Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR)   20 April 2022 - 29 August 2022

An American Woman in Paris

Shirley Jaffe (1923 - 2016), an American painter who settled in Paris in 1949, is a referential figure in abstract painting at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. She claimed, provocatively, to have discovered Pierre Bonnard in New York, then Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol in Paris. This exhibition constitutes her first retrospective.

Curator: Frédéric Paul

Arranged in chronological order, Shirley Jaffe, An American Woman in Paris presents her Abstract Expressionist beginnings, with bright colours worked in broad brushstrokes while the forms, which prefigure her future work, barely emerge from this pictorial space. From 1968 onwards, two radical breaks occurred in her work: she abandoned gesture and matter in favour of colour and geometry and started painting large canvases characteristic of maturity with their free, unified forms that clash and float on the incisive white of the surface. The exhibition also underscores the parallel path taken by her «gouaches» on paper, with their swift execution, unlike her paintings which pulsate like urban life but were always slow to reach completion.

Shirley Jaffe kept a «diary» for herself of her ongoing paintings. Preserved in the Kandinsky Library, these precious studio notes and previously unknown archives shed a new light on her works.

Centre Pompidou
Place Georges-Pompidou
75004 Paris

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Works on loan

Shirley JAFFE
Madame Butterfly
Shirley JAFFE
The Waves
Avril-juillet 1957