Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dole (FR)   22 March 2019 - 15 September 2019

Tous les sexes du printemps, Jean Messagier (1920-1999)

The retrospective at the Musée des Beaux-arts of Dole shows the work of Jean Messagier in all its diversity, covering his entire career, from the late 1940s to his last paintings in the 1990s. Around a hundred works will be presented: paintings, prints, and sculptures, as well as films and photographs evoking the performative dimension of his work.

curators : Amélie Lavin et François Michaud

Famous as early as the 1950s, exhibited all over the world, and friend of painters, rock stars, and poets, Messagier started the 1980s with a retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris that paradoxically marked the beginning of a period of some neglect. There are many reasons why the work of this artist is partly forgotten, or at least unrecognized, and certainly misunderstood. Messagier, an abstract painter? Images of colourful interlacings come to mind, the style some called "window washing", which brought his first success and established his reputation. But it is only one facet of an immense and ever-changing oeuvre that continually courted risk and reinvented itself.

The retrospective at the Musée des Beaux-arts of Dole seeks to clearly demonstrate that Messagier went beyond the concepts of figuration and abstraction, in a urgency to paint, to draw, and to create, obsessively responding to the cruel creativity of nature. The exhibition will highlight the artist's freedom and his poetry.

Anxious to be contemporary to his time, Messagier succeeded in doing so, and his oeuvre, if we embrace it in its entirety, bears both his signature and the spirit of his age.

Work on loan

Journée à quatre joies
Septembre 1960