The origins of lyrical abstraction can be traced back to the early 1940s. At that time, the uncertainty and sense of loss engendered by WWII encouraged many artists to embrace primitive forms of emotional expression in their creative work, utilizing the purest form of intuitive consciousness to explore perception and harmony in the color combination. Indeed, through the speed of brushwork and symbols from ancient civilizations, passionate lyrical abstract lines and orderly intersecting blocks of color were used as vehicles to showcase the mindset of the artist.
The Trio — Schneider, Mathieu, Soulages presents three important lyrical abstraction artists, Gérard Schneider (1896-1986), Pierre Soulages (1919-) and Georges Mathieu (1921-2012). This exhibition presents 10 important paintings that introduce viewers to the idea that although the three artists were merged from lyrical abstraction period, their artistic form and expressiveness were unique and distinguished.
Gérard Schneider was romantic and literate, boldly using color while adopting a free and rhythmic brushwork that was rich in tension and infused his paintings with a timeless modernism. Georges Mathieu was active and passionate, painting like a warrior going into battle, resolution informing every move and stroke derived from instinct in the moment, with the interplay of strong lines a defining quality of his process. The works of Pierre Soulages are imbued with a sense of quiet explosiveness, as the artist explores light and a desire for eternal truth in the darkness.
In 1947, these lyrical abstract painters exhibited works at the 14th Salon des Surindependants. In 1949, Schneider, Soulages and Hans Hartung formed a trio. In the same year, Mathieu wrote his four criteria on lyrical abstraction as part of the global promotion of the new genre. The three artists all made a name for themselves in Parisian art circles and forged their own distinctive styles. Indeed, Schneider, Soulages and Mathieu are renowned for leading post-war abstract art in both the East and West, in art circles from Japan to New York. They lit the flame of Japanese avant-garde art in the 1950s and have remained influential throughout the history of lyrical abstract art.
Gérard Schneider, Georges Mathieu, Pierre Soulages
Exhibition Period: 23 Oct - 23 December 2021
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