Jean Lurçat - Easter 1962
Material : Wool
Dimensions : 150 x 222 cm ; 5 x 7 ft
Year : 1962
Aubusson tapestry woven in the Goubely workshop
Didier Marien's collection, available at Boccara Gallery New York
Jean Lurçat’s artistic production was immense : it’s however his role as the renovator of the art of tapestry design which ensures his lasting renown. As early as 1917, he started producing works on canvas, then in the 20’s and 30’s, he worked with Marie Cuttoli. His first collaboration with the Gobelin’s workshop dates back to 1937, at the same time he discovered the tapestry of the Apocalypse which was essential in his decision to devote himself to tapestry design. He first tackled the technical aspects with François Tabard, then on his installation at Aubusson during the war,
he established his technique : broad point, a simplified palette, outlined cartoons with colors indicated by pre- ordained numbers.
A huge production then follows (over 1000 cartoons) amplified by his desire to include his painter friends, the creation of the A.P.C.T. (Association des Peintres-Cartonniers de Tapisserie) and the collaboration with the art gallery La Demeure and Denise Majorel, and then by his role as a tireless advocate for the medium around the world.
His tapestries reveal a pictorial world which is specially decorative, with a very personal symbolic iconography : cosmogony (the sun, the planets, the zodiac, the four elements...) stylised vegetation, fauna, (rams, cocks, butterflies, chimera...) standing out against a background without perspective (voluntarily different from painting) and, in his more ambitious work, designed as an invitation to share in a poetic (he sometimes weaves quotations into his tapestries) and philosophical the grand themes are broached from the war time period onwards) vision whose climax is the « Chant du Monde » (Song of the World) (Jean Lurçat Museum, ancien hôpital Saint Jean, Angers) which remained unfinished at his death.
The title « Pâques 1962 », Easter 1962, would seem to correspond rather to the date of its creation rather than the subject, which remains a traditional motif for this artist : the elements earth and air, butterflies and salamanders... In 1962, Lurçat’s fame is at its peak, commissions, both public and private come flocking in and the effort of dealing with them whilst trying to complete simultaneously « le Chant du Monde », the song of the world, is proving exhausting. Perhaps in the wealth of energy dispensed he might be attempting to interrupt the flight of time by putting a date on this particular work.