Supports/Surfaces developed away from Paris, in the south of France, with the first major exhibition held in 1969 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. In June 1969, during an exhibition at the Havre Museum entitled “La peinture en question”, Vincent Bioulès, Louis Cane, Marc Devade, Daniel Dezeuze, Noël Dolla, Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Patrick Saytour, André Valensi, Bernard Pagès and Claude Viallat write in the catalog: “The subject of the painting is the painting itself and paintings on display refer only to themselves. They make no appeal to an “elsewhere” (the personality of the artist, his biography, history of art, for example). Early exhibtions took place in towns like Coaraze, Montpellier, Nimes and Nice in the mid-1960s. After the student revolts of 1968, the movement ratcheted up its activities, exploding in such exhibitions as “Supports/Surfaces,” which took place at ARC in Paris in September 1970. These shows occurred at or around the same time as those of other French artist groups like GRAV and BMPT (Daniel Buren, Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier and Niele Toroni). Like them, Supports/Surfaces questioned the role of painting as both an art object and a social one.
As its name suggests, Supports/Surfaces was interested in articulating what its artists felt were all too readily ignored aspects of painting: basic concepts like ‘support’ and ‘surface,’ for example, and the presence of painting as a product of individual labor. At the same time, these artists were very much interested in painting and its own peculiar history. Daniel Dezeuze points out that he was looking for a means of “revolting against the art world and the world in general without having to make anti-art.” (Raphael Rubinstein, Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism: 1990 – 2002.) In fact, those involved with Supports/Surfaces, as Rubinstein also notes, were some of the few French artists of the period to engage directly with American Painting from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field, albeit doing so within the context of their Maoist discourse.
This scarce, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo catalogue gives a generous overview of the many works of the artists of Supports/Surfaces, through colour and black and white photographs across 200 pages. It also provides texts (in Japanese), interviews, historical photos of the group and their installations, work list, a chronology and a biography. This catalogue was produced to accompany a major travelling exhibition of Supports/Surfaces in Tokyo in 2000, which presented the vast collection of work from the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. The exhibition was also staged in Paris in 1998, for which a French edition of this book exists.
*Condition: Very Good/Fine – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.
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