"No Figure" pioneer
Artworks from 1910 to 1948
October 25th to November 18th 2016
Honoré-Marius Bérard, meeting
What art dealer or collector does not pursue this quest for an encounter, even virtual, with a forgotten artist, almost erased from memory, whose career and work have been an essential link in such a movement or such an era, the one without whom the history of art would not have been quite the same ?
No, not a cursed artist, the 20th century overcame this romantic vision, just a personality and an itinerary that came together so that over time this trace faded until it was no more than a distant glimmer well that the work left behind is immense and, in some respects, fundamental.
Honoré-Marius Bérard is one of them, they are rare.
His independence vis-à-vis all Schools and all Movements, his rigor in his perpetual research work, his intransigence leading him to destroy many of his paintings, his singularity due to an atypical and sensitive personal career, his precocious and interminable distance from Paris, his fierce will not to submit to the caudine forks of the art market and to reserve his work for institutions, but also the absence of descendants who could have rekindled or maintained the flame after his death in 1967, all these elements came together and allowed the almost total disappearance of the 20th century artistic landscape of an artist of this dimension.
Anyone who has not yet seen his Liturgical Symphony, a canvas painted in 1939, or Jour de Tristesse, a work from 1941 or even his Cyprès, charcoal from 1910/12, will have a hard time, even reading these few lines, to take the extent of this painter, but once delivered to the gaze, these paintings will restore his true status to this artist.
From this same look will also come the surprise, even the incredulity, after reading the name of the author and the date carried on the canvas, so much the work will have evoked other artists, very famous those, and their work produced 10 to 20 years after his research and the paintings presented today.
We bet that at the dawn of the 50th anniversary of his death, Bérard can finally find the place of the pioneer and precursor that he was and that will always be his and that the most eminent art critics of the time will were more to distinguish.
Bérard, good for you and long life to your work !