Jean Fournier, un galeriste amoureux de la couleur
His name was rather common, but his career was definitely not: Jean Fournier was one of the most influential gallery owner sin Paris during the second half of the XXth century. This biography, which is the first of a series commissioned by the Comité professionnel des galeries d’art, describes with many details his professional life, that took him from being a bibliophile (a passion he never lost, which can explain the almost manic care he gave to invitations), to defending the most contemporary art, in a manner just as resolute as his alter ego Claude Bernard, with a few emblematic artists such as Simon Hantaï, Claude Viallat or the American in Paris, Shirley Jaffe. He was the son of shop keepers from the Nièvre, then a butcher apprentice in the Halles, his world changed when he walked into the bookstore Galignani and then into the library-gallery Kléber. It was in the latter that he signed his first exhibition in 1954, at the age of 32, with Joseph Sima, who introduced him to Colette’s daughter. Until his demise in 2006, over more than half a century, he led an active life between his galleries on rue du Bac and rue Quincampoix, with Degottex, Sam Francis, Buraglio or Joan Mitchell, who was till so little known in the 80s that he referred to her as a “young artist”.
Review published in the newsletter #545 - from 18 March 2019 to 24 March 2019