With a selection of artworks by:
Nobuyoshi ARAKI / Art Primitif (Punu) /Paul BELMONDO / Christian BOLTANSKI / Charles CHAPLIN / Jean-Philippe CHARBONNIER / Nan GOLDIN / Douglas GORDON / Johannes KAHRS / Peter KLASEN / Yayoi KUSAMA / Marie LAURENCIN / André MASSON / Jean-François MILLET / Marc QUINN / Bernard RANCILLAC / Bettina RHEIMS / Gérard SCHLOSSER / Barthélémy TOGUO / Andy WARHOL
Samuel Le Paire Fine Art is presenting Madame, an exhibition on the female portrait. It is a synoptic vision, a vision of the woman that puts forward; a myriad impression that each of the models leaves us, which merges to culminate with a synthesis of femininity, a multifaceted impression of what defines a woman, for the past 150 years.
Charles Chaplin, the charming painter of Parisiennes and Jean-François Millet, artist of the lower classes, both open the exhibition by showing the two sides, light and dark, of a 19th century full of contrasts.
In the midst of the 20th century, the implacable face of André Masson, derived from automatic writing in The Realm of Chaos and Light IV, relates the woman to a Gorgon after working blindly, frontal and with a totemic rigour of which the two counterpoints in the exhibition are the Punu sculpture and the metaphoric face by Barthélémy Toguo.
But the portrait also carries within itself the issue of the real presence of the model, the resemblance with what we already know about her. The photographic portraits of Sonia Rykiel by Warhol and of Madonna by Rheims have the feel of a bygone era that has left its mark today, whether the pose is iconic or casual. Even an instant in essence caught on the fly presents, in Nan Goldin, the Constructed specific to effigies, while Charbonnier uses a perfect technique to illustrate the allegory of the two sides of femininity – disarmed and half-naked in front of men (Les Coulisses des Folies-Bergère) or dressed from top to toe by Parisian couture and served by a man (Bettina la plus belle vitrine, place Vendôme). Rancillac also, like Warhol and Rheims, brings his model, Tina Turner to the pantheon of women who have “made” their era. His apparent economy of means combined with the fragile balance of translucent and strident colours recreates this fleeting figure even better eyes closed: the face of the other of an explosive femininity that is no less real nevertheless.
Lastly there are the artists who choose periphrasis to make the portrait of women, such as Klasen or Schlosser who opt for an off-centre composition and seem to illustrate the adage, certainly a little spicy of “look me in the eyes”. Klasen’s work is a finished form of smooth eroticism in an industrial context and the contrast of the two makes it one of his most significant works.
Samuel Le Paire Fine Art has thus chosen to show a multiple femininity, both in the pose chosen by the models and in the artist’s view of them.