the Majestic School of Paris at the Museum of Modern Art in Céret

Until November 13, the Museum of Modern Art in Céret pays tribute to the School of Paris with the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine & Cie, The School of Paris (1900-1939)”.

Barely renovated and expanded, the Museum of Modern Art in Céret resumes its sustainable policy of temporary exhibitions, desired by the inexhaustible Nathalie Galissot. For this panorama of the School of Paris, from Picasso to Soutine, she called on Christian Briend, who drew heavily from the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art. Until November 13, the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine & Cie, L’École de Paris (1900-1939)” highlights artists of foreign origin who made a decisive contribution to the Parisian artistic scene in the first half of the 20th century. came to work in Ceret.


From Picasso to Soutine

Seven of the artists of the Paris School, represented in this exhibition, came to work in Céret. This proposal to show artists active in Paris from 1901 to 1939 is therefore relevant and proves that the link between Paris and this small Catalan town, at the foot of the Pyrenees, is very strong. Picasso, Gris, Chagall, Kikoïne, Kisling, Soutine and Survage came to this” mecca of cubism (nickname given to Céret by André Salmon) on the advice of artists such as Manolo or Frank Burty Haviland.

Detail of Woman with a Polish Scarf (1928) by Kisling, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Céret Museum of Modern Art, 2022 © Guy Boyer.

A thematic division

In order to explain the diversity of origin and style of the artists who were present in the capital before the Second World War, the curator has divided the itinerary and catalog into five parts: the masters of color, the foreign cubists, La Ruche, Montparnasse, the portraits. To these large plastic or geographic themes he adds a section dedicated to photography, placed in a separate black box. The large formats of Kees Van Dongen, Louis Marcoussis and Léopold Survage are welcome in the expansive spaces of Céret’s temporary exhibition rooms.

Baroness Hélène van Oettingen (1917) by Léopold Survage, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Museum of Modern Art in Céret, 2022 ©Guy Boyer.

Baroness Hélène van Oettingen (1917) by Léopold Survage, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Céret Museum of Modern Art, 2022 © Guy Boyer.

Jewish artists of La Ruche

By approaching the subject of the Jewish painters and sculptors of the School of Paris from the corner of La Ruche, this phalanstery of artists in the 15th arrondissement, the exhibition erases any roughness, any debate. We will of course find Marc Chagall, but also lesser known artists such as Mané-Katz, Michel Kikoïne and Pinchus Krémègne. Fortunately, a text by Pascale Samuel in the catalog explains the racism associated with the rise of nationalism and the difficulties encountered by those who saw Paris as the promised land.

Ecstasy (1936) by Mané-Katz, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Museum of Modern Art in Céret, 2022 ©Guy Boyer.

Ecstasy (1936) by Mané-Katz, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The Paris School”, Céret Museum of Modern Art, 2022 © Guy Boyer.

From Montmartre to Montparnasse

Highlighting the Place de Modigliani in the heart of Montparnasse, the exhibition evokes the actual movement of artistic activity from Montmartre to the south of Paris, at the crossroads of Vavin, near the Dôme and La Rotonde. Picasso left the Bateau-Lavoir to the rue Schoelcher and Modigliani moved to the Cité Falguière and the rue de la Grande-Chaumière. The exhibition aligns an incredible portrait gallery, including the incredible film actor Gaston Modot with the long neck of a giraffe.

Portraits (1915-1918) including Gaston Modot (first from right) and Head of a Woman (1912) by Amedeo Modigliani, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Museum of Modern Art in Ceret, 2022 © Guy Boyer.

Portraits (1915-1918) including Gaston Modot (first from right) and Head of a Woman (1912) by Amedeo Modigliani, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Museum of Modern Art in Ceret, 2022 © Guy Boyer.

Strangers welcome

Between all these famous names we like to meet some lesser known artists. The Portuguese Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, for example, with his very fine cloth of riders which can withstand the confrontation with the Simultaneous Contrasts by Sonia Delaunay or the archives of Frantisek Kupka. Further away, The Hubin restaurant (1913) recalls the importance of the Hungarian Alfred Reth in the development of Cubism. Finally, we discover Eugène Zak, Mela Mutter (present in the exhibition “Pionnières” at the Luxembourg Museum) or Georges Kars, who deserve monographs.

Red Odalisque (1940) by Georges Kars, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Museum of Modern Art in Céret, 2022 ©Guy Boyer.

Red Odalisque (1940) by Georges Kars, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Museum of Modern Art in Céret, 2022 ©Guy Boyer.

Parisian portraits

The exhibition ends with a second gallery of portraits, whether friendly like that of Soutine sculptor Oscar Miestchaninoff or social like Kees Van Dongen’s Jasmy Jacob. The last work is the caricature of a Frenchman, drawn by Max Beckmann on his return to Germany after a stay in France. He is already evoking the rift and war between the two countries. In 1940, the government of Vichy enacts a law that suppresses French nationality to foreigners who have been naturalized since 1927. A decision that stops the dynamic integration of the Paris School and leads to exile or death.

In the centre: The painter Daniel O. Widhopff (1923) by Chana Orloff, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Museum of Modern Art in Céret, 2022 ©Guy Boyer.

In the centre: The painter Daniel O. Widhopff (1923) by Chana Orloff, presented in the exhibition “Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine et Cie. The School of Paris”, Museum of Modern Art in Céret, 2022 ©Guy Boyer.

“Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine & Cie, The Paris School (1900-1939)”

museum of modern art
8, boulevard Marechal-Joffre, 66400 Ceret

Until November 13

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