VOYAGE OF THE AVANT-GARDES
of artistic movements, Alfred H. Barr, Museum of Modern Art, 1936.
The Paris Avant-Gardes. "A prophet is not without honor save
in his own country" : A Cultural Transfert and Its Cases
of Mistaken Identity.
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
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.
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
October 26, 1978
October 26, 1978
Paris--Zurich: November 1, 1978
Zurich--Milan: November 2, 1978
. . . Etc.