Jean Rustin "Une vie de peinture"

From 14 October 2008 to 17 January 2009

 To celebrate Jean Rustin’s eightieth birthday, the gallery has decided to present a retrospective of his work looking back over the various stages of his artistic career.

One canvas serves as a reminder of Jean Rustin’s early career as an abstract artist until 1971, the date of his exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris. The current exhibition also features some of his earliest figurative paintings (the series Les Couteaux, 1971-1973) and his first highly realist characters, from 1974 onwards. Jean Rustin returned to a certain style of classicism in 1990, using a softer palette and carefully worked background layers to give the nude bodies staged in the paintings a powerful intensity.
A selection of drawings will be displayed alongside the paintings, including a number of very recent works.

During an interview* with Michael Troche, Jean Rustin said, “For my painting to reach the degree of intensity that I want, it has to be accomplished with extreme delicacy… You can’t tell if the characters I show are young old people or old children. I project my tenderness onto them. So I use small, very soft brushes and tender colours.”

As Elisabeth Couturier concludes in her preface to the catalogue, “By placing his protagonists in spaces that exclude all possible anecdotes, Rustin manages to transmit their universal drama. […] Like all great artists, Jean Rustin has created his own script to tell his own truth.”

* Rustin
Interview with Michel Troche.
Texts by Bernard Noël and Marc Le Bot
Paris: Equinoxe, 1984