Bryen et Butor – A Lecture by Blandine Chavanne

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Bryen et Butor
A Presentation and Lecture by
Blandine Chavanne
Director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Monday, February 4, 2013
6pm @ SFAI
$10 general | $5 students/seniors

Santa Fe, NM – Noted French experimental writer, Michel Butor, having taught in many countries around the world, was teaching at the University of Albuquerque in 1973-4 when he began a long series of communications and collaborations with French poet and Post-war School of Paris painter, Camille Bryen. The two men exchanged letters, drawings, paintings, and collages over the course of their correspondence, which were later published in a book, Bryen : En Temps Conjugués. Blandine Chavanne, Director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes) is curating an exhibition of their work during this period and will be speaking about the men and their project in a lecture at the Santa Fe Art Institute on Monday, February 4, 2013.

About Blandine Chavanne:
Author and curator, Blandine Chavanne was named Director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes) in 2006. After earning her Diplôme d’études appliquées (D.E.A) in Fine Arts in 1978, Chavanne received a Diplôme from l’Ecole du Louvre in 1982 and became the curator of the City of Poitiers Museums until 1991. After ten years as a consultant for museums to the DRAC Bourgogne and the General Inspectorate of Museums of France (in charge of contemporary art), in 2001 she took the direction of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy (Museum of Fine Arts in Nancy). Chavanne is particularly interested in the art of the twentieth and twenty-first century and has curated numerous shows and exhibitions.

About Camille Bryen:
Camille Bryen was born in Nantes, France in 1907. At nineteen years old, Bryen settled in Paris and in 1927 published his first book of poems, Opoponax, followed in 1932 by Expériences. Bryen was a multi-disciplinary artist, making drawings, collages and graffiti as well as writing poems. In 1934 he exhibited for the first time at the Galerie Au Grenier in Paris (“spontaneous” drawings and collages). In 1935, with Arp, Magritte, Max Ernst and others, he took part in the surrealist exhibition at Louvières, Belgium. Bryen exhibited his first tachiste painting, “Cire et bougie,” at the Salon des Surindépendants in 1936. In 1937 he signed the Dimensionist Manifesto with Arp, Kandinsky, Picabia, Marcel Duchamp and Robert Delaunay, and exhibited at La Cachette with Picabia, Cendrars and Duchamp. In 1945 he took part in the surrealist exhibition at Brussels and in 1946 he participated in the first Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris, where he exhibited again in 1947 and 1948. Bryen had a one-man show in 1947 at the Galerie du Luxembourg, Paris, where he and Georges Mathieu also organized an exhibition of the Psychic Non-Figuration movement, entitled L’Imaginaire. A second exhibition of the group was held the following year at the Galerie Allendy. Bryen participated in the Black and White exhibition in 1949 at the Galerie des Deux-Iles, where he held a one-man show the same year, presented by Audiberti ( Pierres poliées). He took part in the exhibition of Grands Courants de la Peinture Contemporaine in Lyons. In 1950 Bryen exhibited at the Galerie des Deux-Iles and the Galerie Pierre, Paris. He took part in the exhibition Véhémences Confrontées (1951, Galerie Nina Dausset, Paris), with Hartung, Capogrossi, Mathieu, Pollock, Wols and others, presented by Michel Tapié. A large retrospective, with over a hundred of his works, was held at Nantes in 1959. Bryen died in 1977.

About Michel Butor:
Born in 1926 in Mons-en-Baroeul, France, Michael Butor, a French novelist and essayist was one of the leading exponents of the “nouveau roman” (“new novel” or “antinovel”), the avant-garde French novel form that emerged in the 1950s. In addition to his four novels and numerous volumes of poetry, his publications include several mixed genre works which include Mobile, Réseau aérien, Description de San Marco, 6 810 000 litres d’eau par seconde, Intervalle, as well as the five-volume ‘travel’ series published under the collective title Le Génie du lieu, the writing and publication of which has spanned his career (Le Génie du lieu, Où, Boomerang, Transit, Gyroscope). Butor has also been a prolific literary and art critic and has been involved in hundreds of collaborative ventures not only with other writers, but also with artists, photographers, composers and film-makers. His exploration of issues relating to genre has resulted in the production of texts which combine fact and fiction, prose and poetry, words and images, and language and music.

Although his ventures into electronic media have been hampered by practical and financial obstacles, he has, nevertheless, published a number of texts which were originally conceived as radio and film scenarios. Butor has also been a highly communicative interviewee. In addition to the various interviews given to critics and academics over the years, many of which have been collected in the recent three-volume set edited by Henri Desoubeaux in 1999, Butor has sanctioned the publication of several extended interview series given respectively to Georges Charbonnier, Madeleine Santschi, Michel Launay, Christian Jacomino, Andre Clavel, Béatrice Didier and Lucien Giraudo.

In 2012, Butor was awarded the New York University Presidential Medal.

About the Santa Fe Art Institute
The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) founded in 1985, is an independent non-profit community-based arts center with international reach that presents and promotes art as a positive social force. SFAI fosters the exploration of contemporary art by enlivening public discourse on art, nurturing artists at all phases of their careers, and encouraging learning via the arts for people of all ages through five key program areas: 1) Ongoing residencies that provide support necessary for visual and new media artists, writers and poetry translators, performance artists and composers to complete work and explore new creative directions; 2) An annual season of lectures and workshops that stimulates discourse around important issues in the arts;  3) Small, focused exhibitions that challenge audience assumptions; 4) Publications; and 5) Community-based arts education and outreach that support creativity and innovation, provide an alternative pathway for learning, and expand the traditional skillset available to people young and old.

About the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes:
Opened in 1900 by Josso Mary Clement, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes offers an exceptional collection of European art from the thirteenth century to the contemporary period. Architecturally eclectic, the museum is ordered around a large central courtyard covered by a glass roof, originally intended for sculptures, but currently housing temporary exhibitions. A double circuit of galleries and rooms surround the courtyard on two levels where you can see collections of modern and contemporary art, and immerse yourself in the great artistic movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries Impressionism to current expressions. Alongside Monet, Kandinsky, Ernst, Picasso, there are representatives of abstraction, Nouveaux Realistes, l’Arte Povera, Supports/Surfaces, and more.

In Autumn 2009, Stanton Williams won an international competition to transform the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes. The museum will be comprehensively renovated, while an adjacent site will house a new 5,800 square meter extension for the display of twenty-first century art, as well as administrative and curatorial facilities and an external sculpture court. It will be known upon completion as the Musée d’Art de Nantes.

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