Jean Fautrier: A Private Collection
Jean Fautrier: A Private Collection (2023), featured the artist’s paintings, works on paper, and sculpture at LGDR’s flagship New York location. Spanning the period of the artist’s career from 1926 to 1944, the presentation exhibited a collection of exemplary works amassed over twenty years by a single important private European collector.
One of France’s most significant inter- and postwar artists, Jean Fautrier (1898–1964) was a solitary figure whose work presagedart informel and abstract expressionism alike. Characterized by gestural expression, strong chiaroscuro, and raw materiality, Fautrier’s paintings and sculpture reveal the artist’s sensibility for representing the realities inherent to existence. Among the earliest works in Jean Fautrier: A Private Collection was the painting Petit nu (1926), in which a nude woman stands surrounded by an enigmatic, shrouded aura. The subtlety and intensity of the painting was complemented in Le lapin écorché (1926), a bold painting of a flayed rabbit.
Between 1927 and 1944, Fautrier produced sculptures based on the human figure; on view at LGDR was the bronze Femme debout (1935). Also exhibited at LGDR was Corps d’otage (1944), a standout from the artist’s Otages series, which were revolutionary for their subject, materiality, and production. For this series, Fautrier developed a technique of applying plaster and pigment to paper. Here, a nearly unrecognizable figure appears, formed with thick, physical strokes of white intersected with washes of pink, blue, yellow, and seafoam green. When he first exhibited the Otages series at the Galerie René Drouin, Paris, in 1945, Fautrier hung the paintings in rows, evoking the repetition of mass executions.