22.05.2019 — 05.04.2020

Galeristes du XXème siècle (France 1905-1970)

Curator : Christian Briend

Max Ernst, Mark Tobey, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Once a year, a new sequence of exhibitions-files punctuates the visit of the Centre Pompidou collections, offering a theme-based reiterpretation of the history of 20th century art. This new tour pays homage to several major dealers in modern and contemporary art who were active in France between 1905 and the late 1960s.

Art galleries first appeared in the late 19th century and quickly became indispensable intermediaries between artists and the public, particularly those that followed in the wake of Paul Durand-Ruel, a pioneer and dealer in Impressionist art. By establishing contracts with artists who thus escaped the relative anonymity of the annual salons, and by ensuring their distribution in France and abroad in the case of the more enterprising galleries, they quickly became essential instruments of artistic legitimization. They played a crucial role in the history of 20th century art in the recognition of the Fauvist and Cubist movements, the first trends in abstract art and Surrealism and, after 1945, geometric abstraction, action painting and later for new realism.

At Centre Pompidou, a room is dedicated to Jeanne Bucher (1925-1946), and the gallery has collaborated with the museum by lending several works by Max Ernst, Mark Tobey and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, in dialogue with the museum’s permanent collection of works acquired in the past from the Gallery Jeanne Bucher. Thus, the new hanging of the modern collections reflects the close bonds that have linked art galleries and museums for more than a century. The documents exhibited in showcases are a concrete illustration of the range of means available to dealers to help establish the aesthetic value of works : advertising campaigns, leaflets and catalogues and the organisation of travelling exhibitions. Jeanne Bucher presented French and international avant-garde, from Cubisme to Surrealisme together with Naive and Abstract Art. As a director, she exercised a multi-faceted profession : impresario for creators, organizer of cultural spaces, mediator with the public… projecting her own personality and taste in her work in favour of the living art.

Each of these displays presents selected works from the collections of the Centre Pompidou, signed by the primary artists promoted by the dealers presented. Invitation cards, photos from opening nights and catalogues from the Bibliothèque Kandinsky all testify to the intensity of their activities.

Galleries of the 20th century invites visitors to review the history of the Centre Pompidou’s collections in the light of its historical relations with the art market, which was going through a veritable golden age at the time.

Centre Pompidou

Place Georges Pompidou
75004 Paris – France
T +33 1 44 78 12 33


opening hours

Everyday from 11 am to 9 pm
Closed on Tuesday

Mark Tobey, Animal Totem, 1944
Tempera on cardboard
14,6 × 6,9 in
Max Ernst, Histoire Naturelle - La Palette de César, 1925
plate XX, frottage reproduced in collotype, 50 x 33 cm, edition 191/300, Jeanne Bucher Editions
photo : Droits réservés, Courtesy Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris-Lisbonne, © Adagp, Paris 2024
Max Ernst, L'Origine de la pendule, 1925
Transfer by rubbing
16,7 × 10,04 in
Reproduced in "Histoire naturelle", Edition Jeanne Bucher
Max Ernst, Système de monnaie solaire, 1925
Crayon et frottage sur papier
46 × 26,5 cm
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Kô & Kô, 1933
Edition Jeanne Bucher