L'évènement Passeurs (1ère partie) - Centre Pompidou


Passeurs (1ère partie)

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Passeurs (1ère partie)

Expositions-dossiers réalisées à partir des collections du Musée national d’art moderne


27 mai 2015 - 21 décembre 2015

de 11h à 21h
Musée - Niveau 5 - Centre Pompidou, Paris

Accès avec le billet musée & expositions temporaires

Des expositions-dossiers, signalées par une couleur grise, ponctuent et intensifient le parcours de visite, offrant de multiples perspectives sur l’histoire de l’art moderne. Renouvelés tous les six mois, ces modules de différents formats explorent une problématique commune. Les deux premières séquences, au second semestre 2015 puis au premier semestre 2016, sont consacrées à ces grands « passeurs » que sont les historiens et critiques d’art, amateurs éclairés ou penseurs du temps dont le regard, le goût et l’amitié avec les artistes ont contribué de manière décisive à forger l’art du 20e s...

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Commissaire : Mnam/Cci / Coordination scientifique: Bernard Blistène et Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov assistés de Julie Champion

Discover "go-betweens"

Georges Bataille, 1897-1962: From Acéphale to Grand Transparent: Surrealism and modern myth

The creation of a modern myth was an integral part of the Surrealist project, put at the heart of its agenda in the Thirties by the thinking of the ethnologists who made up most of the editorial committee of the journal Documents, founded by Georges Bataille in 1929. And it was Bataille’s idea to reinvent the social rituals that Marcel Mauss and his disciples had seen as ensuring the cohesion of primitive societies. Founded in 1933, the journal Minotaurebrought together the two tendencies of the Surrealist movement represented by André Breton and Bataille. In 1937, Bataille and André Masson...

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Jean Paulhan, 1884-1968: In the secret of modern painting

It was in 1942, during the Occupation, that discussion intensified between the writer and editor Jean Paulhan, leading spirit of La Nouvelle Revue Française, and the painter Georges Braque. Paulhan was looking to art for a refuge from the rifts in literature. Not long after, he met Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet, finding in their work the revelation of a “secret” that he sought to expound in his writings on painting. He also wrote about the two foundational experiences that underwrote his understanding of modern art. The first was that of moving about a darkened room, the experience of the...

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Blaise Cendrars, 1887-1961: Poet and adventurer

Blaise Cendrars had already travelled the world before settling in Paris in 1912. Poet of urban modernity, of a world turned upside-down, he moved among the artistic and literary avant-garde of the day: among his friends were Guillaume Apollinaire, Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger, Léopold Survage and Sonia Delaunay, with whom he produced, in 1913, the first “simultaneous book”, Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France.

Blaise Cendrars shared with many of his painter friends an artistic approach based on the synthesis of colour, poetry, music and sound. He was thus fascinated by L...

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Michel Ragon, born in 1924: Journey of a visionary

Poet, historian, essayist, novelist and critic of art and architecture, Michel Ragon has been a tireless explorer of new art. After childhood in the Vendée, youth in Nantes brought friendships with artists, anarchist convictions and a commitment to working-class writing.

In 1946 the young Ragon published his first critical essay, on Gaston Chaissac. In perpetual search of the original, he unhesitatingly championed CoBrA, Abstract Art, Informal Art, Kinetic Art and Art Brut. In De l’aventure de l’art abstrait and Histoire de l’architecture et de l’urbanisme he offered a distinctive overview o...

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Georges Duthuit, 1891-1973: Matisse and Byzantine art: sources for a poetics of modern art

Art critic, poet, ethnographer and Byzantinist, Georges Duthuit carved out a distinctive niche for himself at the intersection of different disciplines and historical periods. In his writings on art – from Inuit to Byzantine to 1950s Abstraction – he sought to identify a work’s distinctive poetics. Developing a radical critique of the mimesis of Western art, he saw post-War abstraction and the painting of Henri Matisse as the culmination of an aesthetic of the decorative originating in oriental art.

Like Georges Bataille, Roger Caillois and Michel Leiris, he thus combined interests in contem...

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Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963: Exercices in admiration

Poet, playwright, filmmaker and protean artist, Jean Cocteau’s influence extends throughout the 20th century as a protagonist just as much as a promoter of a certain Modernism.

At first the exponent of a fashionable symbolism, the “frivolous prince” reinvented himself on the arrival in Paris of the Ballets Russes, notably writing the book for Le Dieu bleu, for which Léon Bakst designed the sets and costumes. During the First World War, his participation in the patriotism of the day found expression primarily in the magazineLe Mot. He also wrote the ballet Parade (1917), inaugurating his long...

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André Breton, 1896-1966: 42, rue Fontaine

Serving in a military psychiatric hospital since being called up in 1915, André Breton, a great enthusiast for Symbolist poetry, made his decisive encounters with Jacques Vaché, Louis Aragon, Guillaume Apollinaire and the thought of Sigmund Freud. In 1919, he founded the magazine Littérature with Aragon and Philippe Soupault, soon to be joined by Paul Eluard. After his break with Dada, Breton wrote the First Surrealist Manifesto, published in 1924, championing the principle of “pure psychic automatism” in order to draw on the mechanisms of dream and the unconscious.

A writer, poet and theor...

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Pierre Restany, 1930-2003: Artistic activist

Pierre Restany is so closely associated with the French New Realism, the important Sixties art movement he helped to crystallize, that one tends to forget the other very varied activities of this highly significant if controversial figure. It was in Fifties Paris that Restany emerged as an acerbic but generous critic, offering a fresh perspective on the debates over abstraction. Passionate observer of a world rapidly changing on both sides of the Atlantic, through his writings and the exhibitions he organised he brought forward and championed talents whose place in their time he articulated...

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Louis Aragon, 1897-1982: From Surrealism to Communism

Born in 1897, in the 1920s Louis Aragon was involved in Dadaist and then Surrealist activities. Joining the Communist Party in early 1927, in 1930 he attended the Congress of Revolutionary Writers in Kharkov, where he took his distance from the Surrealists. On returning from the Soviet Union he published the poem Front rouge, whose violence – “Bring down the cops, comrades […] Fire on Léon Blum” – saw him convicted for incitement to murder. This was the “Aragon Affair” that prompted a number of Surrealist leaflets and pamphlets. But unlike most members of the group, who would leave the Part...

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André Bloc, 1896-1966: Between art and architecture

Engineer, architect, artist, publisher and critic, in 1930 André Bloc founded the magazine L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui, which drew the lessons of post-war critical debate and promoted “International Modernism”. He then set up the magazine Art d’Aujourd’hui (1949), later Aujourd’hui (1955-67), which championed the unity of the arts. In 1951, Bloc aligned himself with the Spatialist movement, joining with Félix del Marle to found the Espace group, intended to promote the integration of art and architecture so as “to bring about the indispensable collaboration between painter, sculptor and ar...

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Will Grohmann, 1887-1968: Critic and Franco-German mediator

“What captivated me was that I couldn’t understand.”

For more than 50 years, from the Great War until his death in 1968, Will Grohmann followed the development of German and world art as critic, art historian, collector and exhibition organiser. Thanks to his studies in Paris in 1909 and 1910, this German scholar became a bridge between the two countries. An important contributor to the Cahiers d’art, he published there the first monographs on Paul Klee (1929) and Wassily Kandinsky (1930). It was at the Bauhaus, in 1921, that he met these two artists, with whom he became great friends. In 19...

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Guillaume Apollinaire, 1880-1918: Poet of modernity and champion of the avant-gardes

Poet of modernity and champion of the avant-gardes, Guillaume Apollinaire was a great communicator of ideas whose verve and intelligence lit up early-20th-century Paris.

Looking for novelty in artistic expression, he experimented with the calligram, a visual poem whose typographic composition forms an image. Friends with many artists, among them Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy, Le Douanier Rousseau and Marie Laurencin, Apollinaire shared in the artistic ferment that characterised the Paris scene. A prolific art critic in L’Intransigeant and founder of the magazine Les Soirées de Paris, he reported...

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