“Gérard Garouste”

The Modern, the Classic and the Indian

In Paris this spring, tribute is being paid to Gérard Garouste by three exhibitions. At the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, at the Beaux-Arts, and at the Galerie Templon… The chosen theme, “Zeugma”, creates a bridge between the collective and the individual, myth and its commentary. Find out more… In the 1980s, Alain Pacadis, the punk dandy behind the Palace nightclub described Gérard Garouste as “the artist who paints his wife and his dog”. The artist hadn’t yet evolved into the giant he would become – a top-notch status that was confirmed in December 2017 when the Académie des Beaux-Arts voted him in as an academy member, succeeding Georges Mathieu. In the 1980s, the young artist was just emerging from a few shady twists and turns of existence, and was painting to survive, possibly less for financial reasons than in an urgent response to life. Over 30 years later, things haven’t changed much. It is still Élizabeth who we find as Garouste’s Diana at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. This time, Garouste himself plays the role of Actaeon. The theme of Diana and Actaeon is one that has cropped up on many a canvas, notably handled by Titian, Luca Giordano, François Boucher and Cavaliere d’Arpino. All variations on a myth recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in which Actaeon surprises the goddess Diana while she is taking a bath in the company of her attendants. Failing to keep herself from the man’s sight, she blushes and throws water in his face, transforming him into a stag, whose fate is to be hunted and devoured by dogs. Gérard Garouste has taken a few liberties with the myth. His Actaeon is a wild zoophile who violates the animals before he is transformed and dies in their...

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Gérard Garouste at the Fondation Maeght

From 27 June until 29 November 2015, the Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence, France, is displaying the works of Gérard Garouste in an exhibition entitled “En chemin”. The exhibition is to bring together nearly 80 paintings, sculptures, and drawings that explore the myths and classic and modern tales that are important to the artist, including sketchbooks and several previously unseen works realised specifically for the exhibition. The thread of this exhibition is a set of associations and free correspondences between literature, art history, sacred texts, and family portraits, spanning Garouste’s career in a retrospective fashion whilst simultaneously featuring his new creations. Born in 1946 in Bourg la Reine, France, Gérard Garouste is a multidisciplinary artist, who is at once a painter, sculptor, installation creator, theatre set designer, actor, playwright, and author of an autobiography, L’Intranquille: Autoportrait d’un fils, d’un peintre, d’un fou, which was published in 2009. He studied at the Beaux-Arts de Paris before having his works exhibited in several galleries in France, Germany, and Italy, and had a solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1988. He currently lives and works in Normandy and in Paris. Situated in Saint Paul de Vence, near Nice, the Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght is a private contemporary art foundation of public use, which was inaugurated in 1964. It boasts one of the richest collections of 20th-century paintings, sculptures, and graphic works in Europe, and attracts some 200,000 visitors every...

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