The Paintings are often disconcerting*
10 October 2021 – 23 January 2022
In 1970, Yvon Lambert organised the first solo exhibition by Niele Toroni in a gallery. The opening was announced by sending an invitation card including the dates of the event, the name and address of the gallery as well as a description of what appeared to be the work showcased and for public viewing: Empreintes de pinceau n° 50 à intervalles réguliers (30 cm). Fifteen exhibitions would then be held until 2013 in the various Yvon Lambert’s galleries. They would give the opportunity to the audience to discover the artist’s famous imprints of paintbrush directly applied onto the wall, in the corners, on the pillars or the glass panes, on hanging canvases, on waxed canvases rolled out on the floor, on sheets of tracing paper or newspaper pages…
His unmistakable gesture reduced to its most minimal (and essential?) form acts as a necessary cleansing of vision, a banner confronting the idea of art as a mere consumption or decorative object. Through the works, materials and spaces, the thoughtful utterance and trace move within the visitors’ environment and invite them to a new conscious and constantly renewed artistic experience.
The set of works displayed as part of this focus tells of all the vital force at work in Niele Toroni’s work and Yvon Lambert’s infinite love for a gesture as radical as it is sensual that brings us to the heart of painting itself, tirelessly.
1 Title borrowed from Georges Didi-Huberman, Fra Angelico. Dissemblance and Figuration, trans. Jane Marie Todd, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995)
2 Yvon Lambert, Œuvres sur papier et photographies, La Collection Yvon Lambert dialogue avec des artistes contemporains, Yokohama Museum of Art, 1998.
The Focus Series is intended to bear witness to the significance and quality of the groups of works held in Avignon. For many artists, the Collection Lambert is the only place in France where so many of their works can be enjoyed. This is due to Yvon Lambert’s acquisitions and his special connection with the artists based on friendship and unfailing support. Sol LeWitt, Robert Ryman, and Nan Goldin have already been celebrated in exhibitions that included the publication of a Cahier de la Collection Lambert.
As part of the ¡ Viva Villa ! festival and the presence of Villa Kujoyama, we wanted to present a selection of works by Japanese artists who have contributed to the history of the Collection Lambert, at a time when the Avignon museum was breaking new ground in this area.
Its first director, Éric Mézil, had been a resident at Villa Kujoyama. Through three major exhibitions—“Donai yanen!” at the École des Beaux-arts de Paris in 1998, “Akimahen” during Lille 2004, and “Eijanaika! Yes Future!” at the Collection Lambert in 2004—he created a panorama of the lively Japanese art scene at the turning point between the 20th and 21st centuries, with which the French public was unfamiliar at the time.