Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence (FR)    1 July 2020 - 22 November 2020

Jacques Monory

By way of a tribute, the Marguerite et Aimé Maeght Foundation is proposing the first monographic exhibition devoted to Jacques Monory since his death in 2018. Entitled simply Jacques Monory, the exhibition presents his career spanning sixty years and takes a fresh look at the work of this leading figure of the Narrative Figuration movement. This overview is arranged in a non-chronological way that aims, from one room to the next, to bring fully into play all the echoes and contrasts within this singular body of work that deserves revisiting.

Exhibition Curator: Laurence d’Ist

Out of all the painters associated with Narrative Figuration, Monory was undoubtedly the only one to be wholly narrative. At times hyperrealist, the enigmatic scenes he painted and juxtaposed seem to form the haunted logbook of a painter who every day questioned the reality of the world. The blue that made him famous, whether monochrome or associated with other colours of the spectrum, is the colour of this doubt. It acts as a dreamlike veil and distancing mechanism.

Borrowing from the cinema, and in particular from 1950s thrillers, as well as from photography, Monory's paintings, often in large format and frequently incorporating objects, form a kind of accelerated merry-go-round: in them, urban landscapes and vast expanses of nature, romantic visions and dramatic images from current affairs or contemporary history alternate or combine. A fundamental pessimism, tinged with dark humour, coexists in his work with a fascination for the void.

Monory does not give lessons; he asks both himself and us the question: how does one live in a violent, unreasonable, illogical, surprising and often fake world? His painting, the reflection of a modernity whose violence he exorcises by giving it free rein, still hits us full in the face today, like a very long film whose individual frames we would like to be able to isolate, while letting ourselves be swept away by the power of his merciless editing.

Works on loan

Jacques MONORY
Mesure n° 6
Jacques MONORY
Opéra glacé n° 10 – Penn Opera