Petits & grands tableaux en souvenir de Jean Fournier



Petits & grands tableaux en souvenir de Jean Fournier

Past: June 9 → July 21, 2016

Big and Small Paintings in Memory of Jean Fournier is a tribute to the gallery’s founder and the choices he made between his initial venture on Avenue Kléber in 1954 and his death in 2006. The exhibition has been designed as a dialogue between the different generations of artists who crossed paths at the gallery, from Josef Sima to Bernard Piffaretti and from Simon Hantaï to Frédérique Lucien.

These are pictures that Jean Fournier actually saw and admired. Some of them were given to him as gifts, while others were shown in exhibitions at the gallery in its different locations: Avenue Kléber, Rue du Bac and Rue Quincampoix.

Common to these artists is a particular concern with colour and space, but above all they shared a passionate, responsive way of being in the world. To present them together like this is also to chronicle the history of the gallery in all its change and constancy. In the course of time Galerie Jean Fournier became a touchstone, a place where painting and abstraction were uncompromisingly defended — and still are today. The exhibition unspools the thread of Fournier’s emblematic encounters with artists who went on to become major 20th-century figures, among them Simon Hantaï and Joan Mitchell; and points up the links with such American artists as Sam Francis and Shirley Jaffe, and with the painterly avant-gardes of the 1960s–1970s as personified by Claude Viallat and Pierre Buraglio.

Fournier’s receptiveness towards the following generations — Stéphane Bordarier, Frédérique Lucien, Bernard Piffaretti — opened up new programming avenues and helped forge the gallery’s identity as we now know it. Since his passing in 2006 the gallery has continued to champion new artists working in abstraction or kindred veins. It still flies the flag of the variety he was so attached to: Fournier was a passionate ambassador both for the art of the past and that of his own time, a gifted go-between whose measured but implacable eye left its mark on generations of artists, curators and collectors. The handsomest gesture of esteem we can offer Jean Fournier is to hold firmly and sincerely to his course of action, for the sake both of the artists and those who support them.

“Fundamentally the truest fidelity one can show towards Fournier and what he built is expressed in his own definition: expect nothing, hope for everything. This meant dropping the ethos of resemblance in favour of serendipity . . . That, finally, is the Fournier line: successive generations endlessly casting new light on each other, and all within the same household.”1

The exhibition will be accompanied by a generously illustrated booklet including archival material and a text by Pierre Wat in French and English.

1 Excerpted from Pierre Wat, “Expect nothing, hope for everything”, in the booklet accompanying the exhibition, Galerie Jean Fournier, 2016.

  • Petits & grands tableaux pour Jean Fournier Opening Thursday, June 9, 2016 6 PM → 8:30 PM
07 Paris 7 Zoom in 07 Paris 7 Zoom out

22, rue du Bac

75007 Paris

T. 01 42 97 44 00

Rue du Bac

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday, 10 AM – 12:30 PM / 2 PM – 7 PM
Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM

The artists

  • Claude Viallat
  • Simon Hantaï
  • Pierre Buraglio
  • Sam Francis
  • Frédérique Lucien
  • Jean Degottex
  • Shirley Jaffe
  • Joan Mitchell
  • Bernard Piffaretti
  • Stéphane Bordarier
And 5 others…