L’art en guerre, France 1938-1947
Directed by Laurence Bertrand Dorléac and Jacqueline Munck
Under a kraft coloured cover that is reminiscent of the deprivation of those somber years, the book shows how, even under the oppressor’s boot, artists continued to produce. Some of them, and at different degrees, bent their heads such as Vlamink and his ill-reputed trip to Germany; or the curators of the Musée d’art moderne inaugurating it in 1942 with an array of outdated attitude; Cocteau making an eology of Arno Breker, Hitler’s favorite sculptor. But not all of them reacted in that manner as the book recalls in various chapters dedicated to Picasso whose request for French nationality had just been refused and who at the time painted in his workshop on rue des Grands Augustins his famous Aubade. Or Jeanne Bucher, the gallery owner who exhibited representatives of ’degerated art’ like Otto Freundlich who died in a cocentration camp, and protected other artists such as photographer Rogi André who lived, in hiding in her attic. The catalogue of the exhibition at the Musée d’art modern of la Ville de Paris hs the public rediscover poorly known artists who created under very difficult and harsh conditions, such as Roger Payen, who worked at la Santé prison on a ’poor’ support, match boxes. A final glossary combines characters, events and venues locations, from Jean Cassou at the Exode, after passing through the Drouin gallery.
Review published in the newsletter #284 - from 20 December 2012 to 9 January 2013