Gilbert THEVENOT (1921-2018) workshop

vendredi 20 octobre 2023 14:00
Salle 1-7 - Hôtel Drouot , 9, rue Drouot 75009 Paris
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1st part of sale (2pm): Atelier Gilbert Thevenot (1921-2018)

1st part of sale (3pm): Decorative Arts of the 20th century


- Wednesday, October 18, 11am to 6pm

- Thursday, October 19, 11am to 8pm

- Friday, October 20, 11am to 12pm

Tel during exhibition and sale: +33 (0)1 48 00 20 01



Charles-Edouard DELETTREZ





Pauline and Frédérick CHANOIT

+33 (0)1 47 70 22 33

Gilbert Thévenot was born on October 4, 1921 in Auxerre (Yonne), where he spent his childhood. His family moved to Dreux when he was around ten years old. During a jostle, he lost the motor skills in his right arm. The medical profession advised him to draw to test and consolidate his wrist. This rehabilitation led to a passion for drawing and his artistic vocation. At the age of fifteen, he decided to enlist in the French Navy as an apprentice, and spent three years in the service.

At the end of this military period, he moved to Paris and spent his free time at the family home in Champs-sur-Yonne. It was at this time that he decided to embark on an artistic career. His first works were inspired by the wooded and riverside landscapes of Burgundy. The difficult period of the Occupation prompted the artist to join the Paris City Council to supervise the relocation of works to various museums. This brought him into contact with many works of art, and he particularly admired Bonnard's Le Déjeuner, a work that left a lasting impression on him. Soon, the situation in France prompted him to escape from forced conscription for the STO and escape the occupying forces. He took refuge in Champs-sur-Yonne, where he remained hidden until the liberation. He took advantage of this period to continue his studies of nature and to work on light in painting. At the end of the war, the artist returned to Othon Friesz's studio at La Grande Chaumière, where he learned his taste for Fauvist line energy, color and strong contrasts.

In November 1950, Gilbert Thévenot exhibited at the Club Saint-Germain gallery alongside Shedlin and Audebès. The press made no secret of its enthusiasm, with Les Nouvelles Littéraires (14/12/1950) highlighting G. Thevenot's: "The sensuality with which he describes each curve, the precision with which he sets each tone, in a word this artisanal taste for a well-crafted work, constantly reworked and striving for perfection, belong to another generation. It's rare to find them in a young artist.

In 1952-53, Thevenot joined the artistic group Rencontres, formed on the initiative of the Société des Nouveaux Artistes et Ecrivains Français Associés and the magazine Rencontres. An exhibition is organized under the aegis of the group from May 21 to June 1, 1954 at the Galerie Cini, (47 rue de Seine). Thevenot regularly takes part in the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, and was shortlisted for the Prix Othon Friesz. He also exhibited at Galerie Bellechasse.

From the 1960s onwards, installed in the new studio on his property in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, Gilbert Thevenot initiated new fields of artistic exploration. In particular, he produced a series of preparatory drawings as part of a new research project centered on the interaction between shapes and colors, which he pursued throughout the 1970s. He worked on new geometric and abstract subjects and techniques, both inspired by free abstraction. He also integrated and reworked the Pointillist heritage in large-format non-figurative works. From a technical standpoint, Thevenot experiments with a thicker paste, the material taking on volume thanks to the addition of sand in its preparation and a technique of superimposing pictorial layers playing on the relief of the material. He also adopts a gestural style that, beyond explanation, appeals to the emotions.

Thevenot, who likes to define himself as a craftsman in the noblest sense of the word, continues his experiments and research into the balance between volume, color and form. Towards the end of his life, his interest in monochrome representations testifies to a desire to get to the heart of the matter, without ever losing focus. The collection of large-format canvases with geometric and abstract subjects is related to this period of the artist's work.

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