from February 17 to April 30, 2007
The public collections in Normandy boast a particularly high number of French post-war abstract masterpieces. This explains why first-rate artists like Tal Coat and Joan Mitchell have moved to our region.
An initiative of the FRAC Haute-Normandie, the Musée Malraux in Le Havre, the Musée d'Evreux, the Musées des Beaux-arts of Rouen and Caen, the Fonds Régionaux d'Art Contemporain of Haute and Basse-Normandie have, for the first time, pooled their collections to give the Normandy public an exceptional overview of modern painting in France through such emblematic figures as Olivier Debré, Jean Degottex, Marc Devade, Jean Dubuffet, Simon Hantaï, Hans Hartung, Joan Mitchell, Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Judit Reigl, Gérard Schneider, Pierre Soulages and Denis Godefroy.
Beyond all explicit figuration—even if some cannot forget their attachment to the landscape—the gesture, sign and line are pure creation. They convey a moment of energy suspended in the time or space of contemplation, stretched towards new horizons. The art is transcribed onto the surface of a canvas, framed within a painting.
And even if this is more a meeting of individuals than established movements, there is no denying the wealth and diversity of the abstract approaches that have spanned the gamut of French painting from the post-war period to the early 1980s.