Musée d'Orsay: Correspondences Musée d'Orsay / Contemporary Art

Correspondences Musée d'Orsay / Contemporary Art

Georges Seurat / Claude Rutault

Georges SeuratLandscape with "The Poor Fishermen" by Puvis de Chavannes© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
Born in 1941, French artist Claude Rutault, since first developing his definition/method in 1973, has continued to "seek to make painting visible". In a constant effort to push the boundaries in these pictorial experiments and refusing to resort to the spectacular, he has since developed his definitions/methods whose invariable principle is as follows: "a stretched canvas painted the same colour as the wall on which it is hung. all standard sizes which are available commercially, whether rectangular, square, round or oval, can be used. the presentation is traditional".

The principle can be considered as instructions for use, a sort of user's guide to the work – and its display – for the collector, the exhibition curator, the gallery curator or the gallery owner. Thus, the definitions/methods present the conditions for the creation of the work, and above all the procedure for its evolution. The artist readily includes an intrinsic change in the works which he conceives from the unpredictable and random perspective of appropriation/modification at the actual starting point of the creative process. Echoing Seurat's reference to Puvis de Chavannes, Rutault, here, aims to update this principle of definition/method, by again putting forward the issue of tribute to the old masters. "My admiration for Seurat's chosen path quickly became a priority […], and even more necessary as it brings into play two very different works from the museum. In this presentation it is purely a question of a painter's work, not a historian's work. Today I merely present the two paintings and their structures through my painting itself, in my main concern for moving beyond the limits of the painting, and for the finished object." (Conversation with Françoise Ducros, April 2007).

Chief Curator

Serge Lemoine, President of the Musée d'Orsay, in conjunction with Olivier Gabet, curator, Musée d'Orsay.


19 June - 9 September 2007
Musée d'Orsay

Admission with the museum ticket

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