NEW YORK, NY.- Paul Kasmin Gallery
presents an exhibition of paintings by Simon Hantaï at the 293 Tenth Avenue space. Held from March 19 April 24th, it will be followed by an exhibition of his earlier works at Galerie Jean Fournier in Paris from April 8 - May 22, 2010. Curated by Molly Warnock, this will be Hantaï's first showing in America since his inclusion in the exhibition "As Painting: Division and Displacement" at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2001.
Born in Hungary in 1922, Hantaï' moved to France in 1949 and became immediately known throughout Europe for his large, abstract canvasses of profound, saturated color. Deeply motivated by Jackson Pollock's gestural abstractions, Hantaï strove to produce a new method of painting that would redefine the role of the artist and restructure the picture plane. In the early 1960's, he began applying paint to folded canvasses. This systematic "pliage" or "Folding Method" brought him great success, including a show by that name at Galerie Jean Fournier in 1971. Throughout the rest of his art-making life, Hantaï devoted himself to developing new techniques that slowed down or automated the painterly gesturean idea resonant with Surrealism, Pollock's expressionism, or Matisse's cut-outs.
Enormously respected in postwar France, Hantaï' was granted a full-scale retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1976, and was the country's representative at the 1982 Venice Biennale. Admired by artists such as Buren, Parmentier, Viallat and Buraglio, his legacy continues to exert influence over art-making practices today and is in the permanent collections of museums such as the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Musée National d'Art Moderne.
Molly Warnock is an art historian based in Princeton, New Jersey. "Indeed, it is essential that the artist not put forward his own talents as a manipulator or social animal; he must remain silent, awaiting the right moment to be understood. This moment has apparently arrived, and it is an opportunity not to be missed for those who want to view Hantaï's work once again." Alfred Pacquement, 1998