Gagosian, Paris, is pleased to present a selection of paintings by Simon Hantaï (1922-2008). In anticipation of his forthcoming retrospective at Fondation Louis Vuitton, curated by Anne Baldassari and opening on May 18, 2022, these works will be installed on the ground floor of the gallery at 4 rue de Ponthieu.
The grouping, which is dominated by bold, vibrant colors evocative of spring blossoms, features several paintings made by Hantaï using variations on his iconic pliage (folding) technique. By crumpling and knotting the canvas before painting it uniformly and then spreading it out to reveal a pattern of alternations between pigment and ground, Hantaï arrived at a process that synthesized Surrealist automatism and the allover gestures of Abstract Expressionism. Here, several paintings from the Tabulas series (1972?76 and 1980?82), including large gridded compositions in yellow, blue, pink, and green, find him regulating the abstract shapes generated by the pliage process through a repeating pattern of folds and the use of single tints that also reflect his study of Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe?s Theory of Colors (1810).
Gagosian announced the exclusive representation of Hantaï?s estate in 2019. LES NOIRS DU BLANC, LES BLANCS DU NOIR, the artist?s first exhibition at the gallery, featured black-and-white paintings and prints made between 1969 and 1997 and opened at Gagosian, Le Bourget, that October. This January, in the centenary year of the artist?s birth, the gallery presented a second solo exhibition, Les blancs de la couleur, la couleur du blanc, on both floors of the gallery at 980 Madison Avenue, New York. This exhibition was accompanied by a multipart publication, housed in a special box that contains a booklet with an essay and chronology by Anne Baldassari, individual cards devoted to each artwork, and a folded poster. Hantaï is also the subject of an essay by Baldassari in the Spring 2022 issue of Gagosian Quarterly.