Frédéric Pardo — Œuvres choisies, 1966-1998
Œuvres choisies, 1966-1998
Past: July 12 → August 7, 2013
As an artist, Frédéric Pardo (1944–2005) was both very much of his times and completely at odds with them. A central figure on the psychedelic scene of the 1960s, he insisted on painting in distemper, an age-old technique that had been dying out almost since the Middle Ages. Close to Daniel Pommereulle, Erro and Jean-Jacques Lebel, he was the godson of Jean-Paul Sartre and the closest artistic companion of Philippe Garrel, whom he introduced to the singer Nico. He also inspired the main character in Garrel’s film Les Amants réguliers (2005).
His pictorial work, with its very distinctive, powerfully erotic symbolism, is that of an acutely sensitive person holding on to the things that touch him most deeply. It can be divided up into four main ensembles: the psychedelic paintings, the portraits, the Orientalist period, and the still lifes. Together, these add up to a striking autobiographical panorama, of rare magnitude. Certainly, Pardo’s life was an extraordinary journey through his times, through History with a capital H, and space both external and internal. In addition to his work as a painter, he was a member of the Zanzibar group, which had several retrospectives at which his short film Home movie (1968) was shown in conjunction with Garrel’s Le Lit de la vierge. Among these exhibitions were Les années pop : Cinéma et politique 1956-1970 at the Centre Pompidou in 2001. Acting out of an idealism which was anything but a pose, Pardo refused nearly every opportunity to show or sell his paintings. This solo show, the first in thirty years, brings together a score of works from the artist’s estate, and gives a broad view of this complex, violent and refined body of work. Some of the pieces here were recently exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, Traces du Sacré in 2008, but also at CAPC, musée d’art contemporain in Bordeaux lors de IAO. Explorations psychédéliques en France, 1968-∞ in 2008, as well as at La Maison Rouge for Sous influences, arts plastiques et psychotropes in 2013.