THE SUPPORT/SURFACE YEARS IN THE COLLECTIONS OF THE GEORGES POMPIDOU CENTRE

September 22 > October 24, 1999


22 September - 24 October 1999

More than thirty years after the start of the "Support/Surface" movement, this exhibition sought to encapsulate one of the most creative periods of the artistic avant-garde in France. The two words that form the name of the movement, which developed during the 1960s and early 1970s, sum up its manifesto, based on the analysis of the specific characteristics of abstract art, the rejection of all forms of figurative or narrative art, and the search for the essence of the painting through its primary material components: the canvas, the frame and other types of support, the colour, and the design, which became the themes of the work rather than simply the means of representation.

The fifty-seven works on display, mainly from the Pompidou Centre in Paris, provided a panorama of the work and activities of the artists who directly participated in the "Support/Surfaces" group: Andrè-Pierre Arnal, Vincent Bioulès, Louis Cane, Marc Devade, Daniel Dezeuze, Noel Dolla, Toni Grand, Bernard Pagès, Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Patrick Saytour, Andrè Valensi, and Claude Viallat. In addition to these artists, the exhibition included works by artists who, while not officially part of the group, concentrated on similar studies during the same period: Pierre Buraglio, Christian Jaccard, Jean-Michel Meurice and François Rouan.

With the distance of time and going beyond the often contrasting positions assumed by the different artists, this exhibition made it possible to understand the radicalism of their artistic studies and the quality of their work. It also highlighted the creativity and specific characteristics of each artist in the group and restored the movement to its historic place in the context of other avant-garde movements which developed in this period. The particular way in which the exhibition was mounted allowed the originality of each artist to be respected while at the same time encouraging comparison with the other artists.

The exhibition was curated by Daniel Abadie and mounted by Enzo Serrani. The exhibition was accompanied by the catalogue published for the previous exhibition held in France at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris, with essays by Daniel Abadie, Didier Semin, Arnauld Pierre, Stéphanie Jamet, Kathy Toma, published by the Edizioni Galerie Nazionale du Jeu de Paume and the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris 1998.