May 18 - July 25, 2020
Max Ernst entitled one of his most prominent works Europe after the rain. Where is Europe today? Not only Europe, but the world, the whole world as well as our own, inward? Are floods and mists coming after the rain? Aftermath! The sun, a renewal, a revival, an awakening rather than a reawakening: Springtime - Gustav Klimt’s Ver Sacrum has captured its blossoming of the senses, just like Botticelli and Larionov. The season of rejuvenation, as Bertold Brecht chanted alongside the folklorists. For better, for worst? The summer always ahead with wings of hope. It is the time of Secessions, of turmoil, of the cherries of May, of pacific marches, of longed beaches board up and imprisoned by pavements. Waiting for the fruits promised by the flowers? Building momentum! Modernity is a series of springtime! For a rebellion to sometimes bring forward a utopian reform that would extricate and wash daily life from the dirt of habits. For two centuries, art has been announcing “springtime”. Always to arouse the hope that “our life changes”. For things to change? To change in order to remain as they are?
Bernard Ceysson, 2020
One by Aby Warburg from Zanobio Acciauoli’s Veris descriptio –quoted from Lucretio’s De rerum natura:
“Before thee, Goddess [Venus], and thy coming on, flee stormy wind and massy cloud away, for thee the daedal Earth bears scented flowers, for thee waters of the unvexed deep smile, and the hollows of the serene sky glow with diffused radiance for thee!”.
The second one:
“Our aim is to awaken, encourage and propagate the artistic perception of our time….We know no difference between ‘great art’ and ‘intimate art’, between art for the rich and art for the poor. We have dedicated ourselves with our whole power and future hopes, with everything that we are to the Sacred Springtime”. Ver Sacrum, January 1898, 24.
Let’s also quote a Nobel Prize, Bob Dylan:
“Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you Is worth savin' Then you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’.”
And an inspired singer, Alain Bashung:
“We’re here to show people that there is room for all their dreams, not to tell them how to think or feel.”
Ceysson & Bénétière
23 rue du Renard 75004 Paris