Alain Jacquet (French, 1939-2008) Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (dipytch) 1964

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Lot 26AR
Alain Jacquet
(French, 1939-2008)
Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (dipytch)
1964

Sold for £ 81,700 (US$ 112,619) inc. premium
Alain Jacquet (French, 1939-2008)
Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (dipytch)
1964

signed, titled, dated 1964 and numbered AJ-DEJ/T-64-5 on the reverse of the right canvas; numbered AJ-DEJ/T-64-5 and inscribed partie 2 on the reverse of the left canvas
silkscreen on canvas, in two parts

Each: 175.2 by 96.8 cm.
69 by 38 1/8 in.

Overall: 175.2 by 193.6 cm.
69 by 76 1/4 in.

Footnotes

  • This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by Monsieur Fabien Jacquet from the Comité Alain Jacquet, Cerdon, under no. AJ-DEJ/T-64-5.

    Provenance
    Yvan Magnien Collection, Paris
    Sale: Morand & Morand, Hôtel Drouot, Tableaux - Objets d'Art - Mobilier, 25 November 2013, Lot 61
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

    Exhibited
    São Paolo, French Pavillion, IX Bienal de São Paulo, 1967, another example illustrated in black and white
    Paris, Galerie Beaubourg, Alain Jacquet, 25ème anniversaire du Déjeuner sur l'herbe, 1989, another example illustrated in colour on the cover; pp. 26-27, another example illustrated in colour
    Paris, Galerie Joussee-Seguin, Alain Jacquet, 1991, p. 2, another example illustrated in black and white
    Paris, Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Passions Privées: Collections particulières d'art moderne et contemporain en France, 1995-1996, p. 458, no. 11, another example illustrated in black and white
    Amiens, Musée de Picardie, Alain Jacquet, Oeuvres de 1951 à 1998, 1998, p. 35, another example illustrated in colour
    Châteauroux, Couvent des Cordeliers, Alain Jacquet, Camouflages 1961-1964, 2002, pp. 98-99, no. 81, another example illustrated in colour
    Nice, Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain, Alain Jacquet: Camouflages et Trames, 2005, p. 85, another example illustrated in colour
    Metz, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Chefs-d'Œuvre?, 2010-2011, p. 313, another example illustrated in colour
    New Haven, Yale School of Art, Lunch with Olympia, 2013, another example exhibited

    Literature
    Catherine Millet, L'art contemporain en France, Paris 1987, p. 104, another example illustrated in black and white
    Robert Maillard, Vingt-cinq ans d'art en France, 1960-1985, Paris 1986, p. 118, another example illustrated in black and white
    Art Press, Vol. 146, April 1990, another example illustrated in colour on the cover
    Duncan Smith, Alain Jacquet, Paris 1990, p. 5, another example illustrated in colour; p. 32, another example illustrated in black and white
    Marco Livingston, Pop Art: A Continuing History, London 1990, p. 145, no. 202, another example illustrated in colour



    Born in 1939 and originally trained as an architect in the prestigious École des Beaux Arts in Paris, as a painter Alain Jacquet was purely self-taught. Having spent time in Manhattan during the pinnacle of Pop Art, Jacquet spent time with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg the same year as he created the present work, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe. Inspired by the spirit of innovation that led his American contemporaries to explore new, faster ways of producing images, Alain Jacquet too began to explore the speed and dynamism of screen printing and mechanical serigraphy.

    His early Camouflage series already indicated the artist's playful intention to challenge visual perceptions: by merging famous paintings with consumer-related symbols and brand-logos Jacquet created a seminal Pop-vocabulary. Splitting his time between Paris and New York, Alain Jacquet led a cosmopolitan life strongly reflected in his art. Not afraid of traveling through time, Jacquet's oeuvre can be read as an audacious reflection on art history, reverencing masterpieces of all ages including Botticelli's Birth of Venus or Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses soeurs, as in lot 27. Related to Henri Matisse through his marriage to the latter's great-granddaughter, the artist Sophie Matisse, Jacquet's profound knowledge of art history is also displayed by his version of Henri Matisse's Luxe, Calme et Volupté, considered as pivotal moment in the emergence of Fauvism.

    Crossing paths with the ground-breaking movements of the 1960s, Jacquet shared great affinities with the Nouveau Réalisme in France as well as the American and British Pop Art movements whilst remaining sufficiently impartial to preserve his work's autonomous standing. Where Jacquet's counterparts in the United States embraced the promises of a glamorous way of life, his early works appear as more politicised reflections on capitalistic supremacies and gender hegemonies.

    Acutely referencing Edouard Manet's masterpiece from 1862-63, Le Dejeuner Sur l'herbe, Jacquet is creating a synthesis of nearly a hundred years of art history. Sharing the ground-breaking modernism introduced by its great paragon, Alain Jacquet's interpretation of the subject is an erudite reference to the achievements that have marked the liberation of artistic expression since the Salon Des Refusés and places this work in the middle of a pioneering discourse that distinguished European Pop Art from its American counterpart.

    Considering the hugely influential history of its source of inspiration, one cannot contemplate Jacquet's work without a brief recourse to the painting that was once famously rejected and is now on permanent display at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Wildly controversial at the time of its initial exposure, Manet depicted two gentlemen lunching in a park. Seated next to them yet intriguingly detached from the grouping is a female nude, gazing directly at the viewer. Amplifying the contrast between the elegantly dressed men and the light flesh of their female companion, one can detect a fourth person in the background of the forest – a barely dressed woman bathing. Following Manet's example in which he hints at the recognisable identity of his sitters and thereby rendering his contemporary life rather than timeless allegorical figures, Jacquet's models are easily identified as his friends: the woman in the foreground is the gallerist Jeannine de Goldschmidt and to the far right her husband, the art critic Pierre Restany who flanks the Italian artist Mario Schifano in the centre. The bather in the background is Jeannine's sister and Pierre's sister-in-law Jacqueline Lafon. Where Manet's landscape is pure nature, Jacquet replaces the stream by a pool, contextualizing his setting in a reality of a consumerist bourgeoisie and its suggestions of domestic bliss.

    Spread on an unusually large scale, traditionally reserved for religious, allegorical or historical subjects, the size of the original composition by Edouard Manet played an eminent role in severely shocking its audience at the time. Jacquet's profound understanding of his precursor's intentions is revealed by his resumption of the daring format. Jacquet makes a point of transforming the dimensions of his canvases into an entire statement of their own. Recalling the rampant period of economic growth after World War II, the artist incorporates the means of mass-production in his reimagining of an icon. Echoing the expanding industrial possibilities Jacquet adopted the idea of generating paintings like factories produced automobiles, using similar resources of low-cost fabrication and taking advantage of new serigraphy techniques. He did however make a point of not simply multiplying copies: although he released a specific number of similar versions, none are identical as dimensions and chromatic hues vary throughout the different final works, notably in the version from the collection of the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art Moderne, Paris.

    Gabrielle d'Estrée or 'Gaby' is yet another complex commentary on art history. Painted by an unknown artist of the Fountainebleau School this legendary painting has undergone numerous interpretations to elucidate the nipple-pinching gesture of the two sisters. Believed to be a symbol announcing a pregnancy, Jacquet's work adds further ambiguity and suspense to the erotic content. Though naked, the two bathing women have their hair and make-up fashionably arranged in the popular style of the 1960s. By allowing the viewer to gaze at their uncovered bodies, Jacquet's version reads as comment on the rising discourse about female self-determination at that time.

    In an elaborate dialogue with American Pop Art and European Post-War reality, Alain Jacquet revisits the most celebrated icons of art history. Far from being intimidated by their weight he harnessed their famous motifs to the effort of creating a new figurative reality for a fundamentally progressive generation.
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