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Donation Étienne-Martin

/ Étienne-Martin /

Etienne-Martin (Loriol, Drôme département, 1913 - Paris, 1995) created his early work in the 1930s. In Dieulefit during the war he met Henri-Pierre Roché who supported him when he returned to Paris. Operating on the fringes of modernity, he explored his “individual mythologies” according to Harald Szeeman, who invited him to Documenta V in Kassel in 1972. In the 1970s, when he was a recognised artist without the support of a gallery, Artcurial, founded by L’Oréal, undertook to promote him, giving him seven solo exhibitions between 1977 and 1992 and taking over production of his bronzes which helped to preserve and disseminate his work. The gift by L’Oréal of fifteen sculptures bears witness to this enterprise. Varying in format and medium, this collection covers almost the whole of the sculptor’s career and illustrates the major series punctuating his approach: his first abstract works – The Knot (1938), Night: Nina Night (1951); portraits - Alma’s head (1954); Dwellings – forming the backbone of his œuvre – a mental reconstruction of his childhood home which he then elaborated on in Dwelling II (1958-1959), Small dwelling X (1965), The course of time (1978) and She who keeps vigil (1980); Games and Roots, where the tree dictates the shape - The Duckling (1951-1953), The Beak (1964), The Rhinoceros and the Almond Tree (1969); salvaged materials and polychromy - The Wink (1970), Red hand (1986); the large wooden pieces created towards the end of his life - The Horn (1989) and The Ladder (1991). In parallel, the gift of his archives by Marie-Thérèse Etienne-Martin makes the museum a reference and study centre for his work.

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Donation Étienne-Martin - ©ADAGP, Paris 2010 / ©Pierre Antoine Donation Étienne-Martin - ©ADAGP, Paris 2010 / ©Pierre Antoine