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Soleil, Pluie

Soleil, Pluie, 1986

Lucien Fleury
  • Artist (1928 - 2004)

After studying at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris with Gromaire, Lucien Fleury (1928-2004) embarked on a career as a painter, won the Félix Fénéon Prize in 1954 and showed his work at the first Paris Biennale, in 1959.  Subsequently, in 1965, he became vice-President of the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in Paris, until 1971.  Against the backdrop of a salon undergoing a sea change, experiencing the revival of Figuration and keen to escape from cumbersome conformism,  in 1970 Lucien Fleury founded the Malassis Cooperative with Henri Cueco, Jean-Claude Latil, Michel Parré, and Gérard Tisserand.  While they all carried on their individual activities, they produced collective works together, with a clearly anti-establishment content, including, in 1971, the Appartementsonge (criticism of a stereotypical lifestyle), in 1970, Le Grand Méchoui or “The story of a flock of sheep which, frightened by the political confusion arising from the Algerian War, preferred to leave things to a providential person” (a satirical fresco, 65 metres in length, depicting the political life of the period),  in 1973-1975, the Onze Variations sur le Radeau de la Méduse ou la Dérive de la Société/Eleven Variations on the Raft of the Medusa, or, The Downward Spiral of Society (a painting based on the crisis of consumer society).  In Lucien Fleury, this collective work was informed by a personal inspiration drawn from the private sphere of childhood, from nature and landscapes, from still lifes and from the world of animals.  While teaching at the Institut des Arts Visuels in Orléans, Fleury also produced tapestries, which were manufactured at the Gobelins in Paris, for France, England and Japan.  The work at the FRAC Centre, Soleil, pluie, a set of eight rectangles of paper juxtaposed and backed on canvas, shows a certain lyricism and the narrative dimension of the Malassis, even if, here, the transfigured landscape only describes itself.

Nadine Labedade