Carmen Gracia – ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’, 1964

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'Mythologies quotidiennes', 1964

The cover page of the catalog ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’, 1964

Carmen Gracia – ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’, 1964
Two additional important facts

‘Figuration Narrative, Paris 1960–1972’ retrospective in 2008

   From April to July 2008 the RNM – Réunion des musées nationaux and the Centre Pompidou organized the exhibition Exhibition Link ‘Figuration Narrative, Paris 1960–1972’ at the Grand Palais, with Jean-Paul Ameline and Bénédicte Ajac as curator.

‘Mythologies quotidiennes’, 1964

The Press Release for the retrospective in 2008 states:
“The ‘Figuration Narrative’ wasn’t proclaimed as a movement as such. It was established through the activity of the art critic Gérald Gassiot-Talabot and the painters Bernard Rancillac and Hervé Télémaque, who organized at the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris the exhibition Exhibition Link ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’ from July 1 – October 30, 1964.

   In the same year 1964 Pop Art triumphs at the Exhibition Link 32nd Biennale di Venezia and conquered Europe, with Robert Rauschenberg being awarded the Gran Premio. [by artist-info: ‘Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 54/64’ closed June 28, 1964 at the Exhibition Link Tate Gallery, London; the ‘Exhibition Link documenta III‘ opened on June 28, 1964, curated by Arnold Bode and Werner Haftmann].

   The 1964 Paris exhibition Exhibition Link ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’ reunited 34 [acutally 36 – see our research below] artists (Alleyn, Arnal, Arroyo, Atila, Berni, Bertholo, Bertini, Bettencourt, Beynon, Brusse, Buri, Cremonini, Dado, Fahlström, Foldes, Gaïtis, Geissler,

Gironella, Golub, Gracia, Kalinowski, Klasen, Kramer, Monory, Pistoletto, Rancillac, Raynaud, Raysse, Recalcati, Réquichot, Saint-Phalle, Saul, Télémaque, Voss) who, like their colleagues from the United States were focusing in their works on the contemporary society and related images.”
   In April – June 1977 followed Exhibition Link ‘Mythologies quotidiennes 2’ with 85 artists at the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, including 15 artists of ‘Mythologies quotidiennes 1’.
   Gérald Gassiot-Talabot explains in the accompanying catalogue the different intentions of the second exhibition.

   The exhibition ‘Figuration Narrative, Paris 1960–1972’ in 2008 and the accompanying catalogue is a profound retrospective of this period, including a long list of exhibitions and events throughout these years, including the important exhibition ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’, July – October 1964.

‘Mythologies quotidiennes’, 1964
Two important additional facts on the invited artists

   artist-info added group exhibitions of this period in December 2015 to its database and was looking closer to who was participating as artist at the important exhibition ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’ in July 1964.
   Our research did focus on two important issues of information on artists, missing in the 2008 retrospective.
1st Issue – Number of artists: The number of participating artists wasn’t 34 but 36.
2nd Issue – ‘Gracia’: As a custom way of exhibition information, the ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’ catalogue lists only the artist’s last name, without the first name. In this list appears the name ‘Gracia’.
Nobody could tell us the first name nor any biographical notes of this artist.

1st Issue – 36 instead of 34 artists

   In the foot note 2 of his text in the ‘Mythologies quotidiennes 2’ (28.4. – 5.6.1977) catalog Gérald Gassiot-Talabot refers to the exhibition ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’ in 1964 and mentions “… des artistes invités: [the 34 names] (hors catalogue: Yves Millet et Michael Warren)”.
Therefore the list of the 36 artists reads as follows

November 1, 2016
1964 CatalogOn CatalogOn
ALLEYNAlleyn, Edmund
(1931 - 2004)
(12)GOLUBGolub, Leon
(1922 - 2004)
ARNALArnal, François
(1924 - 2012)
(16)GRACIAGracia, Carmen
ARROYOArroyo, Eduardo
(76)KALINOWSKIKalinowski, H. E. [Horst Egon]
(1924 - 2013)
ATILAAtila, [Atila Biró]
(1931 - 1987)
(14)KLASENKlasen, Peter
BERNIBerni, Antonio
(1905 - 1981)
(18)KRAMERKramer, Harry
(1925 - 1997)
BERTHOLOBertholo, René
(1935 - 2005)
(17)Not in the catalogMillet, Yves
BERTINIBertini, Gianni
(1922 - 2010)
(43)MONORYMonory, Jacques
BETTENCOURTBettencourt, Pierre
(1917 - 2006)
(4)PISTOLETTOPistoletto, Michelangelo
BEYNONBeynon, Eric
(4)RANCILLACRancillac, Bernard
BRUSSEBrusse, Mark
(29)RAYNAUDRaynaud, Jean-Pierre
BURIBuri, Samuel
(34)RAYSSERaysse, Martial
CREMONINICremonini, Leonardo
(1925 - 2010)
(24)RECALCATIRecalcati, Antonio
DADODado, [Miodrag Đurić]
(1933 - 2010)
(32)REQUICHOTRéquichot, Bernard
(1929 - 1961)
FAHLSTRÖMFahlström, Öyvind
(1928 - 1976)
(115)SAINT-PHALLESaint-Phalle, Niki de
[Niki Matthews]
(1930 - 2002)
FOLDESFoldès, Peter
(1924 - 1977)
(14)SAULSaul, Peter
GAITISGaïtis, Yannis
(8)TELEMAQUETélémaque, Hervé
GEISSLERGeissler, Klaus
(5)VOSSVoss, Jan
GIRONELLAGironella, Alberto
(1929 - 1999)
(24)Not in the catalogWarren, Michael
About Leon Golub: His wife Nancy Spero and Leon Golub came to Paris in 1959 and went back to the United States in 1964.
See as well for Leon Golub our post Blog Post Influential Contemporary Art Exhibitions in the 20th and 21st Century, Exhibition Link New Images of Man, Sep – Nov 1959, Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized by Peter Selz.

2nd Issue – ‘GRACIA’ is ‘Carmen Gracia’

   The far more intriguing question was: who is Gracia?
Up to today in all the records for this period and for the ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’ exhibition only the last name ‘Gracia’ is listed.
   We very early came across the name Carmen Gracia, an artist born 1935 in Argentina, but couldn’t find any biographical notes on her neither in France nor in Houston (International Center for the Arts of the Americas, The Museum of Fine Arts) which would connect her to Paris of the 60s and in particular to ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’.
   We researched many exhibitions of this time in Paris. The archives of Gérald Gassiot-Talabot didn’t reveal any hint about Carmen Gracia. Then we continued to search outside France.
We finally were lucky to find Carmen Gracia in two catalogs of the Ljubljanski grafični bienale – Mednarodna Graficna Razstava (Exposition Internationale de Gravure) in Ljubljana, taking part at the 5th and the 6th edition of this biennial:
Exhibition Link Ljubljanski grafični bienale V – 1963 (together with an international selection of 332 artists) and Exhibition Link Ljubljanski grafični bienale VI – 1965 (together with an international selection of 396 artists).
   The biographical notes on Carmen Gracia in the biennial catalogs were a surprise and an answer to our question: Who is ‘Gracia’ in the exhbition ‘Mythologies quotidiennes’, 1964?
Née le 18 mai 1935 à Mendoza (Argentine). Études de peinture à l’Académie Provinciale des Beaux Arts et à l’École des Arts appliqués à Mendoza, et de sculpture à l’École Supérieure des Arts plastiques de l’Université de Cuyo. En 1960 voyage à Pairs. En 1965 boursière du Gouvernement Anglais. Fait actuellement des études à Paris à l’Atelier 17 chez Stanley William Hayter. Participe aux expositions de l’Atelier 17. Participation aux expositions de Paris (1e biennale de gravure), d’Ottawa, etc. Représentée dans des galeries à San Francisco et à Paris.

   Carmen Gracia was therefore very well connected in Paris in the 60s through Atelier 17 and studying there under Stanley William Hayter (1901 – 1988).

At Atelier 17 she met Jennifer Dickson (*1936) from London who introduced her work in England.
Through these contacts she met Anthony Gross (1905 - 1984), at that time head of printmaking at Slade School of Art in London.
Carmen Gracia became a full member of RE (Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers) in 1985.
(From an interview by Hatty Davidson with Carmen Gracia, published in the 'Autumn Newsletter 2014' of the Bankside Gallery, London)
Bankside Gallery Autumn Newsletter 2014

Bankside Gallery Autumn Newsletter 2014
Cover image by Carmen Gracia
'Inner Garden', colored etching
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