On Friday 8 July, the public will be able to discover the “Picabia pique à Ingres” exhibition at the Ingres-Bourdelle museum in Montauban. The culmination of a long process to discover an artist who created a good part of his works inspired by Ingres.
Without the Covid, this exhibition would not exist. It is from the mouth of Jean-Hubert Martin, who has been curator for prestigious European museums such as the Museum of Modern Arts – Center Pompidou in Paris, that the revelation is made.
During the summer of 2020, in Montech he began to think of an exhibition between Ingres and Francis Picabia. Many things also connect the two artists. Twelve years separate the death of the first and the birth of the second, Picabia became aware of the works of Ingres late in life, but his work pleased him. All these anecdotes are so many reasons to launch the exhibition creation machine.
The director of the museum Florence Viguier explains that Picabia adapted the works of its inspiration to the techniques of the time and specifies that “it is one of the first times that an artist uses industrial paint to create his works”. And from the first piece of the exhibition, we realize the difference between the classical style of Ingres which clashes with Dadaism, a movement specific to paintings from the beginning of the twentieth century.
From Ingres, everything goes there, paintings, sketches, engravings etc. Some works adapted by Picabia are so disturbing that an art layman might recognize the artist’s most famous works in them. Nay. Picabia’s choices are to confuse the viewer and ensure that the work is not just a benchmark for insiders.
Picabia the challenger
Beyond the works inspired by the work of Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, Francis Picabia provokes. Florence Viguier says of Picabia “that he is a great provocateur and that through provocation certain fantasies are put forward”. We understand his analysis by seeing certain sexually explicit paintings but without falling into offense.
No matter what each painting shows, there is always at least one element reminiscent of the artist from Montauban, but not only. In the multitude of exhibited works, some were also inspired by other artists such as Jacques-Louis David and his work Orpheus, thus showing the extent of Francis Picabia’s talent.
Prestigious works loaned to the museum
In order to put this exhibition into motion, various works have been lent to the Ingres-Bourdelle museum. Paintings from the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre in Paris demonstrate the extent of Francis Picabia’s talent while highlighting the original works. For works held in museums in other countries, digital projections allow the works to be superimposed to allow the best effects. This is the case with La Nuit Espagnole by Picabia, which the museum was unable to obtain but which is being shown.
Picabia’s Relâche ballet is also shown during the exhibition because the artist was not only a painter. In 1924, he had realized this ballet with the help of Erik Satie to the music.
This exhibition, on which about thirty people are working, allows any layman to discover a new artist. An artist who has his world and his style but who draws inspiration from and parodies the work of the greatest. This exhibition is inaugurated on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and for the first weekend, its access is free for everyone.
More than 3 months of exposure
To prolong the pleasure of the eyes, the Ingres-Bourdelle museum will present this exhibition for more than three months. For €10 per person but with reduced rates for some (seniors, students, etc.), the exhibition welcomes you from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursday. Access to the museum is free every first Sunday of each month. It will end on October 30, the time to delight tourists and locals.
Friday, July 8, day of the opening, to note at 6:30 p.m. the concert of the Cuban singer Irina Gonzalez installed in the region.