23.03.2018 – 19.05.2018 | Dessins de sculpteurs – GALERIE JEANNE BUCHER JAEGER | Paris

23.03.2018 – 19.05.2018


Espace St Germain


On the occasion of the Drawing Week in Paris, the gallery has decided to put in the spotlight Dessins de sculpteurs, from Arp to Shingu, and including Giacometti and Rodin, all of whom are connected to varying degrees with the history of the gallery and its current activities. Preoccupied with questions of line and volume, contour and density, linearity and plasticity, as well as fullness and emptiness, the sculptors set to work drawing in search of the expression of volumes and ideas, set down on paper via shadows and light, according to the individual techniques of each. Whether drawing is, for the sculptor, the sketch of a future work, or an entity of its own, the soul of the creator is therein eminently incarnate, without recourse to reliefs or molds. This exhibition of sculptors’ drawings highlights the clear link between the sheet of paper and the completed work, putting front and center, via the most rigorous possible test, the tension of the volume as it moves towards the planar surface, or the incarnation of a sculptural apparatus as the vehicle for a unique and specific idea. Rodin’s La Fortune (c. 1906) evokes the link that Pierre Bucher, Jeanne’s brother, had with the artist; in the French Exhibition of 1907 he presented works of Rodin, Besnard, and Cottet for the Société des Amis des Arts in Strasbourg. “One observes in this drawing, formerly in the collection of Baron Vitta, the line of the silhouette marked by a single stroke that contrasts with the way the flesh is rendered. The figure, almost evanescent, appears to surge from its raw material, as with the artist’s marble sculptures. This Fortune with bandaged eyes, as it would have had in the antique tradition, is joined by the attribute of the wheel, rapidly sketched at the lower left of the page” (Christina Buley Uribe). The Alsatian painter and sculptor Jean Arp, cofounder of the Dadaist movement in Zurich in 1916, and linked to surrealism, was also very close to Jeanne Bucher, who devoted many exhibitions to his work between 1927 and 1939. The drawing exhibited dates from 1920. The artist executed certain of his drawings in India Ink over pencil sketches, characterized by a movement of abstract lines which cause figurative forms to appear. The championing of Lipchitz’ works is one of the motivations which led Jeanne Bucher to open her gallery in 1925; the inaugural exhibition at the Boutique Pierre Chareau presented the artist’s sculptures aside works of Gromaire, Lurçat, Pascin and Marcoussis. It was at the rue du Cherche-Midi gallery that Giacometti was exhibited publicly for the first time in 1929, the year after the execution of Bruno lisant. “The use of pencil in Giacometti’s work appears to be a necessary and permanent means to ‘see,’ and the white of the paper the most immediate yet troubled place for an “endless” effort, constantly renewed, to capture in space and in light the elusive living presence of the being or the object in front of him.” (Schefer, 20011). Ever since the founding of her gallery, Jeanne Bucher was able to appreciate, in the drawings of sculptors, the presence of a form still nascent in its essence and its magic. Laurens’ Femme Couchée, c. 1943, corresponds to the period where the artist had an exhibition of sculptures and drawings in the summer of 1942 at the Boulevard du Montparnasse Gallery, for his sole Parisian exhibition under the Occupation, presenting his sculptures, drawings, and dry points (on the theme of shootings). One of those drawings would be used as the frontispiece of “The Last Night,” by Paul Eluard.. The Hungarian sculptor Hajdu was exhibited for the first time in Paris in the spring of 1939, beside his close friends Viera da Silva and Árpád Szenes. His drawings, often of large black female figures, as is the case with the sumptuous Grande Demoiselle evoking the mourners he encountered in Transylvania in his youth, are realized flatly, with India Ink applied by stamps. “It embodies the archetypal feminine aesthetic of the artist: a miniscule axe-shaped head, inspired by Cycladic art, with a large bun crowning the head and an immense dress with funnel-shaped folds as in Quattrocento Italian painting.” (Collection Centre Pompidou, Brigitte Leal, 2007) Hajdu was a close friend of Chauvin, who was exhibited by Jeanne Bucher during the same period, then by Jean-François Jaeger in an exhibition of drawings in 1951. Chauvin had the habit of working on his erotic drawings standing up, at nightfall, under an electric light, on a paper from a butcher’s shop coming from Germany… Ten years later, the gallery, in its new rue de la Seine space, dedicated a solo exhibition to François Stahly. After Arp, he was, with Hajdu, one of the leading exponents of biomorphic art. In the last part of his life, around the end of the 1980s, “through a quasi- automatic sketching of nature,” (Catherine Chevillot), Stahly created pen drawings, with fine felt-tip pen, in India Ink, in pencil or with an enhanced engraving, redrawn from a photocopy. “Drawing,” says Dodeigne, “is the fruit of my sculpture.” His subjects are almost always characters. It is not so much the character of the model that is sought, nor resemblance, but rather the troubling presence of an other. The subjects spread over the paper, born from emphatic brushstrokes whose fat and powerful forms grow slimmer in their inflections, in broad and warm upstrokes. Executed principally in charcoal, created in the beginning of the 1960s, these characters are in motion, captured in the moment. The expression of their inner lives is all the more intense as it is evoked laconically by several strokes or smears, in black and white, without embellishment. Jean Dubuffet’s Portrait d’Armand Salacrou, a red chalk portrait of one of his schoolmates that he created at the age of 16 in 1917, is the first known work of the artist, to whom the gallery would devote some twenty solo exhibitions beginning in 1964. This is what the sculptor Jean Amado, recommended to the gallery by Jean Dubuffet at the end of the 1960s, used to say about his drawings: “I do not necessarily draw for sculpture, but in the details things always appear that could enter into my sculpture. A drawing commences from almost nothing; from a way of scribbling that already contains all the means of reconstituting the thing itself. That which is vague in one’s head becomes visible on paper. Drawing is the point of departure for a possible image, it’s a training of oneself to see” (Moulin, 19862). A sustained collaboration with Gerard Singer, including some ten exhibitions, began in 1968. Nourished by an intimate bond with mountains and a continuous practice of alpinism, this “artist-architect,” a pioneer without equal, began his greatest work at the beginning of the 1970s. In 1986, the gallery reunited Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Gerard Singer and Dani Karavan around the exhibition Questions d’urbanité (“Questions of Urbanism”). The Israeli artist, whose works are today exhibited around the world, presented models and drawings of his Axe Majeur at Cergy-Pontoise, a 3-kilometer-long sculpture that he started in 1980 and is still working on in 2018. In autumn 2005, Veronique Jaeger exhibited the drawings of Dani Karavan, as well as the preparatory models for the realization of the artist’s 1-kilometer-long environmental sculpture in Murou, Japan. In autumn 2018, the gallery will pay another tribute to the artist, under the auspices of the France-Israel Year in 2018. In 1997 nine monumental sculptures of the American Mark di Suvero were exhibited on different sites in Paris. After his first works, created with wooden debris and recycled objects, Di Suvero oriented himself rapidly toward steel structures that find their true scale in grand landscapes and blend organically with architecture. Bravely oblique in the manner of his sculptures, his works on paper envelop and draw the void, interlacing form and figure, “in order to make another form, neither figure nor ground.” Dessins de sculpteurs resonates with important events in 2018 for several of the artists exhibited, including Dani Karavan, Jean- Paul Philippe, Susumu Shingu, Paul Wallach, and Antonella Zazzera. Paul Wallach had a residency with Mark di Suvero in New York before moving to Paris in the ‘90s, where he pursued the development of his very particular conception of sculpture, a veritable voyage to the heart of geometry. He has been the object of several presentations at the rue de Saintonge gallery since 2008. In May 2018, Paul Wallach’s monumental sculpture Down to the Ground will be unveiled in Salzburg. Invited by the Kraüthugel-Salzburg Foundation, the artist has imagined a sculpture of 40×45 meters, that can be wandered through on the ground, but the complete form of which will only be visible from the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the largest completely preserved castle in the center of Europe. On March 19, 2018, the installation by Jean-Paul Philippe, Les dessous du ciel ou l’attrapenuages, will be unveiled at the Basel-Mulhouse Euroairport. His work is executed everywhere from the intimacy of the studio to public spaces, ranging from drawings to sculptures, realized in the urban milieu or in the middle of nature. His drawings on marble constantly evoke hopscotch boards or ladders, essential and omnipresent elements in his creations. Beginning on May 17, 2018, The MUDAM in Luxembourg will dedicate a solo exhibition to the internationally recognized Japanese artist Susumu Shingu, “sculptor of wind and air;” at the same time a new exhibition dedicated to the artist, entitled Cosmos, will take place at the gallery. The artist, trained in drawing and painting in Japan and Italy, slowly left figuration while leaning towards abstraction, and would engage progressively with the 3rd dimension, from bas-relief to autonomous pieces, and finally to suspended works. One of the works of the Italian artist Antonella Zazzera, who makes meticulous copper weaves, has been chosen for the exhibition Tissage Tressage, which will open at the Villa Datris next May. Her two Studi Armmonici were created in 2009 and coincide with the elaboration of her new sculptural forms. They are spontaneous drawings that render evident the importance of nuances and rhythm in the notion of Thread/Sign, components of her works in three dimensions.

1 SCHEFER, Jean-Louis et al., Alberto Giacometti : le dessin à l’œuvre, cat. exp., Paris, Centre national d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, du 24 janvier au 9 avril 2001
2 MOULIN Raoul-Jean, «Au pied de la muraille. Rencontre avec le sculpteur Jean Amado», in L’Humanité, 1986

Jeanne Bucher Jaeger
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