“Art has lost the last representative of great painting”, wrote Paul Claudel in Le Figaro on 14 December 1945, on the death of his friend José María Sert. The immensity of his body of work and the strength of his personality made Sert a universally admired artist in his time. The Petit Palais is allowing the public to rediscover him. José María Sert, le Titan à l’œuvre (1874-1945) will open the doors to his workshop to show the strength of his art and the originality of his method.
Sert, a scenic artist, was constantly looking for commissions and worked for personalities from the economic and political world, firstly in Paris and then in Europe and America. This proximity confronted him with the complexities of his era and he made some controversial political choices. He was a “modern Baroque”, full of references to mainstream tradition but declaring the topicality of his art.
The workshop is the main part of this exhibition, which allows visitors to paint a portrait of an artist who is neglected today. This is a novel approach, which aims to make this original and thorough method of creation understandable. A polished, exceptionally well recreated decor stands side by side with approximately 120 works (immense individual panels, sketches, working photographs and designs). Private documents and photographs will allow the visitor to discover the secrets of a workshop. The aim of this ambitious exhibition is to return one of the “Parisian” figures of the century’s international art scene to his rightful place in the history of art.
With the support of and in partnership with