Aux sources années 1980. Eighties & Echoes

09 Jun.
22 Sept.

Aux sources des années 1980

Eigthies & Echoes

New pictorial approaches that came to the fore in the late 1970s and early 1980s took a stance against the prevailing abstract art and simplistic avant-gardist ideology that advocated an obsession with rupture, the death of the painting, in a linear and progressive vision of art. Freshly out of art school, young artists sought to rethink the traditional form of the painting, the figure, the illusion of depth, by drawing on a multiplicity of models.

The exhibition Aux sources des années 1980 explores their imaginary museum, seeking its echo in the legacy of forms remaining in the painting of the 1980s in France, based on a set of works that reflect a rich dialogue with tradition. By showcasing highly diversified approaches, it will prompt an understanding of the painting from this period as a whole, shattering the customary divides between highbrow art and Figuration Libre (Free Figuration).

Offering various takes on the past, perceived as a means of reviving painting, or as a vector in specific world views, but never as an end per se, the works showcased may interact with a particular model or indeed bring a fresh approach to conventional subjects with respect to three main themes: the individual and society; love and otherness; nature and the sacred.

Featuring works by Jean Michel Alberola, Georges Autard, Rémi Blanchard, Jean-Charles Blais, François Boisrond, Philippe Cognée, Robert Combas, Vincent Corpet, Hervé Di Rosa, Philippe Favier, Gérard Garouste, Gérard Gasiorowski, Dominique Gauthier, Jean Pierre Giard, Patrice Giorda, Philippe Hortala, Denis Laget and Gérard Traquandi, among others.

Exhibition curator and consultant: Amélie Adamo


Alongside the exhibition, the roof space will host work by young artists at the instigation of their more senior counterparts. Sharing insights between the 1980s and contemporary creation, finding echoes between themes or specific challenges: the works chosen or produced for the occasion offer another perspective, opening people’s eyes to a history of connections and divergences that have constantly made up painting.

Guided tours on 6, 13, 21 and 28 July; 3, 10, 18, 25 and 31 August 2019

Cahier de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix no. 138 published on the occasion of the exhibition