Color intoxication with Raoul Dufy in Aix-en-Provence

Organized in cooperation with Paris Museum of Modern Art And paris museums, exhibition Raoul Dufy “Drunk Color”to Comont Center in Aix-en-Provence It traces the artist’s entire career path (1877-1953).

As shown Sophie Krebscurator of heritage at the Museum of Modern Art and curator, this presentation at the Commont Center highlights the close relationships that duffy speak with Provence work Paul Cezanne.
Most of the works on display at Caumont come from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. We have supplemented with private or public collections in order to adapt not only to the museology of the place, but also to the city of Aix »

Raoul Dufy, Self-Portrait, 1898, oil on canvas, 45 x 37 cm, Center Pompidou, Paris. National Museum of Modern Art – Center for Industrial Creativity; Photo © Center Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-François Thomasian; © Adagp, Paris, 2022


Originally from Le Havre, Raoul Dufy in this cityHe started his career there. He used to go back there often, connected to his city and family. Initially influenced by the Impressionists Monet And black pudding, Then Matisse And other painters who participate in the adventure wild cat. In the first rooms colors Cezanne They appear in green, blues and yellows. Then we quickly see bright colors and free drawing calls themselves. From the beginning of the journey, we note the development of his paintings and unfinished paintings. The “touches”, if not so much tempted us as other paintings, are interesting to note in order to understand Duffy. ” We can clearly see that the painter is searching for himself ”, confirms the curator of the exhibition.

Dufy continues to master the spirit of Cézanne while reintroducing even more vibrancy in color. »

Partner of Olécio from Wukali

he is in 1908during a trip to the south of France with George BraqueDuffy is surveying Cézanne’s land. Braque adheres to Cubism, a path also announced by Cézanne, while Duffy continues to explore the works of Sid Aix. The blueness of the sea and sky remains at the center of an ongoing search for the painter’s favorite motifs: swimmers, marine festivals, coastal landscapes, and boats.

We remember this delightful subject,” From Martigues to Estaque »which is a suggested exhibition Ziem Museum in MartiguesThat followed the artistic approach of Raoul Dufy. Great South Workshop In 2013, he also paid tribute to the liveliness of the artist, as well as to his friends at the Fauves who, like him, loved Venice in Provence. Braque and Dufy themes were often popular, such as the trees at L’Estaque.

Raoul Dufy Museum of Modern Art at the Center Commune Aix-en-Provence
Raoul Dufy, Café à l’Estaque ou L’apéritif, 1908, oil on canvas, 59 x 72.5 cm, Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, Photo: Paris Musées / usée d’Art Moderne, © Adagp, Paris, 2022

In this Café in l’Estaque, we are in fauvism. ” The colors are bright, the local tone is not respected with their pink trees in particular, and we can already see a deconstruction of the pattern with this group of circles and half-circles, even the trees are curved, there is no depth or perspective, Sophie Krebs comments. The Fauves are interested in Cezanne and a retrospective of 1906 to Freelance Gallery It was a real revelation to most of them. Besides, merchants love Ambroise Follard, as presented by Cézanne. So it was not strange.

Matisse Also talk a lot about the importance of Cezanne. ” Cézanne is right, I’m right.” He said. The delegate explains:

“The painters appreciated these breaths of things, and they were aware that Cézanne had successfully settled a conflict that had bothered painters for far too long: the relationship between color and painting. How do you make all this work? How not to use traditional perspective?”

What many don’t know is that the stylish artist Duffy began to be a huge hit in the late 2000s. He will even get a big income thanks to his textile designs for Silk Factory, Bianchini Ferrerin Lyon.

It would be a very technical job as a textile designer, moreover, he would be interested in the decorative arts all his life. » specific Sophie Krebs.

In his work, Dufy will go to the drawing board, presenting practically only “signs”. Signs of a tree or a rock, waves on the sea… This speaks to us when we think of Cézanne’s motifs. Oddly enough, the painter was not interested in Saint Victoire.

However, there’s all that work of deconstructing, engineering, and simplifying the color gamut that becomes almost a binary between gray and grey, brick and blue.. There is also the famous steering switch, Cézanne’s invention, Also identified by Sophie Krebs. ” Touches of paint allow, in a certain axis, to vibrate and thanks to which you can move from one color to another without necessarily having to use chiaroscuro. If Duffy does not fully adhere to Cubism, it may be because it is too abstract for him. Duffy would not abandon the decorative aspect of his painting: balustrades, statues, garlands, and vegetable palms come to thwart this feat of engineering, so to speak. Moreover, this is what pleases his work.

Raoul Dufy Museum of Modern Art at the Center Commune Aix-en-Provence
Raoul Dufy, Regatta with Seagulls, circa 1930, oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Madame Perth Reiss Museum in 1975 © Adagp, Paris, 2022

We stay by the sea, the docks populated by people, the kayaking scenes in the Marne, in Normandy, and the boats, all sailing. We also travel in his style and tour in the direction of renewal: ” It’s always more and more ‘summary, so superficial, with this sun in front of us, even representing imaginary landscapes, like Greetings to Claude Le Lauren ”, Sophie Krebs says. ” Regard From a kind of patchwork that gathers all its forms: the podium, the amphitheater, the fairytale ruins, the ship, the boats… Yet it is a classic landscape, with a delicate design, and a nod to antiquity. Here, everything is an excuse to invade his compositions with the colors of the sunset. It is a very free and creative evocation; It honors this great painter.”

Raoul Dufy Museum of Modern Art at the Center Commune Aix-en-Provence
Sailing boat port. Lorraine (circa 1935) homage to Raoul Dufy, presented at the exhibition “Raoul Dufy. Color Intoxication”, Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence, 2022 © Guy Boyer / Raoul Dufy

He moved away from Provence, and then returned there. “We find out” basement houseAnd Botanical garden in Paris or his masterpiece, “Abandoned Garden” Brought to us by Duffy in 1936» Coordinator comments. We perceive the directional touch that organizes the elements and also the disproportion of the patterns, which makes it possible to interpret them differently for near and far.

Raoul Dufy Museum of Modern Art at the Center Commune Aix-en-Provence
Raoul Dufy, The Deserted Garden, 1913, oil on canvas, 155 x 170 cm, Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, Photo: Paris Museums / Museum of Modern Art, © Adagp, Paris, 2022

at “Home and Garden”, we have a landscape and a still life: a cup on an inverted table, a green fruit and a rose-tree, a kind of vine that occupies the middle level between the house and the table. The painter uses another decorative process, in which the green color invades part of the canvas.

Raoul Dufy Museum of Modern Art at the Center Commune Aix-en-Provence
Raoul Dufy, House and Garden, 1914, oil on canvas, 117 x 90 cm, Museum of Modern Art in Paris, Photo: Paris Museums / Museum of Modern Art, © Adagp, Paris, 2022

Photographer Duffy

after refusing artistunder what circumstances, we don’t really know, Apollinaire, the defender of the avant-garde, called Dufy to illustrate a group, a group of animals in which we discover a series of animals accompanied by some verses from Apollinaire. A huge work in xylography, wood engraving was done by himself.

In the window are other illustrations that Duffy produced for novels and collections of poems by famous writers of his time, such as “For the herbarium” from Colette, “Food of the Earth” fromAndre Goodor “compulsory leave” from Roland Dorgils. Complementing his activity as a painter, these illustrations allow us to appreciate the subtlety of his drawings and his great talent as a colorist.

The use of watercolor is fairly new to the 1920s in travel. It’s a new way to draw faster, with a free brush stroke.

Raoul Dufy Museum of Modern Art at the Center Commune Aix-en-Provence
Raoul Dufy, Bouquet of iris and poppies, circa 1948, watercolor and gouache on paper arches paper, 50 x 65.7 cm, Musée de l’Arte Moderne, Paris, Photo: Paris Musées / Musée d’Modern Art, © Adagp, Paris 20

A “free” drawing of his views of Nice in particular, is made with large areas of flat color, the colors that overflow over the drawing and thus offer interesting effects.

We contemplate the drawings of the workshop: the windows, which he often represents, and this workplace which is a kind of work inside the work, where we see only Dufy on the walls. You can also see outside from the window. Do Dufy de Matisse, Sinterrogated… Matisse? Sophie Krebs answers: Dufy painted his studio every time he changed it, and every time he moved to Nice, Perpignan, Le Havre, Paris… It’s a theme that circulates throughout his career, so it’s not a tradition. Mattis.” In front of this series, we still discover very beautiful pottery On the subject of artist baths.

Sick, arthritis disfigures his hands and he will find it difficult to grasp his paintbrush. Skilled, he painted with his left hand and then devoted himself more regularly to watercolor painting. ” He will realize it in abundance, sequentially with bouquets Very popular with the public Sophie Krebs says. Moreover, despite the success, everything becomes complicated. He will move around with sticks and will involve his wife and mistress “the nurse” to help him with his work. Duffy’s work is modern and monumental. His big project “Electricity Fairy”Who relives the history of electricity testifies to his ingenuity!

It is represented in a lively and interactive way. Attention to people who are allergic to vertigo.

The work comes alive as the light jobs, enveloping us in many animated scenes that make the atmosphere electrifying. But there is no danger, we assure you!

Raoul Dufy Museum of Modern Art at the Center Commune Aix-en-Provence
Raoul Dufy, La Fée Électricité (detail), 1937, commissioned by the Compagnie Parisienne de Distribution d’Electricité for the Palace of Electricity and Light during the 1937 International Exhibition of Arts and Techniques, oil on plywood, 1000 x 6000 cm, 250 plates, each plate: 200 x 120 cm, donated by the French Electric Corporation in 1954, Photo: Paris Musées / Musée d’Art Moderne; © Adagp, Paris, 2022

Raoul Dufy, drunk on color
Center Comte, Aix-en-Provence
Until September 18, 2022

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