action. Works from the Denney and Cordier Collections (1947-1965)

Art
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Documents of Action. Works from the Denney and Cordier Collections (1947-1965)
©Georges Mathieu

Some 60 works from the European and Japanese postwar period that are representative of what art critic Michel Tapié called 'other art' feature in this exhibition. Tapié was the leader of a type of sensitivity, an attitude about art that says that what we see in a painting is only the consequence of a previous action by the artist on the canvas; that's where the 'documents' in the exhibition's title comes from. Tapié built bridges, gallery owner Stadler sold paintings, and photographer Denney – just as so many other liberal professionals – collected.

Included among Denney's collections are works by Karel Appel, Alberto Burri, Jean Dubuffet, Lucio Fontana, Sam Francis, Georges Mathieu, Antoni Tàpies, and Japanese artists from the Gutai group. Contemporary art lived outside institutions and, thanks to informalism, the taste for it went worldwide. We're talking about a fine art that decorates the post–Bretton Woods space, in parallel with the emergence of consumer society and pop culture. It's art that lives in the present, proud of its amnesia.

WWII had 'reset' established values systems so many times, and the 'other art' in this exhibition makes us think about the spirit of the orphan of a mother who was raped by any of those involved in war. Is this action as redemption?

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