Gérard Garouste overtakes Paris by storm

Naaman, 2017 Photo B.Huet-Tutti

With three venues for a giant exhibition, Gérard Garouste finally gets the honors from his fellow Frenchmen. Musée de la Chasse in the Marais is showing his Acteon and Diana, a hunting theme, Daniel Templon has two shows in his two galleries on rue Beaubourg, and Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts celebrates his recent election at the Academy with a large installation. It is wonderful to see one of France’s most important painter, celebrated properly at last!

Elisabeth Garouste as the Student and the fat goose, 2017

I had told you about this show early in January hoping that it would be one of the highlights of 2018 and I think it will be. The hanging of 30 paintings  from the last two years, at galerie Templon is surprising and consistent, shows a true artistic virtuosity and it includes enough self portraits for us to try and penetrate the mind of the artist. I have always been a fan of Garouste, who juggles with books, religious writings, mythological stories and fairy tales, mixing the Talmud, the Bible and Ancient Greece. His wife Elisabeth is omnipresent in the portraits and one feels more clever from just looking at his art.

Hormin and the two mules

At Musée de la Chasse, the downstairs gallery is devoted to Actéon trying to seduce goddess Diana in the show Diane and Actéon. For his punishment he will be turned into a deer! This series is more ancient (2014) but is very well chosen for the premisces.

The Deer companion, 2015

At Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Paris, the famous art school on the Seine, the courtyard is entirely devoted to monumental installations and theater decors. Based on Rabelais and Dante, the labyrinth created with fake tapestries and anamorphosis, shows the width of Garouste’s talent. The first work by him I ever saw was the decor of the Privilège’s dining room at the Palace in 1979. It was already mesmerizing. He also painted the stage curtain of the Châtelet in 1989, when Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris.

Kafka’s bridge, 2017

The three exhibitions go on until April 15 at Beaux Arts, May 12 at Galerie Templon and July 1 at Musée de la Chasse. and soon Templon will open a new space designed by Jean Michel Wilmotte,  at 28 rue du Grenier Saint Lazare…

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