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Exhibition: Pierre Buraglio, from the workshop to the factory

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"It's a Panoramic" (1963), by Pierre Buraglio, collage. P. B. / ADAGP COLLECTION, PARIS 2019

To understand the artistic and intellectual history in France in the last third of XXe century, there is no better than a retrospective of Pierre Buraglio.

It shows very clearly the power and consequences of the thought and desire for political revolution before and after May-68. And, as well, the violence of the confrontation between, on the one hand, the critical theories which affirm then that the painting is socially indefensible and aesthetically obsolete and, on the other , the tenacious desire to do the same thing in the history of art, want the one who feels it to be a fault.

Buraglio ended up transgressing these taboos, and his exhibition, presented at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Saint-Etienne Metropolitan and entitled "Low voltage / 1960-2019", sâ €? Opens with two newly painted self-portraits. But, to get there, the journey has been difficult. It is the latter that the exhibition traces.

She could do it better. Buraglio had not, until today, been the object of such an exercise. It is only more unfortunate that it is at the narrow.

Two or three more rooms would have avoided compressing the hitch and abbreviating certain series while the slight changes that manifest themselves are only visible if they are ready. felt in their length. The visitor needs a lot of attention to reconnect the wires. But those Buraglio weaves are both very numerous and so fine that they can escape.

Avant-gardism artistic and political

As for the question of dates, it is essential. For a simple reason: in 1969, Buraglio suspended all artistic practice, before starting again in 1973. This suspension is obviously the critical moment, the capital crisis.

Previously, there is a young artist, born in 1939 in Charenton in a family of emigrants lombards. A student at the Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1963, he absorbs the essential knowledge: the ancient arts of the West, the modern art from Courbet and Manet, the avant-gardes of Impressionism in Paris. Lâ € ™ abstraction.

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In his early works as in those of his contemporaries, who are also for some his classmates in the studio of Roger Chastel Fine Arts ⠀ "Parmentier, Buren, Rouan, Bioulès, Viallat⠀", the loan Matisse's presence is as sensitive as that of Cubism and Dada. The result is collages of recovered papers and colored geometry essays.

Like his contemporaries, Buraglio finds in the American abstraction of the 1950s how to free himself from the conformism of the French abstraction "lyrical" or "informal". In 1963, he spent a month in New York, where, as much as the museums, he frequents jazz clubs.