This exhibition retraces the pictorial itinerary of Olivier Debré from the mid-1950s to the 1990s through the presentation of five wide-format paintings — a dimension he favored very early on in his career, indeed as soon as he moved into his studio in Cachan. “I did a canvas when I arrived here, in 1946, which was eight meters long; I painted large pictures because I felt the need to do so, perhaps even before the Americans did.” Around the year 1950, Debré favored matter and subdued colors. The subtle, delicate colors of his predominantly somber palette were applied with a knife, building up in thick concretions on the canvas. At the turn of the 1960s, Debré found his own path. Fluid matter was spread out in large undulating monochrome fields punctuated by thick, colorful concretions that both delimited and generated the space. From the early 1970s onward, he traveled a lot, going off in search of new landscapes. “His painting is more fluid, more flexible, more musical, too,” Pierre Cabanne wrote in Combat (October 8, 1973). His canvases began to spring up a bit all over: in Ouarzazate in southcentral Morocco, in Kyoto, in Angkor, in Jerusalem, in a Norwegian fjord, in Assisi in Italy, and elsewhere. In the 1980s, he was the beneficiary of several public commissions, the most important being the one for the Comédie-Française’s theater curtain, inaugurated in 1987, which was followed by his execution of the curtain for the Hong Kong Opera House at the request of the Louis Vuitton Foundation (inauguration in 1989). The 1990s were a decade during which Debré often came to Touraine. Touraine remained his preferred place to paint, his experimental laboratory. In 1997, he collaborated with the choreographer Carolyn Carlson, creating the decors and the costumes for her ballet Signes, the theme of which was own painting work. The following year, he executed—in collaboration with two Chinese painters, Jing Shijian and Xu Jiang—the curtain for the new Shanghai Grand Opera House. He died on June 1, 1999.
Located at the same address since Louis Carré founded his gallery in 1938, the Galerie Louis Carré is situated at 10 avenue de Messine, Paris 8. Known for representing and exhibiting the Modern masters: Calder, Léger, Robert Delaunay, Kupka and Picasso, Louis Carré also showed the work of Bazaine, Estève, Lapicque and Villon. Since 1978, the gallery has been operated by Patrick Bongers, grandson of the founder. The gallery has presented the work of Geer van Velde, Hajdu, Poliakoff, Chaissac, Bury and Debré who is now represented by the gallery. Since 1987, the gallery has focused on a more contemporary orientation, exhibiting the work of Mark Brusse, Cueco, Hervé Di Rosa, Erró, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Télémaque. In 2005, the gallery displayed the works of the Cuban artist Kcho and the Swiss artist Thomas Huber. In 2012, François Boisrond joined the artists supported by the gallery.
Eduardo Arroyo / François Boisrond / Mark Brusse / Gaston Chaissac / Henri Cueco / Olivier Debré / Hervé Di Rosa / Erró / Étienne Hajdu / Thomas Huber / Kcho / Jean-Jacques Lebel / Hervé Télémaque / Wang Yan Cheng