A Retrospective in 14 Paintings, Pierre Dunoyer
Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris
December 01, 2022 – March 13, 2023
Pierre Dunoyer was born in Marseille in 1949 and lives in Paris. He turned to paint after studying architecture and psychopathology. In 1978, he took part in three Janapa group exhibitions in Paris presenting the works of Christian Bonnefoi, Tony Cragg, Côme Mosta-Heirt, Antonio Semeraro and Jean-Luc Vilmouth, then went on to “Tendances de l’art en France 1968-1978 III: Partis-Pris Autres” at the City of Paris Modern Art Museum in 1980. During the 1980s and 1990s, his paintings were presented on a regular basis in galleries in Europe and the United States.
In 1991, Pierre Dunoyer presented his works on the ground floor of the newly renovated Galerie national du Jeu de Paume in an exhibition with the minimalist name “Paintings”. This was a series of 24 works of identical dimensions dating from 1989, in no particular order, in 4 series taking up each of the 6 primary colours and based on the same repetitive but random principle. This exhibition, the first and, to date, the last one-person exhibition in an institution, revealed him as one of the most original artists on the French scene, rigorously presenting a synthesis between the most radical forms of current painting and a certain tradition of what he called “painted works”.
More than thirty years later, this new Modern Art Museum exhibition takes the form of an authentic retrospective, exhibiting 14 paintings in a deliberately tight, strictly chronological order from 1978 to 2022, in which the artist’s initial formalism, with its large white backgrounds, gives way to a freer approach to the painted surface and a variety of shades. Broad, dynamic, free touches of colour move across the dominant reds, blues or yellows which sometimes inspired the works’ titles. The artist describes them as “painted objects”, or “painted thoughts”, which, with their simple, calming influence “have no other ambition than to be just there”.
Three works have been generously donated to de Modern Art Museum for this exhibition. A publication has been produces for the occasion.