Exhibition Maurice DENIS : During the Time of the Nabis

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Maurice DENIS, 'La Capeline rose' circa 1893. Photo credit courtesy galerie Malingue.

Maurice DENIS, picture detail of ‘La Capeline rose’ circa 1893. Photo credit courtesy galerie Malingue.

Until 10th July 2015 at galerie Malingue in Paris

The galerie Malingue presents an exciting exhibition pertaining to the first ten years (1888-1898) of the career of painter Maurice Denis (1870-1943). It was during this time of apprenticeship that the theorist and spokesman of the Nabi group – which counts among its prominent members Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Paul Sérusier – developed the main themes of his career.

 

Maurice DENIS, 'Le Martyr', 1893. Photo courtesy galerie Malingue, Paris.

Maurice DENIS, ‘Le Martyr’, 1893. Photo courtesy galerie Malingue, Paris.

As demonstrated by the paintings ‘Easter Morning’ (circa 1892) and ‘The Martyr’ (1893), Maurice Denis shows a predilection for religious themes, which lead his friends to call him the” Nabi of the beautiful icons “. His synthesis and simplification of forms is reminiscent of the work of ‘primitive’ Italian painters, while the wavy lines echo the contemporary aesthetics of Art Nouveau.

 

 

The soft and bold colours radiating in Denis’ paintings – like in ‘Grey weather on the island (2) or The Evening’ (circa 1894) – reflect his personal feelings or state of mind rather than Nature. For Denis, it is important to ”remember that a picture, before being a horse battle, a nude woman, or some anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order. ” This statement made in 1890 is a true manifesto of Modern Art.

Maurice DENIS, 'Temps gris sur l'île (2)' ou 'Le Soir', circa 1894. Photo courtesy galerie Malingue, Paris.

Maurice DENIS, ‘Temps gris sur l’île (2)’ ou ‘Le Soir’, circa 1894. Photo courtesy galerie Malingue, Paris.

 

Amongst the thirty paintings exhibited at the galerie Malingue, most of them belong to private collections and are therefore not for sale. This philanthropic project is mainly supported by the Friends of the Maurice Denis Society (La Société des Amis de Maurice Denis) and the exhibition catalogues are on sale to benefit the fight against cancer. Galerie Malingue

Maurice DENIS, 'Les pins à Loctudy', 1894. Photo courtesy galerie Malingue, Paris.

Maurice DENIS, ‘Les pins à Loctudy’, 1894. Photo courtesy galerie Malingue, Paris.

 

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