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Exhibition marks Jean-François Jaeger's 90th birthday and his 66 years as gallery owner
Jean Dubuffet, Site domestique (au fusil espadon) avec tête díInca et petit fauteuil à droite, 1966, vinyle on canvas, 125 x 200 cm. Courtesy Gallery Jaeger Bucher/Jeanne-Bucher, Paris, photo: J-L Losi.
PARIS.- To mark the 90th birthday of Jean-François Jaeger, the gallery which now bears his name is hosting an exhibition celebrating his 66 years as a gallery owner. It looks back over his career through the prism of the artists he championed, the long-running relationships he forged with art critics and institutions and the numerous collectors who learnt to trust the perspicacity of his artistic judgment - collectors with whom he constantly sought to create a dialogue right throughout his long career as a gallery owner – a dialogue which continues to this day.

A man with a mission: Jean-François Jaeger
By going back in time and embarking on a long, meticulous examination of its archives, the Jaeger Bucher gallery has been able to retrace the epic journey of a truly extraordinary gallery owner.

Jean-François Jaeger took over the management of the gallery in 1947, one year after the death of Jeanne Bucher. The young owner managed to maintain and even build on the reputation of this iconic gallery by respecting its dedication to artistic excellence and its passionate commitment to the art world, whilst simultaneously being very much ahead of his time in the identification of trends which now, more than 60 years on, are an integral part of our lives and times.

Rather than simply stacking up memories from exhibitions past, Matter and Memory: the House of the Patriarch takes up the challenge of plotting the course of a long career by following the creative development of the avant-garde artists that Jean-François Jaeger promoted, as well as highlighting his precocious perceptiveness and characteristic humility, which is seen in the motto that best expresses how he lives his life, ‘Nothing belongs to me and I belong to everything’.

An essential exhibition
The exhibition takes its name from a 1939 essay by Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, which serves to underline its key themes, the relationship between body and mind and between the mind and the passage of time. These are illustrated both in the way in which the artists’ works exhibited in the gallery demonstrate an undisputable link between their media and the artistic experimentations and innovations of their times, and by the way in which the memory that gives them life, which cannot be separated from how they are perceived, weaves the past into the present. The modern-day perception of these works extends and revives this memory, since these fundamentally free works are unconstrained by belonging – to space, time, artistic school or movement, unless it be that they belong to the perception of anyone who can fully appreciate their true worth.

Organized by Jean-François Jaeger’s daughter, Véronique Jaeger, who took over the running of the gallery’s two Parisian exhibition spaces a few years ago, Matter and Memory: the House of the Patriarch is both a tribute to a pioneering, talented and passionate defender of the arts and a chance to rediscover the works of the artists and movements that have marked the history of art in Paris from the post-war period to the present day.

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