The post-war period, between figuration and abstraction

The question of figuration in art was constantly revisited throughout the 20th century, although shaken at times by the tragedies of world history, and the temptation to abstraction, the primary phenomenon of modern and contemporary painting. Between the wars, Jean Hugo (1894-1984) expressed the malaise of his turbulent times, and the quest for a kind of spiritual salvation. The work of sculptor Germaine Richier (1904-1959) explores questions of human identity again and again in her work – an identity shaken by the Second World War, pursued to its farthest reaches, scrutinised and probed to its darkest depths. Abstraction emerged in the 20th century as a new way forward for art, enabling it to explore the modern era, an age of speed, passions, colour, and sensation. At the end of the Second World War, the second Paris School marked the triumph of a generation of painters including De Staël, Poliakoff, or Vieira da Silva, all distinguished by their lyrical, spontaneous use of colour.

The Paris School

L'école de Paris

This corridor presents works by members of the Paris School, all of whom made the triumphant leap...

Oeuvres du parcours

Hugo Gallery

Salle Jean Hugo

Jean Hugo was an associate of Picasso, Cocteau and La Fresnaye in the 1920s, before retreating to...

Oeuvres du parcours

Richier Gallery

Salle Germaine Richier

This exhibition space on the ground-floor level is entirely devoted to sculpture, in the person of the...

Oeuvres du parcours