Painters’ Lives: Marguerite Louppe & Maurice Brianchon
April 6—May 19
curators, William Corwin and David Hirsh
Cocurator William Corwin will give a talk at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 6, in Williams Center Room 108. An exhibition reception will immediately follow the talk—from 5 to 6 p.m.
“Painters’ Lives: Marguerite Louppe and Maurice Brianchon” explores the rich interior and exterior lives of a married artist couple who created work from the 1920s through the 1970s. This exhibition brings the work of Brianchon—an influential and well-known French painter from the 1920s through his death in 1979—to the United States after almost five decades, and introduces the work of Louppe, an under-recognized and accomplished painter, for the first time to the United States.
The paintings, prints, drawings, and sketches in the exhibition present a visual dialogue between two artists. In a comparison of the two artists’ work, viewers can imagine cross-fertilization of ideas and subjects of mutual interest and observe the divergent paths the two artists pursued.
Maurice Brianchon (1899–1979) was a Postimpressionist figurative painter in the tradition of Manet, Vuillard, and Bonnard, and is best known for his nudes, still lifes and ballet dancers. A sensualist and an expansive personality, Brianchon heavily incorporated collaboration with other artists and leading creative minds of the time. He investigated the human form and celebrated interaction, painting images of Parisian life, music halls, and the horse races at St. Cloud and Longchamps, as well as scenes of the theater, ballet, and pastoral landscapes.
Marguerite Louppe (1902–1988) explored more mathematical and abstract artistic trends of the day such as Purism and Cubism, depicting scenes from her studio as well as the architecture and landscapes of Truffieres, France. She tended to follow a monastic and insular practice, focusing on the intimate and interior life of an artist, yet at the same time Louppe was an adventurous painter who was excited to experiment with movements that were contemporaneous with her practice. In her later canvases she employed a mathematical and draftsperson-like process of deconstructing a collection of objects or an exterior landscape into its basic geometry, emphasizing shape, angle, and unexpected formal coincidences and rhythms that emerge from this simplified reality.
The works are drawn from the personal collection of David Hirsh, a 1997 graduate of Lafayette College with a B.A. in international affairs with a minor in art history. While at Lafayette he interned at the legendary Holly Solomon Gallery in New York. While his professional career steered him toward the world of finance, he has always kept his passion for art alive as an avid collector. He developed an interest in the artwork of a distant great aunt, Marguerite Louppe, and her husband Maurice Brianchon through his friendship with their son Pierre-Antoine Brianchon.
The exhibition is curated by Hirsh and William Corwin, a sculptor, writer, and curator based in New York. Corwin’s dual exhibitions in 2015—Devotion at Catinca Tabacaru and Cyborg at Zurcher Gallery—were covered in Art Critical, Installation Magazine, and Modern Painters, and both exhibitions were reprised in 2016 and 2017 as I, Cyborg at Gazelli Art House in London and A Brief Gospel for Our Times at Art 3 Gallery in Brooklyn. In 2015 he was the organizing curator of the LUMEN Video Art Festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Since 2010 he has been a reviewer for Frieze Magazine and has also regularly written reviews and conducted interviews for The Brooklyn Rail, Art Papers, Art Critical, and Bomb.
An illustrated catalogue with an introduction written by the curators and brief biographies of the artists is available.