Apollinaire, the Eyes of the Poet
Poet, critic, friend of artists and one of the first to discover African arts, Apollinaire proved to be a key player in the aesthetic revolution that led to the birth of modern art. He “defined once and for all the approach of artists like Matisse, Derain, Picasso and Chirico (...) using intellectual surveying techniques not seen since Baudelaire" declared Breton in 1950. The aim of this exhibition is to recognise the important effect that this poet-critic’s discerning eye had on his era, in much the same way Baudelaire and Mallarmé had on theirs.
It aims to explore Apollinaire’s mental and aesthetic universe through a thematic display: from Douanier Rousseau to Matisse, Picasso, Braque and Delaunay, from Cubism to Orphism and Surrealism, from academic sources to modernity, from tribal arts to popular arts. One section will highlight in particular the poet’s links with Picasso. The exhibition sits quite naturally in the Musée de l'Orangerie alongside the works collected by his friend Paul Guillaume, whom Apollinaire introduced into the avant-garde circles, and whose mentor and adviser he became.