Camille Bombois’s Fillette à la poupée, 1925, currently on display at Paris's Musée Maillol. Photo © Jean-Louis Losi © Adagp, Paris, 2019

The Maillol Museum welcomes more than 100 works from the world of the so-called “naïve artists”. Also called “modern primitives” by the art collector and critic Wilhelm Uhde (1874-1947), one of their fervent defenders, these mavericks renewed painting away from the avant-garde and academicism.

Brought together for the first time in Paris, their works shed light on an inter-war period in the history of art that is often overlooked. Based around Henri Rousseau and Séraphine Louis, ‘Les grands maîtres naïfs’ also showcases other artists such as André Bauchant, Camille Bombois, Ferdinand Desnos, Jean Ève, René Rimbert, Dominique Peyronnet and Louis Vivin.

The exhibition goes beyond the biographical accounts that have for a long time been the only source of information about the naïfs. A selection of revolutionary paintings from major public institutions (Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Orangerie, Musée Picasso, Centre Pompidou, Lille Métropole, Kunsthaus Zürich, Kunsthalle Hamburg) and private collections explores each artist’s inventiveness without overlooking the links they maintained with pictorial tradition and contemporary art.

By crossing historical, analytical and sensitive approaches to the works and their presentation to the world, the Maillol Museum hones in on the subversive dimension of naïve art, celebrating the primitive, modern or anti-modern artists who went against the grain.

Until January 19 at the Musée Maillol
59-61 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 22 59 58
Full price ticket is 13,5 euros.
The museum is open every day from 10:30am to 6:30 pm. Open late on Fridays until 8:30 pm.

From France Today magazine