Born in Grans, Germaine Richier began her studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montpellier, in the atelier of Louis-Jacques Guigues; in 1926 she went to work with Antoine Bourdelle, remaining in his studio until his death in 1929. There she became acquainted with Alberto Giacometti, although the two were never close. Richier for her part was more interested in a classical approach to sculpture, preferring to work from a live model and then reworking the final product. She also met César Baldaccini at this stage in her career. She married Otto Bänninger on 12 December 1929. In 1936, she won the Prix Blumenthal. During the war, she met Marino Marini, in exile in Switzerland.
Richier’s early work was fantastic, combining classical forms with human-animal hybrids and depicting creatures such as the spider and thehydra. Her style became less figurative after World War II; the bodily deformations which she favored as subjects were more accentuated in an attempt to convey a greater sense of anguish…
Click HERE to read Nicole Casamento’s post about Germaine Richier for Culture Grinder!
At Dominique Lévy Gallery
Top Photo: Robin Cembalest
Bottom Photo (from left): Suzanne LaGasa & Willa Kammerer
Photo Credits: Jan Lisa Huttner (3/29/14)
From the Dominque Levy Website:
FIRST U.S. EXHIBITION IN OVER 50 YEARS ON VIEW IN NEW YORK CITY
February 27 – April 12, 2014
NEW YORK, NY… Beginning February 27, 2014, Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin will jointly present the first American exhibition in half a century devoted to the work of seminal postwar French artist Germaine Richier (1902 – 1959).
On view in the landmark building at 909 Madison Avenue where both galleries reside, Germaine Richier will present more than forty important sculptures ranging from early torsos and figures, to startling hybrids of humans crossed with bats, toads, spiders, and vegetal organisms, that brought the artist international recognition before her untimely death at the age of 57. The exhibition traces the evolution of a defiantly independent vision and the artistic trajectory of a woman whose life was imprinted indelibly by two World Wars; who began her career in the studio of Antoine Bourdelle; and who went on to break convention and leave a vivid mark on the history of Modern art.
The exhibition complements Richier’s sculptures with a selection of photographs by her contemporary Brassaï, who documented the artist’s studio and captured the defying power of her work. Brassaï’s portraits of Richier convey the unique magical chaos of her environment. As depicted in these photographs, Richier surrounded herself with a wild jumble of sculptures spanning different periods of her output — a veritable sculptural forest that has inspired the installation design forGermaine Richier in New York. Visitors to the exhibition will discover there a deliberately dense, non-chronological, and eccentric installation, where sculptures and photographs overflow into the stairwells and draw visitors on a journey into the artist’s world.
Germaine Richier will remain on view through April 12th on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in the same neighborhood where the artist’s first American solo exhibition was presented to broad critical acclaim in 1957 at the legendary Martha Jackson Gallery. The exhibition coincides with a major retrospective of Richier’s work currently on view at the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland, as well as Giacometti, Marini, Richier: The Tortured Figure at Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts of Lausanne in Switzerland.
Germaine Richier has been organized with the support of the artist’s family. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, one of the first scholarly studies of the artist’s work ever published in the United States. Researched and edited by Jennifer Buonocore and Clara Touboul, with support from Daphné Valroff, the book will feature original essays by Sarah Wilson and Anna Swinbourne. It also will reproduce a 1953 text by André Pieyre de Mandiargues, never before translated in English, as well as important archival documents from the Germaine Richier Estate.
In addition to works coming from the Germaine Richier Estate, loans from American and European private collections will contribute to an in-depth examination of Richier’s oeuvre, which defies easy classification. Germaine Richier will explore the daring ways in which Richier’s art bridges the tradition of classical figurative sculpture with an idiosyncratic visual language born of an anguished, searching, and, ultimately, spiritual post-World War psyche.