“Lyrical Abstraction 1945-1995”

16 Nov 2014 - 27 Nov 2014

Photography exhibition, within the activities of the Jordanian-French cultural week organized by the Jordanian-French Chamber of Commerce «Cavrage» in cooperation with the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts with the Diane du Paris Gallery.

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HRH Princess Wijdan Al Hashemi, President of the Royal Society of Fine Arts, and in the presence of the French Ambassador to Amman, “Lyrical Abstraction 1945-1995” Exhibition Opening happened on Monday 11/11/2014.

This exhibition comes within the activities of the Jordanian-French cultural week organized by the Jordanian-French Chamber of Commerce «Cavrage» in cooperation with the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts with the Diane du Paris Gallery.

The exhibition continues at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts Building 2, 1st floor until 27/11/2014


The turn of the 20th century with Vassily Kandinsky Abstract Watercolor (1910) and With the Black Ark (1912) as the first artist expressions of non representation in the West, and Kazimir Malevich extended the process of exploding forms started among others, by Cubism. Paris before the Second World War was in a state of complete artistic effervescence. The capital gathered the iconic figures of abstraction who had come from all horizons: Vassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondriaan and Paul Klee…

From the 1940s, Abstract Art divided into two major trends: Geometric Abstraction on the one hand plunged its roots into the first half of the 20th century. On the other hand, a more audacious trend took shape. The great pioneers worked in the shadows: Gérard Schneider, Georges Mathieu, Hans Hartung and Pierre Soulages, for example, concentrated on the expression of emotions, feelings, the “internal self”, thus giving birth to a form of painting that had never been seen before: Lyrical Abstraction.

There are as many expressions of this Lyrical Abstraction as there are strong artistic personalities. Among the leading figures, four fundamental artists are presented here: Gérard SCHNEIDER (1896-1986), Hans HARTUNG (1904-1989), Olivier DEBRÉ (1920-1999) and Huguette ARTHUR BERTRAND (1920-2005). Four major artists of the 20th century, four key figures of the Parisian and global art world.

Gérard Schneider is the oldest member of this new generation. Originally from Switzerland, he arrived in Paris in 1916 and registered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris in the studio of Fernand Cormon who also trained Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. “Lyrical Abstraction is above all embodied by Schneider just as Cubism is by Picasso” says Michel Ragon. Schneider fervently continued his study of the expression of his internal self. His broad brushstrokes and the audacity of his palette created works whose power is volcanic. With his friends Hans Hartung and Pierre Soulages: the Lyrical Abstraction trio, he exhibited amongst others at the Galerie Lydia Conti and then with the great dealer of Lyrical Abstraction, Samuel Kootz in New York. His friend Hans Hartung, originally from Germany, also deepened his investigations into abstraction in isolation. “The painter of lightening”, his work is characterized by free gestures, immortalized by black, cutting, graphic marks, afterwards laid out on colored planes.

A rare female painter of this glorious artistic period, close to Hans Hartung and Olivier Debré among others, Huguette Arthur-Bertrand included her work completely in post-war Lyrical Abstraction: her tight graphic manner, typical of the 1950s-1960s, later evolved towards gestures that became more and more free, like a serene echo to her final years, those of the maturity of an oeuvre that was fully accomplished. As for Olivier Debré, he is the major figure of French Color Field, the “European Rothko”. His work corresponds to a contemplative  abstraction, “fervent” abstraction according to him, from which emotion springs, embodied for him by the sign. A painter of large spaces, his work has often escaped from the format imposed by the easel to flourish in large scale works, especially on stage curtains, such as those of the New Opera House of Hong Kong (1989) commissioned by the Louis Vuitton Foundation for the Opera and Music and that of the New Opera House of Shangai.

Today it is a privilege to present this concentration of talents and witnesses to history: this anthology of Lyrical Abstraction, from its beginnings in the 1940s in full artistic effervescence, until its uninhibited blossoming in the 1960s and 1970s and its full maturity in the 1980s and 1990s.

Event Photos

External Links

The Exhibition’s E-Catalog:

“Lyrical Abstraction”

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