GUILBAUT, Serge (cur.)
Lost, Loose and Loved: Foreign Artists in Paris 1944–1968
Lost, Loose, and Loved explores the contribution of foreign artists who, after the Second World War, were working in Paris. The city, then rebuilding politically, socially and economically, was trying to revamp the old image of the “School of Paris,” which had always relied upon the contribution of émigré artists for the development of a modern discourse. Paris was seen as a place of freedom, where individual personalities and identities were allowed and encouraged and, equally, measured meticulously according to a form of Cartesian restraint.
The exhibition & the book reflect the vitality and vivacity of the art scene in all its complexity, displaying the different creative trends which took hold in the city inside and outside the School of Paris at a time of fervent political debate, held to the backdrop of the new global stage opened by the Cold War. From a broad array of artistic fields — from painting and sculpture to jazz, literature and film — foreign artists dealt with mounting tension by bringing their approaches and hopes to the Parisian milieu in an attempt to connect with the tradition of international modernism but without losing a grip on their own cultural identity. American artists, for example, flocked to Paris in the late 1940s and 1950s for two major reasons: firstly the G.I. Bill, which financed Second World War veterans ’ studies in famous art schools such as the Fernand Leger and André Lhote ateliers or the Académie Julian and Grande Chaumière schools; secondly, the pressure to leave behind a reactionary and often racist Joseph McCarthy-controlled country with repressive policies. Others, among them a considerable group of Latin American artists, arrived encouraged by grants and assistance from the French government as they sought to improve their professional horizons in a place that was still a point of reference and stimulation for modern art, a setting which was conducive to experimentation and debate, both artistic and political… [publisher’s note]
With contributions by Serge Guilbaut, Amanda Herold-Marme, Tom McDonough, Maureen Murphy, Isabel Plante, and Kaira M. Cabañas.