While going through the correspondence addressed to Georges Folmer (1921–1966), a letter from Jean Gorin (1899–1981) to his friend in June 1959 catches our eye : “I hear that you have met an art critic who is interested in geometric art. That’s an event these days !”
In 1961, the Groupe Mesure was formed, its name chosen by Georges Folmer. His idea was to unite geometric abstract artists from the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles around this group. It was also like entering into resistance, due to the lack of room geometric abstraction was allotted in France, as shown by the fact that the Groupe Mesure had only one exhibition in France at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, in March 1961, as opposed to eight in Germany from 1962 to 1965. These artists were committed to reviving the spirit of the Bauhaus, the application of art to everyday life.
This first exhibition already included the works of the members of the Groupe Mesure committee : Georges Folmer, Jean Gorin, Pierre-Martin Gueret, Roger-François Thépot, Léo Breuer and Luc Peire. In addition, there were works by artists who spontaneously responded to Folmer’s request, such as Marcelle Cahn, Günter Fruhtrunk and Aurélie Nemours, among others. The exhibition had a total of 17 participants. At the curator’s request, and to signify the connection between Groupe Mesure’s artists, a tribute was paid to Auguste Herbin (1882–1960) and Frantisek Kupka (1871–1957).
A fervent defender of the geometric cause, Folmer rightly made it a point of honour to demonstrate the importance of geometric abstraction and its application in our daily lives. This is what he wrote in June 1961 when presenting the Groupe Mesure at the Frankfurt exhibition : “In seeking to take its place, by tradition as much as by opportunity, Geometric and Constructive Formal Art comes into contact with practical reality. It proposes solutions which, while retaining the character specific to their functions, give the elements in question a look, an artistic direction specially studied and appropriate to these elements.”
It seems important to us, within the gallery, to continue to highlight this trend by sometimes returning to historical events, but also to show that it continues to progress today with the works produced by our contemporary artists.
We will propose a non-exhaustive presentation of the works by artists who participated in Groupe Mesure events, such as Marcelle Cahn, Georges Folmer, Günter Fruhtrunk, Jean Gorin, Bernard Lassus, Aurélie Nemours and Roger-François Thépot. In addition, we will present works by our contemporary artists, notably Jean-François Dubreuil whose monograph has just been published.