The exhibition of the world-famous French artist Françoise Gilot, entitled Rising Phoenix, will be open to visitors at the Kunsthalle Budapest (Műcsarnok) from the 8th December, 2023 to the 2nd February, 2024, organized in collaboration with the Várfok Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Krisztina Kovács, Gallery Director of the Várfok Gallery.
Françoise Gilot was an outstanding artist and an extraordinary person, who became a legend during her own lifetime, leaving behind a legacy that will not go unnoticed. Besides her painting oeuvre, spanning eight decades, she was the author of many books on art theory, published and illustrated volumes of poetry, while teaching at universities and making scenery and costume designs for dance performances.
Her versatility and erudition captured those around her, and her presence filled every space she inhabited. The maturity and elegance of her works, their solid forms, vivacious colours, dynamism, witty motives and mythical symbols are all projections of her completely self-identical and multifarious personality.
… my art is not an attempt to escape the realities of everyday life; it is a song against fear. My floating paintings, like flags and banners in a battle, are an enticement to be at war with despair and to win over entropy.
The exhibition at the Műcsarnok can be regarded as the most comprehensive presentation of her art ever to be staged in Europe. The displayed works span from the earliest pieces, representing the start of her career, to the paper-based composition of 2016 from the late stage of her art, showcasing Gilot’s main periods, themes and series.
Presented here are seminal mementos of her oeuvre, such as a dramatic self-portrait conceived in her initial period, when she still lived with Picasso, one of her first lithographs made in the legendary Parisian studio of Mourlot, her monumental floating canvases from the eighties, and pieces of her Wanderer, a prominent series of the nineties, which can be seen together again after a long time. The exhibition also pays tribute to the artist’s close friendship with Endre Rozsda, since it is owing to this special relationship that Gilot developed a love and attachment towards Hungary, and that she was present in the Hungarian art scene in recent decades.A noteworthy fact proving the latter is that the exhibited material almost exclusively comprises loans from Hungarian private collections.
Gilot as a Phoenix, ever renewed and reborn throughout its life, finally took off on 6 June 2023. Although she did not live to see the opening of her Műcsarnok exhibition, her powerful spirit and the interweaving of her exemplary life and art fill the spaces with a resounding impact and echo her ars poetics, which is truly what she declared herself to be: a triumphant song in the face of fear.
Françoise Gilot: Rising Phoenix
- Date: 2023. 12. 08. – 2024. 02. 04.
- Location: Kunsthalle Budapest (Műcsarnok), 1146 Budapest, Dózsa György u. 37.