Art Informel : le signe et le geste, 1950-1970

19 October - 28 November 2023

The years following the end of the Second World War witnessed profound upheavals and an intense quest for renewal in all areas of society. As a reflection of its time, art also went through this metamorphosis. From 1947 onwards, in Europe and elsewhere, an extraordinary effervescence spread around abstract art, which at the time stood apart from Surrealism and the prevailing geometric abstraction. This “informal” artistic impulse was born from the inner need of the artists of the time to explore new territories of expression. This abstraction was close to the “psychic improvisation” Paul Klee had talked about in the 1920s; it was characterised by the spontaneity of the creative act and the desire to convey raw, universal emotions.

Various movements emerged in that context: Lyrical Abstraction in France, CoBrA in Northern Europe, Zero-Kai and then Gutai in Japan, and Abstract Expressionism in the United States. At the end of the 1940s and throughout the 1950s, artists, critics and art dealers shared a common fervor. They worked together to promote a form of expression that renounced preestablished references and helped establish abstraction as a world that was as rich as that of figuration.

Entitled “Art Informel : le signe et le geste, 1950 – 1970”, this exhibition takes visitors on a journey to the heart of this unique period of technical and plastic experimentation.