Bill and I were thrilled by the quality of the paintings at the Markus Lüpertz retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM) last week.
We were also astonished that we had never heard of Lüpertz, who has been painting to great acclaim in Europe for more than 50 years.
The exhibition contains both paintings and painted bronze sculpture. Here's a recent sculpture -- Achilles, 2014, at the entrance to the retrospective.
The show presents his most recent work first then works back through his career. We were unprepared for how much we would love the paintings in his Arcadias series, executed between 2013 and 2015.
Here's another Arcadias painting (all are untitled)
with a detail.
I wish I could show you pictures of all of these panels. Matin/Midi/Soir/Nuit ou Adieu/Attaque/Saint Samaritaiin/Arrivee a l'auberge, 2009
The work is magnificently installed in the spacious galleries. These in his "Backs" series were inspired by Matisse's nudes.
A painting from Lüpertz's Mycenaean Smile series -- Cinq tableau sur le sourire mycénien - Jour d'ete, 1985
After Goya -- Arme verschränken, Schwartzer Mann, Rosa Fenster, 2002
From the war series: 11 November, 1988
11 November (detail)
Spectre de l'entre-deux: berger avec oiseau, 1986
Poussin -- Still Life, 1989 from a series that used elements of collage from Poussin works.
Poussin -- Still Life (detail)
Bill snapped this still from biographical film shown at the exhibition. Nice to see Lüpertz has grown into a grand old man.
Self-portrait, 1983 from a room of works inspired by Picasso's work.
Room with Lupertz' dithyrambe series. On the left the first panel of Makus Maillol -- Dithyrambe, 1976
Makus Maillol -- Dithyrambe (central panels), 1976
On the left, Castaway Helmets -- Dithrambe I, 1970
Tire track, 1966
We'll end with the earliest Lüpertz canvas in the show -- Untitled (Donald Duck), 1963.
An early Lüpertz portrait by Benjamin Katz. Nice to see the artist expressing such well-deserved confidence. Where has he been all our lives? We think his retrospective is one of the best shows of paintings in Paris this season.