Join our mailing list

School of Paris Press Release


School of Paris 1900-1940

21st September – 26th October

A wave of artists of all nationalities gravitated to the French capital and fostered an inspiring climate of imaginative  cross-­fertilization.  


UpDown Gallery is pleased to announce it’s new exhibition ‘School of Paris’ is opening to the public this Saturday 21st September. Curated by gallery owner and director Kate Smith  in  association  with  renowned  London  based private dealer Niall Fairhead, ‘School of Paris’ seeks to bring together some of the greatest and most recognizable names in 20th century art to Ramsgate. Featuring a wide and wonderful selection of works that include limited edition prints, original works on paper, sculpture and photography, the ‘School of Paris’ exhibition is a unique opportunity to see works by Picasso, Chagall, Dali, Miro, Modigliani, Matisse and more in East Kent.

From 1900 until about 1940, Paris was a thriving center of artistic activity -­‐ providing unparalleled conditions for the exchange of creative ideas. A wave of artists of all nationalities gravitated to the French capital and fostered an inspiring climate of imaginative cross-­fertilization. The School of Paris does not refer to a movement or style, but to the great number of outstanding artists, predominantly of  non-­French  origin,  who  worked  with independence and originality in the French capital across the first half of the 20th century. The most famous of these artists include Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

Often focusing on conventional subjects, such  as  portraiture,  figure  studies,  landscapes,  cityscapes,  and  still life’s, artists of the School of Paris worked through a diversity of styles and techniques, pushing the language of modern art forwards in a succession of “avant-­‐gardes”. From the bold, dynamic colors of Fauvism, to the revolutionary spatial methods of Cubism, from the subconscious mining of Surrealism to the refined purity of abstraction, Paris became the center of intense and  productive  inter-­‐cultural  exchange  in  which  many  of  the major movements of 20th Century art were born and nurtured.

Many of the artists of the School of Paris are renowned for the excesses of their personal lives. In fitting with romantic notions of the bohemian artist they were often self-­taught, with at times dissolute lifestyles, but shared a driving obsession in  their  creativity. Brian  Daubney  will explore  aspects  of  the  artist’s  lives  in  a  talk  entitled  ‘ The Lure of Paris’, in the gallery on the 3rd of October from 6.30 – 8.30 pm, tickets are £10, booking is essential.

Brian relates to the city as a world leader in the arts, even  in  times  of  disaster  and  defeat.  Art  helped  Paris maintain a position as the place for culture, pleasure, fulfillment and  toleration,  a  playground,  where  passion, humour and even depravity touched refugees and rich émigrés alike.   Paris promoted experiment and indulgence in many forms of art and created more schools and leading artists than any other city or country. The talk reveals hidden links between  France,  the  United  Kingdom  and  the  United  States,  weaving  illuminating  threads  between the many artists, genres and movements that went on to inspire and influence generations of artists to come.

Across the late 1930s, with the build up of international tensions, artists began to leave Paris, many for the US. This displacement shifted the center of the art world decisively to New York. In the post-­war years Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and Minimalism each took up the baton of the European avant-­garde. UpDown Gallery’s America in Print show will open in February 2014.

To view the press release as a PDF, please click here: School Of Paris Press Release

» Go back