The exhibition Présences brings together a series of self portraits, portraits and busts of the emblematic artists of the gallery: Jean Dubuffet, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Arpad Szenes, Fermín Aguayo, Miodrag Dado, Gérard Fromanger, Louis Le Brocquy and Miguel Branco, alongside rarely seen works of Eugène Dodeigne, Antonio Segui, Magdalena Abakanowicz, and Gérard Barthélémy.
From the beginning, with Miguel Branco‘s Monk, which deploys its interiority, to Eugène Dodeigne‘s 1950s stone sculpture at the back of the room, which delivers its energy and tension toward the exterior, the gallery offers various confrontations. En Chine, à Lo Yang by Gérard Fromanger testifies to the openness of both the artist and the gallery towards Asian culture, and espouses the opposite point of view from Fermín Aguayo’s Velasquez, of which one can say that it “informs the space of its presence”.
The expressive intensity of the works of Louis Le Brocquy, in the face of the chiaroscuro of the Spanish artist’s Personnage dans l’ombre, works with Jean Dubuffet’s severe, circumscribed characters. Those appear to differentiate themselves from Gérard Barthélémy‘s very free Nu dans l’atelier, watched with delight by Antonio Seguí’s Don Christian. The oils of the young Vieira da Silva and Arpad Szenes, dating to their encounter with Jeanne Bucher, surround the ensemble. The works shown in the Marais and Saint-Germain galleries incarnate the spirit of the gallery and of the artists it has supported since 1925, presences not only beneficial but indispensable, omni-presences.