Between July 2011 and March 2012, AGALMATA carried out an inventory of a collection from the former estate of the painter Charles Dufresne (1876 - 1938): after a physical examination in situ of the "furnishings" - art objects of various techniques and periods, including furniture, paintings, sculptures, ceramics and oriental antiques - we carried out condition reports, autopsies, photographs and packaging of more than 1,200 works. The documentary research necessary for their appreciation (biographical data of the artists, market and museum references) was conducted in parallel. This work, entirely supervised by Laure Chevalier, preceded the production of a 300-page catalog with 1200 descriptions of objects, antiques, and works by Charles Dufresne (oils, inks, gouaches, prints, sketches, sculpture), as well as an appendix with estimates of the main objects.
For the anecdote, because of specific constraints attached (notarial act), we had to carry out this titanic inventory in hardly one semester! (Record time)
The heart of the collection brings together more than 430 unpublished works by Charles Georges DUFRESNE (1876 - 1938) and pieces from his collection.
Many of these objects were part of the daily life of the painter, who throughout his life had collected rare pieces and antiquities, especially during his long stay in Algeria, in 1910-1912, at the Villa Abd-El-Tif, the "Villa Medici of Algiers".
Oriental arts are well represented with antiquities from the post-Sassanid Iranian civilization (8th-10th centuries), Ilkhanid (Kashan) art objects from the end of the 13th century, Iranian Nichapour or Koubatcha from the 17th century, Iznick ceramics (Ottoman art, 17th century) or more recent productions from the Qadjar period (Iran, 19th century).
Other objects of popular art come from the Maghreb: the artist had brought them back to France, after his stay in Abd-El-Tif, and his excursions in the Algerian south, in Bou Saâda, or in Biskra. We find his everyday objects in his paintings: a plaster of Venus, a table with a sumptuous tray inlaid with precious wood, glazed earthenware ceramics that enamel the artist's productions with shimmering forms and colors (... He had been well schooled by attending Gustave Moreau's studio: "Mr. Charles Dufresne, my student", in a letter dated June 4, 1895 - National Archives).
This mission was an opportunity to follow the career of an "unclassifiable" artist, to see the evolution of his palette, his line, his touch, to understand the way he elaborated the motif (with preliminary sketches, the painter's tools), and to find the genesis of his art through his inspirations and his "palette of objects". A way to dive into the work of an exemplary and sensitive technician, the work of a poet, a man who loved dreams, to quote Philippe Chabert, former director of the Museum of Modern Art in Troyes.
Laure Chevalier, PhD
Exhibitions of the painter Charles Georges Dufresne :
1905 : Paris, Salon of the Society of Independent Artists
1922 : Paris, Barbazanges gallery
1923 : Paris, Salon des Tuileries
1929 : United States, Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum, "French Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries" 1930 : Paris, Georges Petit Gallery, "100 Years of French Painting
1930: United States, New York, Museum of Modern Art, "Painting in Paris
1931: Paris, Dru Gallery, "Paintings, Gouaches and Pastels by Charles Dufresne
1933 and 1936 :: United States, Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, "Annual International Exhibition
1937 : Paris, Petit Palais, "Les Maîtres de l'Art Indépendant 1895-1937
1937: Paris, École nationale des beaux-arts, "Commandes de l'État
1938 : Paris, galerie du Nouvel Essor, "maquettes des commandes de l'Etat à Charles Dufresne
1938: Italy, Biennale of Venice, "Tribute to Charles Dufresne
1938 : Netherlands, The Hague, municipal museum, "The Orient and Algeria in French art
1942 : Paris, Galerie de France
1944: Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, "Cartons and modern tapestries of the national manufactures" 1947: Algeria, Algiers, National Museum of Fine Arts, "Charles Dufresne and Jean Launois
1966: Great Britain, London, Sphinx Gallery, "Dufresne Paintings & Watercolors
1971: United States, New York, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, "Charles Dufresne, A Retrospective Exhibition" 1972: Switzerland, Lausanne, Paul Valloton Gallery, "Charles Dufresne Retrospective Exhibition
1975: Paris, René Drouet Gallery, "Tribute to Dufresne
1987: Paris, museum of modern art of the city, "Independent art
1987-1988 : Troyes, museum of modern art, " Charles Dufresne, retrospective ".
1988 : Granville, Richard Anacréon Museum of Modern Art, " Charles Dufresne, Hommage de son pays d'origine ".
1994 : Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, " Charles Dufresne : L'œuvre gravé ".
2000 : Paris, Zlotowski gallery, " Charles Dufresne ".
2001 : Paris, Claude Guillemot gallery, "Charles Dufresne, works on paper
2009 : Paris, galerie des Gobelins, Mobilier national, " Elegance and Modernity : 1908-1958 ", Sofa Les Plaisirs de la Plage, tapestry cartoons by Charles Dufresne on a furniture by Rollin
2012 : Saint-Tropez, Musée de l'Annonciade, "Charles Dufresne, an Oriental Dream
2012 : Metz, Centre Pompidou, "1917", three works from the national collections dated 1917
2014 : Saint-Tropez, Musée de l'Annonciade, "Color in the light of the Orient: from Delacroix to Matisse