ARTS & SOCIETIES
 

LETTER OF SEMINAR 10

Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po

 
 
 

THE VOYAGE OF THE AVANT-GARDES


Diagram of artistic movements, Alfred H. Barr, Museum of Modern Art, 1936.


Béatrice Jouyeux-Prunel
The Paris Avant-Gardes. "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country" : A Cultural Transfert and Its Cases of Mistaken Identity.


Laure-Caroline Semmer
Birth of the Figure of the Father of Modern Art : Cézanne in International Exhibitions, 1910-1913.


Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Assistant: Elodie Antoine
Translator: David Ames Curtis

PREVIOUS LETTER

THE INFLUENCE OF THE SAINT-SIMONIANS AND THE IDEA OF ART IN THE VANGUARD OF THE SOCIAL REFORM

BODY MORALITY

DANDIES

The Model Child

The beautiful and the useful

New Publics, Between Utopia and Marketing

Photographs by amateurs

the market, at the start

art in the republic




 
EDITORIAL


         We already knew the role the Armory Show of 1913 had played in the transatlantic exportation of European modernity. At the initiative of artists themselves, a number of foreign painters were able to achieve recognition in America as precursors of modernism. Cézanne in particular benefitted from the wave of exportation of French Impressionism before coming to embody a model of the autonomous artist who is not subject to any movement.

         Before that time, and as early as 1870, the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel had presented works by Monet and Pissarro for the first time in his gallery on New Bond Street in London, where the only kind of foreign art then admired belonged to the Barbizon School. In fact, the Impressionists had as much trouble gaining acceptance in England as they did in France. Pissarro, for example, complained in 1871 of the inhospitableness of the English as well as of his colleagues’ rudeness, indifference, and selfish jealousy. And yet, for modern painters to become established in England, all that was needed was a few decades, during which time a high-quality speciality press developed and some inspired critics emerged. In the meantime, the case of England--though the phenomenon was still more pronounced in Germany--shows to what extent the history of art intersects with questions of identity. The issue of nationality had quite an influence, especially for opponents of modernity who saw modernism as part of a betrayal of the national consensus. In her thesis on Cézanne’s reception abroad, Laure-Caroline Semmer has reconstructed these stakes, showing to what extent the painter was instrumentalized by all sides in support of the most contradictory causes.

         While Cézanne himself was hardly a strategist, except in the area of his passion, other artists were more aware of the stakes involved in their careers. This is one of the favorite topics explored by Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, who studies the ways in which the various forms of Paris avant-garde painting between 1855 and 1914 became internationalized. Her sociological approach leads one to open one’s eyes about how a detour abroad helped artists who did not always enjoy full legitimacy at home. This is bound to remind one of Daniel Buren’s own long listing, in his Écrits, of the voyages he undertook between September 1978 and July 1979. The following entries are just the start:

         Paris--New York: September 14, 1978
         New York--Halifax (Canada): September 25, 1978
         Halifax--Montreal: October 2, 1978
         Montreal--New York: October 5, 1978
         New York--Philadelphia: October 18, 1978
         Philadelphia--New York: October 19, 1978
         New York--Paris: October 20, 1978
         Paris--Cologne: October 23, 1978
         Cologne--Paris: October 25, 1978
         Paris--Liège: October 26, 1978
         Liège--Paris: October 26, 1978
         Paris--Zurich: November 1, 1978
         Zurich--Milan: November 2, 1978
         . . . Etc.

Laurence Bertrand Dorléac




Letter published with the support of the Foundation of France

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