Sims Reed Rare Books×

Georges Mathieu. Catalogue [together with:] Original Maquette

Mathieu, Georges

Rio de Janeiro. Museu de arte moderna. 1959
The catalogue together with the original maquette for the same for Georges Mathieu's exhibition held in Rio de Janeiro in 1959.

The maquette is comprised of 20 pages and is illustrated with numerous pen and ink drawings by Mathieu. The design closely matches that of the finished printed catalogue which is also offered here.

The copy of the published catalogue, also present, is signed on the front cover by Mathieu and inscribed 'Pour Lucia'. The artist has also signed the first page 'Telman Kahn / 59 Mathieu' and added a flourish with a small drawing.

Georges Mathieu developed a highly distinctive Abstract Expressionist style, which grew out of an emotionally driven, improvised and intuitive act of painting. In 1947 Mathieu joined forces with Camille Bryen to organise an exhibition of the tachist-oriented work he designated 'non-figuration psychique'. The paintings of Mathieu's he called 'lyrical abstractions' are beyond the constraints of tradition and formal regulative systems, placing Mathieu with Fautrier and Dubuffet as an important exponent of French Informel. Up to 1951 Mathieu continued to organise group shows, using them to demonstrate as one of the first Europeans to do so the importance of American Abstract Expressionism. Georges Mathieu was particularly interested in Jackson Pollock and his spontaneous gestural handling of paint.

Somewhere between Happening and Action Painting, Mathieu succeeded in producing a decoratively linear painting reminiscent of calligraphy. Mathieu continued to perform his Action Paintings throughout Europe and, in 1957, in Tokyo to universal acclaim; his works were shown at special exhibitions in Paris and New York in 1950 and 1952. Mathieu participated in numerous international exhibitions, including documenta II in 1959.

The details of the maquette are as follows:

Front cover - fine pen and ink drawing by Mathieu with additional red strip collage.
Page 2 (blank); Page 3 -area ruled in black pen, marking the section for a photographic illustration in final printed catalogue. Also with Mathieu's manuscript accompanying text 'Mathieu devant la toile acquise par le Musée de Rio de Janeiro en 1951' (this text translated into Portuguese in actual printed catalogue).
Pages 4 - 5 - the artist has drawn parallel horizontal lines across the lower half of this double-page spread indicating where text is to be printed in the published catalogue.
Pages 6 - 7 - six small drawings by Mathieu, each executed in black ink - each designating the position of reproductions of paintings in the published catalogue. Each of the drawings is titled in ink and given a date of execution; these manuscript dates are reproduced in printed form in the actual catalogue.
Pages 8 - 9 - rectangular area ruled in black pen, marking the section for a photographic illustration in final printed catalogue. With Mathieu's manuscript text beneath, the title of the painting 'La Bataille de Bouvines 6m x 2m50, peinte à Paris en 1954'.
Pages 10 - 11 - horizontal parallel lines drawn in red pen across this double-page spread in the form of a triangle, indicating text to be printed in red in published catalogue.
Page 12 - Collage of drawing reproduction (alternate printing in final catalogue) - manuscript date in black ink beneath, with printed text collage.
Page 13 - fine pen and ink drawing by Mathieu, a sketch of his painting 'Maximilien d'Autriche' - the sketch drawn to indicate the position of a reproduction of the painting within the finished catalogue. Also with Mathieu's manuscript title for the same.
Page 14 - fine pen and ink drawing by Mathieu, a sketch of the painting entitled 'Yang' dated 1958. This is not reproduced in the published catalogue.
Page 15 - black and red pen and ink drawing by Mathieu, a sketch of his painting 'Guillaume Fier à bras, chef des aventuriers Normands' -with Mathieu's manuscript title for the painting, partly on a strip of collage. affixed over an erroneous title.
Pages 16 - 18 - parallel lines drawn to indicate position of text (the artist's activities in 1959 and list of museums with his work).
Page 19 - (blank).
Page 20 - the rear cover of the maquette with small pen and ink drawing on the outer edge.
[Catalogue / maquette: 10 unnumbered leaves, wrappers included]. 2 vols. Square 8vo. (Maquette: 214 x 204 mm; Catalogue: 208 x 194 mm). Original publisher's printed wrappers stapled as issued (catalogue) / original collage wrappers (maquette).

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