Friday , August 19 2022

How the representation of the "black model" came out of stereotypes


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Bronze busti tour + Souvenir Stanley + Ward Ward, presented to the press for the exhibition "The black model of Géricault Matisse" in the Musée d 'Orsay in Paris, March 25. Photo: AFP / VNA / CVN

This is one of the main exhibitions of the year in Paris: 300 times, 73 paintings, 81 paintings, 17 sculptures, 60 works of graphics, 70 documents say slow recognized invasion, Black West and some Africa. It was first presented at the Wallach Art Gallery in New York, and next summer will be at the ACTe Memorial in Pointe-à-Pitre. Girodet, Benoist, Géricault, Delacroix, Chassériau, Cordier, Carpeaux, Manet, Bazille, Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse, Nadar, Carja are revealed (up to July 21st) on the walls of Musée's Orsay. But Black artists of Harlem Renaissance (Charles Alston, William H. Johnson …) and generations of post-war (Romare Bearden, Ellen Gallagher and Aimé Mpane). Not to mention cabaret posters, film clips …

"This social and political subject touches France today and our history. We wanted to match the work with all the necessary explanationssaid Laurence des Cars, president of the Musée Orsay, hoping to attract younger generations and collaborate with the National Department of Education, as part of the program, arts educators have interviewed about 300 children. Île-de-France: "Who are our common models today?" 40 paintings, photographs, collages of students from Arcueil, Drancy, Nemours and Paris are their answers, highlighted on the sides of the exhibition.

Three committed artists

Géricault, Manet and Matisse, three painters were initially involved, in the center of XIXe century and start the XXe century against discrimination, dominating the exhibition: "These are three different times and three large addresses that give the chronology " t, raise Mme Cars. In 1788, before the Revolution, a society of black friends was established. This is the starting point for the exhibition. Géricault will paint a black man standing at the top of the famous wreck Jellyfish raffle. It incorporates the energy that will allow them to be saved. But the representation of the black model is full of dangers, in a century when bogus-racist researchers compare profiles "Negroes" and "Whites".

Marcel Antoine Verdier presented the painting "Punishment of the four poles in the colonies" in the exhibition "The black model of Géricault at Matisse", in the Musée d 'Orsay, March 25. Photo: AFP / VNA / CVN

Become a finalist in 1848, "abolition of slavery does not solve discrimination", underlines Mme There are: "Géricault, Manet or Matisse, avant-garde artists, who always insisted, had predicted some evolutions, questioned the codes of representation".

"I am the young black with the sword" t

The poet and rapper Abd Al Malik is considering a picture by Puvis de Chavannes, The young black with the sword: "I felt pure emotion and I recognized myself in it, I am the young black with the sword " the said during a visit to the press. Opposite, painting by Marcel Antoine Verdier, Punish the four steps, summing up the cynical cruelty of slavery: a white master cigarette in his hand looks indifferent to a black man who has been tied to the four irons and whipped by another black man. In 1868, twenty years after the 1848 Revolution, Paul Cézanne's painting the Black Scipionrepresents a prostrate man, showing that dissolution has not prevented oppression.

Sixty years later, in 1930, the gracious Mandolin player Conversely, André Derain will express the true relief of a young black man. One of the original features of the exhibition is to highlight those who were models for artists: Madeleine, Joseph, Aspasie, Laure … Their names were not known. This is the case of the black maid Laure whom we see in the darkness of the famous painting Olympia o Manet.

At the end of the journey, the exhibition reverses the roles with two ironic works by Aimé Mpane (Olympia II) and Larry Rivers (like Olympia in a black face) where the mistress is black and the white maid. On the museum bridge, twelve neon lights set by Glenn Ligon in New York paid tribute to these models, anticipating their names, with their writings.


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