FRANCE / PARIS: LOUIS SOUTTER : LE TREMBLEMENT DE LA MODERNITÉ
until Sunday September 23 2012
La Maison Rouge Fondation Antoine de Galbert
T : +33 01 40 01 08 81
10 bd de La Bastille
The exhibition at La Maison Rouge, Louis Soutter, le tremblement de la modernité, offers an original and faithful overall vision of the work of Swiss artist Louis Soutter (1871-1942), whose last Parisian retrospective was back in 1997. It seeks to bring out the coherence of the work of this artist who does not enjoy the popularity he deserves, and to establish his true place in the history of art.
This singular, marginal body of work, which some have tried to classify as Art Brut, is in fact very modern. The isolation in which Soutter lived for the last twenty years, when he was in a home, has blinded critics to other key aspects of his life: his studies in art and music in Geneva, Brussels and Paris; his extensive culture, his knowledge of the artistic trends of the late nineteenth century, all of which place him outside the world of Art Brut, as defined by Jean Dubuffet.
The aim of this exhibition is to cover the whole body of work, from the academic drawings of his youth to the profoundly original “finger paintings and drawings” done between 1937 and 1942, which are unlike anything else done at the time. While observing the periods traditionally used to classify Soutter’s work, this exhibition also aims to bring out its essential themes and to show the key works in a new light.(…)
The final highlight of the show is the astonishing set of books on which Soutter painted and drew developing his visual worlds in counterpoint to the text. Ten of these volumes have been brought together here for the first time.
This journey through Soutter’s work should make it possible to underscore his modernity. Or, to put it more accurately, his “quivering modernity”: in Soutter’s work we find we find a quivering, live line that draws on Renaissance painting (Carpaccio, Raphael) and continues all the way to the most modern pictorial experimentation.
curator of the exhibition