Perrotin, New York   13 April 2024 - 23 May 2024

The New School of Paris through its Pioneering Women (1945-1964)

Three of the Foundation's signature works cross the Atlantic to the Galerie Perrotin in New York. The latter brings together the first exhibition of the "New School of Paris" in the United States, with works exploring the period from 1945 to 1964. The presentation compiles numerous archives telling the stories of the pioneering women who helped shape this post-war movement.


In 1952, critic Charles Estienne coined the expression “New School of Paris” at Galerie Babylone. The art that emerged in Paris after 1945 benefited from a flourishing market, but suffered from misunderstandings and numerous scandals. Neither the press nor the bourgeois Parisian audiences of the time unanimously appreciated these new trends that received a lot of criticism. Nevertheless, within fifteen years, the new style had established itself, enraging advocates of a more traditional, expressionist, dreamlike, Picasso-esque figurative style. The names of Pierre Soulages, Zao Wou-Ki, and Hans Hartung soon became world-famous, the latter winning the Grand Prix with Fautrier at the Venice Biennale in 1960.

This exhibition portrays a moment, rather than a movement: the “New School of Paris” was a cosmopolitan, heterogeneous group of abstract painters that emerged between 1945 and 1964. The show opens with two pioneering works by the Nouvelle École. Next to a painting by Hans Hartung, completed in 1945, is the iconic 1946 Composition by Wols, a masterpiece of Informal Art on loan from the Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. The Foundation's second loan, Zao Wou-ki's 30.10.61, illuminates the third section of the exhibition, alongside paintings by Hartung, Soulages and Anna-Eva Bergman, who share a common visual language in which vast expanses of color capture and reflect light. In the next section, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva's Paris, la nuit, the third and final loan of the Foundation, dialogues with Bergman's "infinite extensions" and other "reveries" by Terry Haas and Geneviève Hasse. The list of artists on show would not be complete without mentioning Georges Mathieu, Serge Poliakoff and Gérard Schneider, all key figures in the "Nouvelle École de Paris", which Galerie Perrotin is once again showcasing.

Like a luminous halo with the French capital at its center, the exhibition also explores a group of female gallery owners and critics who were able to see the potential of these artists and promote them, acting as remarkable visionaries. This exhibition, curated by Thomas Schlesser, and organised in collaboration with ACA (Archives de la critique d’art), Fondation Hartung-Bergman, and Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, provides an unprecedented glimpse into the lives of these visionary women in Post-war Paris.

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New York, NY 10002
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Works on loan

Paris, la nuit
Vers 1946-1947
Wou-Ki ZAO
30 octobre 1961