Walter Sickert and his audacious paintings will be in the spotlight in Paris for an unprecedented exhibition at the Petit Palais.
Enigmatic and destabilizing subjects
The Petit Palais presents, for the first time in France, a major retrospective dedicated to the English painter Walter Sickert (1860-1942) designed in partnership with Tate Britain. This resolutely modern artist, with enigmatic and often destabilizing subjects, is rarely present in French collections. However, Sickert weaves artistic and friendly ties with many French artists and imports to England a way of painting very influenced by his stays in Paris. This exhibition is an opportunity to (re)discover this singular artist who had a decisive impact on English figurative painting, especially on Lucian Freud. Very provocative, in the context of a relatively corseted English academic art, Walter Sickert painted subjects then considered too audacious such as music hall scenes or, later, de-eroticized nudes, presented in a prosaic way in poor interiors. of Camden Town.
« modern conversation pieces »
His virtuoso and strange color choices, inherited from his apprenticeship with Whistler, as well as his disconcerting framing struck his contemporaries. From 1890, he traveled more and more regularly to Paris and Dieppe until settling from 1898 to 1905 in the seaside resort of which he painted many views. He was then very influenced by the French artistic scene and became close to Edgar Degas, Jacques-Émile Blanche, Pierre Bonnard, Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. Back in London in 1905, he began his series of « modern conversation pieces » which diverted the classic and traditional genre scenes of English painting into ambiguous, threatening and even sordid paintings, the most famous example of which is that of the series of » Camden Town Murders”. At the end of his career, during the interwar period, Sickert innovated by diverting and transposing press images into painting, a process largely taken up from the 1950s by artists such as Andy Warhol.
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