Alain Jacquet

Du camouflage à la trame 1962-1968
October 19 > November 27, 2002
Paris - Beaubourg

Selected works
Press release

Alain Jacquet
Du Camouflage à la Trame, 1961 – 1968
October 19 – November 27, 2002

Alain Jacquet, France’s most famous representative of the pop art movement, presents a historical exhibition devoted to two lesser known aspects of his oeuvre: the early Camouflage paintings directly inspired by Pop art (1961-1964); and the 1968 printed objects – corrugated sheet, sack - which evoke ambiguous ready-made.

In 1961, at age 22, Alain Jacquet left his early abstract paintings playing on primary colors to focus on the Camouflage works. The paintings all rely on the same formal process: canonical images of the history of art (Michelangelo, Boticelli, Matisse) are covered with shapes taken from the military technique of camouflage. In the later Camouflage pieces, Alain Jacquet juxtaposed famous masterpieces with everyday life objects or images: a gas station, commercial billboards, road signs etc. These works, which encourage a radically new reading of famous masterpieces, are probably the closest in spirit to the experiences of the American Pop Art movement (Johns, Lichenstein, Warhol).

After 1964, Alain Jacquet started experimenting with screen-printing. In Déjeuner sur l’herbe - a pop remake of Manet’s painting and probably Alain Jacquet’s most well-known piece - the photograph is screened into myriads of dots combining black and primary values. The enlargement of the image and the printing of dots create of play on scale, focus and viewing. This process introduces what Pierre Restany called “Mec Art”, an art created only through a mechanical process

The 1968 objects further explored this mechanical printing. Alain Jacquet gave up two-dimensional works to print surfaces onto objects. He experimented with printing light dotted screens evoking the thread of fabric, the surface of corrugated iron, or the lines in hard wood floors. He thus created artificial and seemingly minimalist ready-made, which mimic sacks, iron sheets or floors. First exhibited in New York in 1968, they are shown for the first time in France.

Alain Jacquet lives and works between Paris and New York. He exhibited at the musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris as early as 1962, and had his first show in New York in 1964. In 1968 he participated in Documenta and received his first museum solo show in the US at the MCA Chicago. He has exhibited internationally and his work is in many public collections including, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris ; Fondation Cartier, Paris ; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris ; Museum of Modern Art, New York ; National Museum of American Art, Washington DC ; Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, Texas ; and National Gallery and National Gallery Canberra, Australia.

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