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Noted French experimental writer Michel Butor, having taught in many countries around the world, was teaching at the University of Albuquerque in 1973-74 when he began a long series of communications and collaborations with French poet and Post-war School of Paris painter, Camille Bryen.
The two men exchanged letters, drawings, paintings and collages over the course of their correspondence, which were later published in a book, “Bryen: En Temps Conjugués.” Blandine Chavanne, director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes) is curating an exhibition of their work during this period and will speak about the men and their project in a lecture Feb. 4 at the Santa Fe Art Institute.
Admisson is $10 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors.
Author and curator Chavanne was named director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes) in 2006.
After earning her Diplôme d’études appliquées in fine arts in 1978, Chavanne received a Diplôme from l’Ecole du Louvre in 1982 and became the curator of the City of Poitiers Museums until 1991.
After 10 years as a consultant for museums to the DRAC Bourgogne and the General Inspectorate of Museums of France (in charge of contemporary art), in 2001 she took the direction of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy (Museum of Fine Arts in Nancy).
Chavanne is particularly interested in the art of the 20th and 21st century and has curated numerous shows and exhibitions.
Bryen was born in Nantes, France in 1907. At 19 years old, Bryen settled in Paris and in 1927 published his first book of poems, “Opoponax,” followed in 1932 by “Expériences.”
Bryen was a multi-disciplinary artist, making drawings, collages and graffiti as well as writing poems. In 1934, he exhibited for the first time at the Galerie Au Grenier in Paris (“spontaneous” drawings and collages).
In 1935, with Arp, Magritte, Max Ernst and others, he took part in the surrealist exhibition at Louvières, Belgium.
Bryen exhibited his first tachiste painting, “Cire et bougie,” at the Salon des Surindépendants in 1936. In 1937, he signed the Dimensionist Manifesto with Arp, Kandinsky, Picabia, Marcel Duchamp and Robert Delaunay and exhibited at La Cachette with Picabia, Cendrars and Duchamp.
In 1945, he took part in the surrealist exhibition at Brussels and in 1946 he participated in the first Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris, where he exhibited again in 1947 and 1948.
Bryen had a one-man show in 1947 at the Galerie du Luxembourg, Paris, where he and Georges Mathieu also organized an exhibition of the Psychic Non-Figuration movement, entitled “L’Imaginaire.”
A second exhibition of the group was held the following year at the Galerie Allendy. Bryen participated in the “Black and White” exhibition in 1949 at the Galerie des Deux-Iles, where he held a one-man show the same year, presented by Audiberti ( Pierres poliées).
He took part in the exhibition of “Grands Courants de la Peinture Contemporaine” in Lyons.
In 1950, Bryen exhibited at the Galerie des Deux-Iles and the Galerie Pierre, Paris. He took part in the exhibition “Véhémences Confrontées” (1951, Galerie Nina Dausset, Paris), with Hartung, Capogrossi, Mathieu, Pollock, Wols and others, presented by Michel Tapié.
A large retrospective, with more than 100 of his works, was held at Nantes in 1959. Bryen died in 1977.
Born in 1926 in Mons-en-Baroeul, France, Michael Butor, a French novelist and essayist was one of the leading exponents of the “nouveau roman” (“new novel” or “antinovel”), the avant-garde French novel form that emerged in the 1950s.
In addition to his four novels and numerous volumes of poetry, his publications include several mixed genre works which include “Mobile, Réseau aérien,” “Description de San Marco, 6 810 000 litres d’eau par seconde, Intervalle,” as well as the five-volume “travel” series published under the collective title “Le Génie du lieu,” the writing and publication of which has spanned his career (“Le Génie du lieu,” “Où,” “Boomerang,” “Transit,” “Gyroscope”). Butor has also been a prolific literary and art critic and has been involved in hundreds of collaborative ventures not only with other writers, but also with artists, photographers, composers and filmmakers. His exploration of issues relating to genre has resulted in the production of texts, which combine fact and fiction, prose and poetry, words and images and language and music.
In addition to the various interviews given to critics and academics over the years, many of which have been collected in the recent three-volume set edited by Henri Desoubeaux in 1999, Butor has sanctioned the publication of several extended interview series given respectively to Georges Charbonnier, Madeleine Santschi, Michel Launay, Christian Jacomino, Andre Clavel, Béatrice Didier and Lucien Giraudo.