Dumonteil Contemporary is pleased to present the most important monographic gallery exhibition of Etienne-Martin's work since his death on 21 March 1995. More than 20 works, including several monumental ones, will be exhibited, representing an important part of the diversity of Etienne Martin's work.
An immense sculptor, and winner of the grand prize for sculpture at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966, including artists such as Julio Le Parc, Robert Jacobsen, and Lucio Fontana. He was elected to the Académie des Beaux-arts on 17 June 1970, in the Sculpture section in Armchair V, which now belongs to Jean-Michel Othoniel, who paid him a vibrant tribute at the time of his reception.
Etienne-Martin is considered by most to be France’s greatest post-war sculptor during his lifetime. Participating in Documenta V in 1972, he has since been celebrated by the most prestigious institutions. Among these the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris through its permanent collections, the Center Georges Pompidou which devoted a very important exhibition to him in 2010, followed in 2011 by an exhibition at the Musée de la Cohue in Vannes, but especially the major exhibition of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon in 2012 “The Atelier of Etienne Martin”.
A contemporary of New Realism, Pop Art and Minimal, Étienne-Martin's work remains resolutely isolated. From the beginning until the end, his work was marked by experimentation, the use of materials that were a priori foreign to the world of sculpture and a complex spiritual quest, opening up new perspectives for contemporary art.
—— Extracts from Texts by Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon
for the exhibition L'Atelier d'Etienne-Martin, 2012
His work is also part of the permanent collections of International Museums and Foundations such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Pierre Gianadda Foundation among others.
His work is marked by abstraction, expressionism and experimentation. His favourite materials are bronze and wood of different species. He also uses fabrics and ropes, notably for Le Manteau (1962), which made the artist widely known and is the first fabric sculpture in the history of modern art. He mixed the genres of sculpture and architecture, which went hand in hand with a taste for the monumental, especially in the second half of his artistic life.
This first exhibition, which will be followed by others both in France and abroad, is intended as a summary of the essential aspects of his work. Subsequent thematic exhibitions will highlight the diversity of his work.
Dumonteil Contemporary is therefore very honored and pleased to present in this month of October 2022, so rich in artistic events, an exhibition that will be one of the most important of the gallery season in Paris. More than 20 works, including several monumental ones, will be exhibited, representing an important part of the diversity of Etienne Martin's work. This exhibition is the first step in the rebirth of the work of Etienne Martin.