Exhibition from 16 October 2019 to 28 January 2020
The Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie and the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac are joining forces to organise the first exhibition paying tribute to Félix Fénéon (1861-1944), an important figure in the artistic world in the late 19th and early 20th century. Anarchist, art critic, editor, gallery director and collector, Fénéon espoused an open-minded vision of creation at a time when art was on the verge of the shift to modernity.
The section presented at the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac from 27 May to 6 October 2019 will focus on Fénéon’s remarkable collection and evoke his investigation of "Art from Remote Places" published in 1920, questioning the status of primitive sculptures and objects.
A passionate collector, Félix Fénéon amassed a considerable number of works from Africa and Oceania that hung alongside paintings and drawings by contemporary artists on his walls.
The section presented at the Musée de l'Orangerie and the Museum of Modern Art in New York in spring 2019 will emphasise the anarchist ideology of Félix Fénéon and how he sought to help artists through his critics, exhibitions and acquisitions. A promoter of Neo-Impressionism, Fénéon passionately advocated the works of his Pointillist friends, Seurat and Signac in particular. He was also an active member of the La Revue blanche circle (French art and literary magazine) before pledging his support to the Fauvists and Futurists in 1906, and particularly in 1912 when he organised the first Futurist exhibition in Paris as artistic director of the Bernheim-Jeune gallery.
The relevance of the eye and choices of this discreet man is illustrated through a selection of major works that he appreciated, advocated and collected throughout his life. It creates a dialogue between different techniques, eras and continents that accurately reflects the unbounded vision of Félix Fénéon.
Isabelle Cahn, chief curator at the musée d'Orsay
Philippe Peltier, former Head of the Oceania and Insulindia Heritage Unit at the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac
Paul Signac (1863-1935)
Portrait of Fénéon. Opus 217. On the enamel of a rhythmic background of measures and angles, shades and tints, portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890
1890-1891. Oil on canvas. H. 73.5; W. 92.5 cm
New York, MoMAGift of David and Peggy Rockefeller © DR
First stage of the exhibition at the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac from 28 May to 6 October 2019
Exhibition presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, spring 2020.