German and French
Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira
131 color plates and
16 duotone plates
11.25 x 8.75 inches
Jean Fautrier (1898–1964) is a singular figure in 20th century French painting. In the mid-1920s, he began producing still lifes and nudes in black on black grounds, scratching the fine contour lines of the depicted objects directly into the paint surface. In subsequent pictures, flowers and fruit seem to emerge from the pale ground, delicate and indefinite, almost like reminiscences of French 18th-century still life painting. It was in particular a commission to illustrate Dante's Inferno in the late 1920s that led Fautrier toward his idiosyncratic version of abstraction, which emerged as much from the materiality of the paint as from the painterly gesture.
Beginning in 1940, Fautrier developed a new type of picture in which materiality as such takes the place of the now absent object. In 1945, the ensemble of works known as the Otages would bring him recognition: the facial features of his agonized figures dissolve into the materiality of the paint – here is the inauguration of Informel painting. Beginning in 1955, through his obsession with eroticism, and with the series Têtes de partisan, inspired by the Hungarian Uprising, Fautrier returned to his fundamental themes – sensuality and destruction.
Presented in this publication are rarely seen pictures from private collections in Switzerland and Germany, supplemented by works from Parisian museums.