Sam Szafran. Obsessions of a painter
A particularly difficult childhood, marked by the disasters of World War II in a family of Jewish-Polish origin, led him to prefer this solitude, focusing on his own existence and inner states to give rise to his favorite themes. Three years after the artist's death, the Musée de l'Orangerie highlights, in the first exhibition dedicated to him organized by a French museum in two decades, the few subjects, for him, existential – studios, staircases, and foliage, – which all have his immediate environment in common.
The parsimonious economy of the representations is counterbalanced by a fever of bewitching experimentation, which functions as an anchor cast into art history. As a self-taught artist of inexhaustible curiosity, he was introduced to pastel and then watercolor, fields of artistic exploration he ardently pursued. Szafran challenges the viewer’s gaze, distorting and deconstructing perspective, in enclosed places, hermetically sealed on themselves.
With time, these open up, fragmenting to give rise to exploded visions in which planes of temporality are multiplied and where spaces combine and confront each other, symbolic of an order that is forever lost.
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Detailed presentation of the exhibition