French Modern Arts Part II


French impressionism had a pioneering effect on the emergence of modern painting in Europe. P. Cézanne continued the tendency introduced by the Impressionists towards the flatness of the picture and formed his motifs from color patches graded in their brightness. His analysis of the image structure was a prerequisite for the art of the 20th century.

Seurat developed the technique of pointillism (Neo-Impressionism), in which he was soon followed by P. Signac. Represented the symbolism inter alia. P. Puvis de Chavannes, G. Moreau and O. Redon and P. Gauguin and the Nabis (P. Bonnard, M. Denis, É. Vuillard et al.). He also played an important rolein the work of V. van Gogh, who lived in France from 1886 onwards. Gauguin’s works, along with those of van Gogh, had a particular influence on the representatives ofFauvism. Among them were H. Matisse, M. de Vlaminck, A. Derain, G. Braque, who soon afterwards developed Cubism together with P. Picasso, and G. Rouault, who turned to Expressionism in his later works. With his lithographs, H. de Toulouse-Lautrec set standards for graphics after 1900, especially in the field of poster art, which also owes important impulses to J. Chéret. A notable outsider was the naive painter H. Rousseau. Check to see more about France and other countries in the world.

Between 1931 and 1936 the group Abstraction-Création was a collecting tank for all directions of abstract art, which only became generally accepted after 1945 under the leadership of the painters of the École de Paris in France with painters likeR. Bissière, J. Bazaine, A. Manessier, F. Fautrier, H. Hartung, P. Soulages, N. de Staël, Maria Elena Vieira da Silva, S. Poliakoff, Wols, G. Mathieu and J.-P. Riopelle (informal art). J. Dubuffets The starting point were children’s drawings and the art of the mentally ill, which he regarded as an unadulterated expression of sensitivity (Art brut). Op Art was developed from the mid-1950s. Its most important representative is the native Hungarian V. Vasarély. The Venezuelan artist R. Soto made a connection between Op Art and kinetic art. The »Nuagistes«, who used an atmospheric, light style of painting between 1954 and 1965, followed very different directions in the period that followed. They included Jean Messagier (* 1920, † 1999),Frédéric Benrath (* 1930, † 2007) and René Duvillier (* 1919, † 2002). Bernard Réquichot (* 1929, † 1961) added collages to his pictures. Y. Klein mediated between object art, action art and concept art. Like François Dufrêne (* 1930, † 1982), R. Hains, J. M. de La Villeglé and M. Raysse, Klein belonged to the Nouveau Réalistes group, which existed until 1970. B. Vautier staged Fluxus events in the 1960s. In the tradition of Concept Art and French Fluxus are J. Le Gac, Gérard Gasiorowski (* 1930, † 1986), the painter C. Viallat (* 1936), Co-founder of the Supports / Surfaces group in the late 1960s, and Nathalie Tison (* 1966). Abstract and conceptual painting is represented by artists such as Bertrand Lavier (* 1949), Jean-Pierre Bertrand (* 1937, † 2016), Pierre Dunoyer (* 1949) and Bernard Piffaretti (* 1955). Gérard Garouste (* 1946), who also works as a sculptor, conjures up cultural memories of the West in pastose figurative paintings. Balthus played an outsider role, staying true to his realistic style and the motif of teenage girls for decades. B. Rancillac, who developed a French variant of Pop Art in the 1960s, then turned to critical realism. Political engagement also shapes the images of the Spaniard E. Arroyo, who has lived in Paris for a long time. J. Monory works from photographic templates. L. Cane, Vincent Bioulès (* 1938), Viallat, Christian Jaccard (* 1939) and others. analyze the basics of painting as well as the political and ideological role of the artist. The modes of appearance of painting are also reflected in their works by Claude Rutault (* 1941) and Benar Venet (* 1941), while D. Buren particularly questions the spiritual and material context of art. Norbert Cassegrain (* 1953), Jean-Yves Langlois (* 1946), Pierre Nivollet (* 1946), Christian Sorg (* 1941) and Dominique Thiolat (* 1946) oppose these theoretical, analytical, conceptual and in some cases also figurative tendencies ), which formed the »Groupe des cinq« from 1978-80. You represent an exuberant, extremely subjective painting. In 1980 they launched the initiative to found the Association Génie de la Bastille, an artist community that also includes architects, designers, photographers and musicians. In the 1980s, a new savage set in France too comparable direction, which i.a. by the advocates of the »figuration libre« such as Robert Combas (* 1958) and Hervé di Rosa (* 1959) as well as by J.-C. Blais is being pursued. The color etchings by J. Friedlaender and the drawings by Gérard Titus-Carmel (* 1942) represent outstanding achievements in the field of graphic arts. In addition, a »street art« was created that shows some parallels to American graffiti art. The »pochoirists« (stencil artists), who mostly sign with pseudonyms, use the public space as exhibition space. The fathers of this direction are Ernest Pignon-Ernest (* 1942) and Gérard Zlotykamien (* 1940). Paul-Armand Gette (* 1927), Françoise Quardon (* 1961) and Catherine Beaugrand (* 1953) work in the field of multimedia arts.


In the 1920s and 30s, Paris also became a focus of photographic art with photographers such as M. Ray, G. Krull , A. Kertész and Brassaï. H. Cartier-Bresson’s pictures were groundbreaking for documentary photography. G. Freund came out with portraits and photo reports. Jean-Loup Sieff (* 1933, † 2000) started out as a photo reporter and later also became a fashion and advertising photographer. P.-A. Gette, C. Boltanski , J. Le Gac , Annette Messager (* 1943) and Didier Bay (* 1944), Representatives of the “trace security”, use photography to document individual experiences. The photographers Louis Jammes (* 1958) and Philippe Bazin (* 1954) deal with the image of the human being.

Applied arts and industrial design

Modern French applied art began to emerge in the second half of the 19th century. Nancy became a center of glass art and furniture production, where É. Gallé, the Daum manufactory and the furniture designer Louis Majorelle (* 1859, † 1926)worked. In the field of ceramics, the works of Ernest Chaplet (* 1835, † 1909) and his successor Auguste Delaherche (* 1857, † 1940) were trend-setting. Paris remained a leader in the field of goldsmithing (A., G. and J. Fouquet, R. Lalique, J. Puiforcat). The Parisian art dealer Samuel Bing (* 1838, † 1905) played an important role as a patron of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. For him, too, were É. Gallé, R. Lalique and the interior designers G. de Feure and E. Gaillard. Furniture and interior fittings in the Art Deco style were also created by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (* 1879, † 1933) and P. Chareau. Originally from Russia, Erté was particularly successful with fashion and costume designs. From 1927 Le Corbusier designed , mostly together with Pierre Jeanneret (* 1896, † 1967) and Charlotte Perriand (* 1903, † 1999), Furniture in modern, trend-setting forms. In 1930, representatives of an objective, practical style joined forces to form the “Union des Artistes Modernes”; Leading members were R. Mallet-Stevens, P. Chareau and C. Perriand, the designers René Herbst (* 1891, † 1982) and Eileen Gray (* 1878, † 1976). Image knitting was revived in the 1930s by J. Lurçat. After 1945, inter alia Gilbert Portanier (* 1926)and Jean Biagini (* 1941) outstanding achievements in the field of ceramics. As a designer, inter alia. Roger Tallon (* 1929, † 2011) and Olivier Mourgue (* 1939), P.-P. Starck and the sculptors François Xavier Lalanne (* 1927, † 2008) and François Bauchet (* 1948).

French Modern Arts 2