Amateur Art History Reports: The School of Paris Post World War Two in the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

School of Paris

  After looking at the grand exhibits of the Mint Museum Uptown, visiting this museum feels so intimate.   For this exhibit, they moved the walls around and added more artwork by artists by they already had.  How small, you ask?  Here, eight artists round out this small exhibit.  Nicolas de Stael, Roger Bissiere, Alfred Manessier, Gustave Singier, Edouard Pignon, Maria Elena Vieira de Silva, Alberto Magnelli, and Pierre Soulages.  While they all had the same motifs, such as painting objects that ranged from the stylized to unrecognizable, they each had some distinct style.  Magnelli had a clean look while Pignon and Manessier had a very messy style to their works.

Regarding Alfred Manessier, as much as the museum has made this man their mascot, it took me a while to warm up to his work.  I did find his series of paintings known as The Canticles of Saint John of the Cross.  While the caption boxes wrote that each painted reflected the poems’ subject about the relationship between humans and God, Manessier’s painting represented something different for me.  For me, they represented a being that constantly changed its shape.  However, when I learned that he based it on the poems, I now saw them as two figures melding into one another.  His manuscripts were a nice addition.  One looked like a medieval manuscript, which makes sense since he spent time in churches.  However, one artist stood out to me, and he went by the name of Gustave Singier.  His painting, Untitled 1957, depicts a quadruped running under a strange sky.  I do not know why, but this intrigued me to know end.  I also liked his other paintings such as Collines and Untitled 1956.  Why?  I find him incredibly talented when it came to rendering lines.  Now, I am aware that I have neglected in talking about the others such as Maria da Silva, but her work did not stand out to me.  However, when I looked for her works online, I found some very good paintings.

Before I end this report, as I walked around the permanent exhibits and saw the tapestries by Picasso and Leger, I realized that Charlotte museums will always find a way to add textiles to an exhibit.

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