Paintings and collages by Jacques DOUCET
As part of the 70th anniversary year of the Dina Vierny Gallery, Olivier Lorquin devotes an exhibition to the painter Jacques Doucet (1924-1994) focusing on three important moments in his artistic career through works from the 55s, the 1960-1968 period and collages from 1993.
Born in 1924 in Boulogne-sur-Seine, Jacques Doucet, a freedom-loving teenager, was passionate about painting and poetry. Hesitating to choose one of these two paths, he met Max Jacob in 1941 to ask his advice. With subtlety, the poet made him understand that he alone must make this choice. Jacques Doucet chose painting, where his poetry is omnipresent. From 1949 to 1951, he participated in the CoBRA movement, a movement inspired by children’s drawings, graffiti and popular art. Jacques Doucet got rid of his inventive, narrative and ironic figuration. He becomes more abstract, removing the titles of his previous works. His brushstrokes become wide and thick, the colors are contrasted and contained by a black ring, making “funny and indiscriminate forms” appear. His painting is rich in materials and vibrant colors.
The 60s marked a pictorial turning point in the painter’s work. His paintings become more expressionist, more lyrical, while the tones are muffled by the use of ochre, blue, gray. This was the beginning of his collaboration with Dina Vierny which lasted until 1976. She encourages him in the way of collages. Jacques Doucet mixed fragments of illustrated papers, children’s drawings and his own failed drawings. This period was followed by “Tableaux-collages” on larger supports.
In the 90’s, he once again produced “tableaux-collages”, different, where the poetry of the titles is found. Suffering from polyneuritis, Jacques Doucet uses oil sticks on smaller formats to paint. He always expresses himself with passion as in this series realized in 1993 after his trip to Morocco. The colors, red, blue, yellow, explode while black graphics punctuate the canvas, reminding us that Jacques Doucet has been engaged in a lifelong intimate struggle with painting.
Extract from Michel Ragon’s text
in Jacques Doucet Parcours 1942-1959
Catalog raisonné, Volume 1, Editions Galilée 1996, pp 10-11
“When Doucet passed from imaginary figuration to non-figuration, does he remember Paul Klee’s recommendation: abstract painter, yes, but with memories.
So many scratches in Doucet’s painting are the scars of traces of objects, traces of people, and so many shreds of memories. Traces of a struggle also against (and with) color, against (and with) matter, against (and with) the indelible traces of everyday life.
I spoke of lyrical abstraction and it is indeed, after the adventure of Cobra, among the painters of lyrical abstraction that he will exhibit from now on. However, it would be more accurate to say: abstract expressionist. There is indeed, and increasingly so, in Doucet’s art, at the end of the fifties, a tension, a tense expressiveness, which brings him closer to certain American painters than, of course, to the so-called “French traditional” painters and even to most of the lyrical abstractionists, who were a little too abstract for him, and a little too lyrical.
If there is lyricism in Doucet, it is always a restrained lyricism. Dina Vierny, who took over from Colette Allendy and Jean Pollak in the 1960s, said of Doucet that he combined “a sense of measure and excess”. Excellent definition. It is in excess that he is an expressionist, and in measure that he restrains his overflow into abstract reflection.
For whoever knew Doucet intimately knows that this gueulard, this Rabelaisian was in reality delicacy and kindness itself.”
Opening: Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 6 to 9 pm
Exhibition from June 2 to July 28, 2017
Dedication: ” Summer choreography: a life of adventure with the painter Jacques Doucet ” by Andrée Doucet Wednesday, June 14 from 6 p.m.