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Le Boeuf écorché

Le Boeuf écorché, 1985

Gérard Gasiorowski
  • Artist (1930 - 1986)

After studying applied arts between 1947 and 1951, Gérard Gasiorowsky (1930-1986) embarked on painting.  He nevertheless broke off his activities in 1953 and did not resume them until 1964, with a series of canvases called Approches (1964-1970).  Claiming a comeback of the image in painting, he drew inspiration from photographs which he found at the publishing house Delpire, where he was a librarian.  Associated with the hyperrealism tendency, he reproduced them with great virtuosity in black and white in the form of series of canvases in which a kind of “uncanniness” came through.  It was with the series of Crôutes (1971-73) that he made a first radical rupture, because he would say of this series that it was “my first frenzy, and so frenzied that I was scared of it”.  He resorted to a vocabulary of bad taste to criticize virtuosity in painting, speaking out against the fascination that artists had for paint, and also railing against the art market.  With the series Albertines (1971-72), a parody of photographic portraits, and then with La Guerre (1975), he invented fictions which tried to make painting disappear and destroy the ideology of the avant-gardes.  During those years, he carried on questioning the act of painting with the Flowers (1971-82), a scorned genre, and with the series of Amalgames (1973-82).  This approach would culminate in the AWK (1976), an anagram of his name (Académie Worosis Kiga) an imaginary academy run by a tyrant. Other fictions, like that of Kiga (1976-83), gave rise to series of paintings, drawings, painted objects and organic sculptures questioning the foundations and purity of painting.  The last part of the work is inspired by references, from Lascaux to Manet by way of Rembrandt.  From this latter he would make a series of 16 pictures , La ligne indefinite, including Le boeuf écorché, acquired by the FRAC Centre, which was the 13th canvas.  The artist’s signature then reappeared under the letters GXXS (Gasiorowski 20th century).  The first Gasiorowsky show at the Galerie Maeght was held in 1981, and then the Museum of Modern Art in Paris devoted a masterly exhibition of his work in 1983, while his first retrospective was put on at the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris in 1995.

Nadine Labedade