Édouard Pignon, Ostende (1946-1953)
Under the direction of Philippe Bouchet
In this newsletter we often criticize museums that get cold feet and show major artists – or well known in any case – rather than run the risk of choosing more audacious ones. The latest exhibit at the musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon proves us wrong. It is completely dedicated to a nearly forgotten artist, Edouard Pignon (1905-1993), a friend of Picasso, and furthermore is focused on a given period of his work. These are seascapes of Ostende, the Belgian port he felt in love with after World War II and which he painted numerous times between 1946 and 1953, with the wind-whipped colored sails. Indeed, it was a donation by Pignon’s son that triggered off the event . But it remains worthy of praise just the same. For the museum sought out paintings from private collections in Belgium or Switzerland, from museums in New York, Luxembourg or Issoudun. The catalogue describes the genesis of this series. We learn Pignon left Collioure in the middle of the winter and left to Ostende, a real U-turn, replaces the artist back in the context of his time, with his commitments and his friends. A beautiful series of photographs by Agnès Varda in a workshop pushed him to go of on this pilgrimage: it was at number 23, rue du Moulin-Vert, in the 14th arrondissement in Paris, that Pignon dreamt of Ostende, in an apartment lent by Jean Cassou. There is no plate on the wall but the window on the 3rd floor is well there, the one that opened to the Northern light.
Review published in the newsletter #474 - from 25 May 2017 to 31 May 2017