The Exhibition, "Signac, les couleurs de l’eau" at the Musée Fabre


1. Paul Signac (1863-1935)
Study for central panel n° 3
(contest for Asnières city hall)
Oil on canvas - 49 x 224 cm
Private collection
Photo : J. Hyde

30/9/13 - Exhibition - Montpellier, Musée Fabre - After Giverny, the exhibition Signac, The Colors of Water, is now being presented at the Musée Fabre until 27 October 2013. We will not return in detail to this show and refer our readers to Julie Demarle’s article already published on this site. However, we would simply like to point out that the hang for this retrospective is particularly well done in the museum’s exhibition rooms and, above all, that it includes several new pieces which were not on view in the Normandy museum, notably the preparatory studies for the décor at City Hall in Asnières.


2. Paul Signac (1863-1935)
Study for central panel n°2, 1900
(contest for Asnières city hall)
Oil on canvas - 49 x 112 cm
Private collection
Photo : Didier Rykner

3. Paul Signac (1863-1935)
Study of the single arch, 1900
(contest for Asnières city hall)
Oil on canvas - 49 x 120 cm
Private collection
Photo : Didier Rykner

4. Paul Signac (1863-1935)
Study for five windows detail (left side), 1900
(contest for Asnières city hall)
Oil on canvas - 49 x 224 cm
Private collection
Photo : Didier Rykner


In 1900, a contest was announced for the choice of artist to paint the "Salle des fêtes" of this building. 114 persons applied, among them Raoul Dufy, Othon-Friesz and Douanier Rousseau [1]. The little-known Henri Bouvet was finally selected and a painted (in fact, very beautiful) study by this artist is also exhibited in Montpellier.
Now owned by a private collector, there are four studies by Signac, three of which were once damaged by water. They were restored under the supervision of Anne Baxter, but without replacing those areas where the painted matter had disappeared. One of the studies in particular still shows traces of a significant washing away of almost all the matter. This in no way obstructs a good view of the ensemble which remains overall superb. These works had not been seen in public since 1963.


5. Paul Signac (1863-1935)
Le Pont-des-Arts. Autumn (Paris), 1928
Oil on canvas - 45.5 x 116 cm
Paris, Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
Photo : Didier Rykner


We would also like to point out, besides the presence of works representing Saint Tropez which were not displayed in Giverny, the addition of a late work by Signac depicting the Pont des Arts, of fine quality and not well known, belonging to the Petit Palais but on deposit at the Musée Carnavalet where it was kept in storage. We hope it will soon be permanently exhibited in a Parisian museum.

Version française


Didier Rykner, lundi 30 septembre 2013


Notes

[1] The information is available on the website of Asnières city hall. Although the catalogue is well put together as pointed out by Julie Demarle, we do however regret the lack of a text explaining this décor...



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