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Gaston Chaissac "A Man of Letters" in Paris
Gaston Chaissac, Untitled, 1952/1953. Oil on paper, 27x21 cm. Private collection © Photo : Michel FISCHER © Adagp Paris 2006.
PARIS, FRANCE.- The Musée de la Poste presents Gaston Chaissac, “A Man of Letters,” on view through July 22, 2006. The exhibition was curated by Josette Rasle. The Musée de la Poste is particularly interested in the place the written word plays in art. In this sense Gaston Chaissac makes an exceptional contribution. By bringing together more than 200 works of art – paintings, collages, letters and drawings often never shown before – the exhibition enhances the value of the letters between Chaissac and his network of correspondents as missives, as well as the letters as components in the writing of his paintings and his collages. This is also the opportunity to talk of nearly twenty of his correspondents, whether famous or anonymous, through a work, a photograph and their missives.

Writing, whether imaginary or real, intervenes in Gaston Chaissac’s plastic production from the beginning with his own signature which goes very quickly from being a signature to becoming an autonomous element in the composition that makes a sign, and it continues with titles – when he deems it useful to name one of his works of art – influenced by poetry, by the knowledge of words, the association of ideas. The word triumphs as well in the collages when he combines newspaper clippings, ads and product brands. This graphic and verbal manipulation could be put in parallel to Apollinaire’s calligrammes.

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