Galerie des Gobelins Paris
Jean Lurçat: Au seul bruit du soleil
May 4th – September 18th, 2016
Galerie des Gobelins’ current exhibition of Bruyères born French Expressionist/ Surrealist Jean Lurçat includes his paintings and ceramics alongside his pioneering contemporary tapestries. Lurçat’s colourful art features poetic compositions of flora and fauna both real and imagined amidst astrological symbolism. Presented on simple backgrounds devoid of perspective, his unique combination of his personal iconography and contemporary visual elements gives a surreal quality to his work.
Lurçat, fascinated by both the terrestrial and the cosmic studied under Victor Prouvé the president of the Art Nouveau École de Nancy and the father of famed designer/architect Jean Prouvé. The influence of this time is reflected in Lurçat’s visual exploration of nature and its organic forms.
A man of many métiers, Lurçat was also a poet who created calligrams and often incorporated in his tapestries text conceived by himself or his friends. In 1913, he co-founded the art review Les feuilles de mai (The May leaves) with three friends in which essays on painting theory were published championing the avant-garde art movement.
The ceramics on display in the exhibition are from Lurçat’s collaborations in the 1950’s with the Sant-Vicens ceramic studios located near the southern French city of Perpignan. He created dishes, jugs and vases – some as large as 1 meter in height. These pieces were unique or created in limited editions.
Lurçat’s tapestries for which he is world renowned commences in 1917, made by his mother and subsequently by his first wife Marthe Hennebert. In the 1920’s and 30’s, he began working with patron of modernist tapestry Marie Cuttoli and the Aubusson tapestry industry, which also translated to fibre many masterworks from French modernists including Picasso, Le Corbusier, Georges Braque and Henri Matisse. In 1937 he signed contracts with the Beauvais weaving factories as his business grew.
“It seems to me that a tapestry or a wall, or even a jewel, is only a decorative object and lacking in substance if I have not added a sun, stars or the moon.” – Jean Lurçat
The exhibition runs until September 18th, 2016. For more information go to http://www.mobiliernational.culture.gouv.fr/fr/expositions/actualites