Utrillo & Valadon : Pinacotheque de Paris

Until 15 september 2009

The Pinacotheque of Paris presents an exhibition to Suzanne Valadon and her son, Maurice Utrillo, painters long shunned by museums and galleries. The works of Maurice Utrillo are described here with those of his mother artist remained unknown, but which has greatly influenced his son, whose paintings have too long been underestimated.  Over one hundred and fifty works by Maurice Utrillo (1883 - 1955), and Suzanne Valadon (1865 - 1938) could be combined in this superb exhibition. It aimed to highlight the transition that took place then between Impressionism and the Ecole de Paris with the concrete evolution between two styles, a very progressive in Suzanne Valadon to a new expression in painting slowly changing from impressionism, and a more brutal in Maurice Utrillo with an undeniable break with the past. Artist cursed and alcohol, especially Utrillo striving to represent the neighborhoods of Paris and Montmartre in a particular style stripped and colorful, but very often deserted and lifeless. This somewhat minimalist style that made his reputation in the 1910s, and which allows it to be the key figure of the Ecole de Paris. Suzanne Valadon his side had gradually emerged from the codes and rules of Impressionism painting for a free constraints with colorful paintings and more energetic but whose influence on his son are undeniable. Daughter of a washerwoman and an unknown father, Suzanne Valadon was born in 1865. It becomes circus acrobat at the age of fifteen years, until an accident forced her to cease this activity. In the district of Montmartre, where she lives with her mother, she was noticed by her beauty to attract ragard artists who have sought to become their model. Thus it poses for Degas, Toulouse Lautrec, Renoir and Puvis de Chavannes. This gives him the desire itself to draw and paint, but the artists she sees and where she raises discouraged. Only Edgar Degas, who sees the bright lines of his drawings and encouraged advises. Suzanne Valadon also enjoys painting still lifes and landscapes marked by the strength of their composition and vibrant colors. His first exhibitions of the 1890s consisted mainly of portraits, including one saissisant Erik Satie with whom she had a relationship in 1893. In 1894, Suzanne Valadon was the first woman to be admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. The search for perfection, she sometimes worked several years on a table before presenting it to an exhibition. The similarity between some tables and the master is in some particular way of drawing and coloring nudes, such as in "Nu se umbrella" of 1916. She knows when some success and managed to earn enough money from selling his paintings to seek shelter in financial difficulty. It can fill the needs of her son, born in Mauritius in 1885, which later take the surname of his father: Utrillo. Maurice Utrillo from an early age a boy very dissipated. It makes a few trips to St. Anne and early taste of alcoholism. In contact with André Utter, a student at the Beaux-Arts decides Utrillo starts to paint and exhibit his paintings, mostly in cabarets he frequents. Quickly, it produces many because of the need for him to pay his excessive drink, and often willing to sell his paintings on the cheap for a little alcohol. Maurice Utrillo is quickly revealed to have talent, which with the advice of his mother, are transformed into technical excellence of the composition and paint up to a genius. With André Utter, he began to paint landscapes in the tradition of the Impressionists, but moves quickly to the representation of Paris and the Montmartre district. His style and subjects emerge over weeks, painting the streets, cafes, restaurants and taverns he frequents regularly. His paintings are frequently places empty of human presence, often with dull colors with virtually no vegetation or in scenes where winter seems to permanent anxiety. Maurice Utrillo revels in a bohemian life in the bad neighborhoods of Paris, going from bar to bar and his wandering in the streets to his studio. In the years 1912-1914, he made some stay in the clinic of Dr Revertégat to Sannois not far from the capital, to treat, but also because he likes the charm of the campaign, which allows him to devote himself entirely to his art. This period is described as "white period" in the work of Utrillo, as finding a certain serenity, it lends itself to the addition of plaster in his painting, and discovers that all the technical intricacies and wealth changes from white, for which s' to express it, both the light, beauty and truth of things. Maurice Utrillo see subjects he paints through their form and substance. He is not interested in trends, nor to the pointillism of Seurat, or the symbolism of the Nabis. It ignores the cubism, surrealism and abstraction. Only the interest is, in its original form, spontaneous, naive, and in this more than the few landscapes he paints, the representation of towns, streets, intersections of the city. It is an urban painter, in the wake of a painting of the city dear to the seventeenth century with Bellini and Carpaccio in Venice, and for example in Delft Vermer or with Pannini, Canaletto, Guardi Belloto or in Rome a few years later. For some of these aspects, it can be compared with painting Pissarro Avenue de l'Opera, or later, Marquet and Vlaminck in their palettes fauvists.  Maurice Utrillo appears as witness to the emergence of a new type of painters, from the grassroots. Brightly colored a mottled Renoir all the nuances of light, the colors of opposing reality, dark, earthy or white suburbs of Utrillo. Suzanne Valadon s'émancipe side of his favorite subjects of painters men, and break the conventions to which women were assigned, for example with the completion of nudes or portraits. Through his colorful and energetic works, she has had a profound and permanent influence on his son and led to its postage on totally different subjects, but indicative of his spirit of independence.

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