Alain Jaquet: «The French-American Pop Art Artist»

3 Apr

Serge Gainsbourg interviews Alain Jaquet in 1969

The artist Alain Jacquet who unfortunately died of esophageal cancer in Manhattan in September 2008, almost aged 70, is named a French representative of the American Pop Art movement, a description, which in fact, is to be seen as a little bit too inaccurate because his œvre – unlike the work of many other Pop Art artists – is filled with romantic thoughts and other emotional aspects.

Alain Jaquet «Camouflage Uccello» (1963)
Click to enlarge camouflagedly

The British newspaper The Guardian wrote in its obituary: «On the face of it, Alain Jacquet was a tail-ender in a tail-end offshoot of pop art. This was the French version, nouveau réalisme, created by the critic Pierre Restany. The Independent Group had held its first exhibition at the ICA in London in 1956, the prototype of pop art in Europe, indeed, in the world, since it contained pop collages made by Eduardo Paolozzi in 1947. In 1960 Restany brought together a bunch of artists, issued a one-line manifesto including the two key words ‹nouveau réalisme›, and promoted it as vigorously as Beaujolais nouveau: le nouveau réalisme is here.»

Alain Jacquet was not part of the original group but soon became one of the liveliest practitioners of new realism and introduced Pierre Restany as one of the loungers on the grass in ‹Déjeuner sur l’herbe›, his take on Manet’s painting.

Exhibition Alain Jaquet

Alain Jacquet first studied architecture at École des Beaux-Arts à Paris, where he had his first exhibition at the gallery Breteau in 1961 as well. In the same year he was part of the «Biennale de Paris». His international breakthrough, however, appeared when he was selected to be part of the 4th documenta in Kassel with nothing less than 10 pieces of his impressive artwork.

Alain Jacquet lived in New York and Paris and taught at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. In 1992 he married Sophie Matisse, the great-granddaughter of the French Fauvist artist Henri Matisse.

Website Alain Jaquet.

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