Page 23 - Studio International - December 1967
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the art market has shown how precarious   confirmation of the rejection of the old   thought out policy to promote cultural
            is a promotional system entirely in private   trends. Instead of the mixture as before'   activity on the national level. Now all
            hands. When things go badly, one realizes   there was a limited presentation, but   M. Dorival has to do now is to cultivate his
            the crucial role of the State in co-ordinating   one both young and coherent. Centred   garden—to record and number donations and
           and supporting cultural activities.       around a Cesar retrospective and two rooms   legacies.
            The State, however, is embodied by men.   devoted to Alain Jacquet and Jean-Pierre   Miracles, like success or accidents, never
           Hitherto, those who acted for cultural    Raynaud, the French exibits created a    happen alone. Last year, as if by magic, the
           affairs seemed inflexible. They survived the   sensation—in every sense of the word. When   artistic climate of the City of Paris was
           vagaries of power of the Fourth Republic   refusing to award the Grand Prix to Cesar   transformed. A new municipal director of
           and the change of regime when the Fifth   —which was within their rights—the jury   fine arts was appointed, M. Debidour.
           Republic was established. Once in power,   made a serious psychological error in   Taking advantage of the Municipal
           Andre Malraux attempted the impossible: to  offering him a consolation prize which the   Council's pious wish deploring the lack of
           implement a new policy with the old staff,   sculptor was bound to refuse. His rejection   any cultural policy for the City, M. Debidour
           the same men. The old team, weighed down   of the offer is a matter of personal morality;   caught the ball on the rebound and drew
           by inertia, stifled any moves which might   but here, too, something has changed in the   up what one can only describe as a Charter
           have encouraged renewal before they could   new appearance of French art. Under the   for Artistic Action in Paris. Old projects
           even be born. During the past two years   ancien regime things would have been     were pulled out of filing cabinets where
            the situation has begun to change, parti-  different; some compromise would have   they had been gathering dust.
            cularly since the general elections which   been found. Cesar gave the lie to the   The Popular Municipal Theatre is becoming
            confirmed the majority in power (only just,   paternalism of the Biennale organizers   a reality. Charles Munch has been
            but still effectively). Time has lent a hand   club. This is no bad thing, far from it.   entrusted with the establishment of a Paris
            to the work of politics. M. Cassou, on    One could give many examples which      Philharmonic Orchestra. An overall policy
            reaching retirement, has left the Musee   reflect significantly the new official engagement  for library modernization has been put in
            National d'Art Moderne, pledging his     (the Mast of Honour in the renovated St   hand.
            assistant M. Dorival to an increasingly   Cyr Military Academy was commissioned    But it is primarily in the field of plastic
            conservatorial role. No replacement has been  from Cesar; Tinguely and Niki de St Phalle   art that the change of policy has been most
            found for M. Jeaujard, general secretary at   were responsible for the 'Paradise' on the   spectacular. M. Debidour's great idea was
            the Ministry and therefore administrative   top floor of the French pavilion in   to create, within the Musee Municipal d'Art
            co-ordinator for the entire national cultural   Montreal). But the new team has more   Moderne, a Section Animation-Recherche-
            activity since M. Malraux accepted his   ambitious ideas; the recent report given by   Confrontation (ARC) which would link
            resignation.                             M. Giscard d'Estaing, Chairman of the    between artists and public through a series
             Most of his duties have fallen on M.    Finance Commission of the French         of exhibitions centring on a specific theme
            Anthonioz, head of a new department, the   Parliament and former Minister at the   and through lectures and personal meetings.
            Artistic Creation branch. Hitherto       Treasury, speaks for itself. The next French   The ARC also acts as a public relations
            M. Anthonioz had not been in a position to   national budget, he said, will include a   centre for important Municipal Museum
            take real action. He has surrounded himself   substantial increase in credits under the   exhibitions, as for example in the case of the
            with a young team which includes the new   heading of cultural affairs. This increase   Light and Movement Exhibition, when it
            incumbent in M. Cogniat's position at the   in credits is linked to the important   organized symposia and debates on kinetic
            General Inspectorate for the Fine Arts —   decision to establish a National Centre for   art.
            M. Allemand, former director of St Etienne   Contemporary Art in 1968. Unlike the Musée   What we are seeing is the coming together
            Museum.                                  National d'Art Moderne, which is concerned  of two official structures which are being
            This team has bided its time. But its hour   exclusively with the presentation of works   completely remodelled and beginning to
           has arrived. One of the first gestures of the   which have already achieved recognition,   act in concert. At a time when the social
           Anthonioz team was to appoint a new       this Centre will be responsible for showing   function of art, its meaning and justification,
           French commissioner to the São Paulo and   the works of artists still relatively unknown,   is changing, State patronage and national
           Venice Biennales in place of M. Lassaigne,   but of self-evident talent. This is how the   coverage of promotional activity in the
           who has become general representative for   team defines its position and affirms, even   field of research and creation have become
           the Paris Biennale. The selection of      before the completion of the Musee du    urgent necessities. This time, the reversal
           M. Ragon is a significant reflection of this   XXième siècle (for which Le Corbusier   of official policy seems to have taken place
           renewal. The French exhibits chosen for   drew up the plans just before his death),   before it is too late. Paris has been offered
           the São Paulo Biennale were a brilliant    its determination to introduce a rationally    a second chance. 	q

            Paul Waldo Schwartz studied at Harvard and Colum-  Phyllisann Kallick studied creative writing and paint-  Corrections In our November issue Brian Rice was
            bia in the U.S. He was a Pulitzer Fellow in critical   ing at the University of Pennsylvania and art at New   incorrectly described as winner of the Arnolfini
            writing, 1963, and has been art critic for the New York   York University. She teaches art in a school in New   Competition in 1961. He was runner-up in 1963.
            Times  since 1963. He has written  Great Paintings   York, and both paints and sculpts.   Naum Gabo informs us that the Lissitzky work illus-
            (with an introduction by Sir John Rothenstein) and                                trated on p. 213 of our November issue, and there
            the Hand and Eye of the Sculptor, to be published this   Acknowledgements We wish to acknowledge the as-  dated 1920 and entitled  Tatlin working on Third
            winter. He is at present working on a history and   sistance of Robyn Denny and Malcolm Hughes in the   International Monument, was in fact painted c. 1921
            analysis of Cubism.                      preparation of material on Ad Reinhardt. We also   and illustrates a passage in 'The Realistic Manifesto':
                                                     wish to thank the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, the   'The plumb-line in our hand....' etc.
            Robyn Denny  was one of the five British artists   Jewish Museum in New York, and Betty Parsons
            chosen to represent Britain at the 1966 Venice   Gallery for the loan of blocks.
            Biennale. He lectures at the Slade School of Art. His
            most regent one-man exhibition was at Kasmin
            Gallery, London, In June.
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