Brancusi – Brandt – Braque – Breton – Burne-Jones – Chirico – Coard – Cournault – Csaky – Derain – Dunand – Frank – Goya – Gray – Groult – Lalanne – Laurencin Léger – Legrain – Manet – Matisse – Mergier – Miklos – Miró – Modigliani – Mondrian – Picabia – Picasso – Man Ray – Rousseau – Seurat – Warhol
Jacques Doucet (1853 - 1929) and Yves Saint Laurent (1936 - 2008) were both creators of beauty and couturiers, each working during one half of the twentieth century. They were also brilliant collectors who composed extraordinary art collections for themselves. Both figures embodied the notion of “taste” for their era. Using a selection of masterpieces that were at one time collected by Jacques Doucet (1853-1929) and Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) as well as a few of which belonged to both of them, the exhibition imagines a unique space dedicated to the cult of beauty
Doucet and Saint Laurent, who were each in search of a certain absolute, created “collection spaces” in their homes, which formed singular exhibitions, veritable installations, and works in themselves. Many artists and works could be found in both apartments, including pieces by Braque, Brancusi, Chirico, Coard, Csaky, Derain, Duchamp, Gray, Legrain, Laurencin, Manet, Matisse, Miklos, Modigliani, Picasso, and Rousseau. In the way they combined, confronted, and passed on works, the art collections that Jacques Doucet and Yves Saint Laurent constituted dialogue with each other on a number of levels.
In the visionary setting of a personal gallery referred to as a “studio,” Doucet brought together some of the most important works in the history of modern art, from the Douanier Rousseau’s La Charmeuse de serpents to Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in addition to Brancusi’s Muse endormie II and Modigliani’s La Blouse rose. Beginning in the 1960s, Saint Laurent and Bergé established another collection of masterpieces. At 55 rue de Babylone, they constituted a new “living museum,” in which the so-called “primitive” arts, the great masters such as Goya and Picasso, and Art Deco furniture by the likes of Jean-Michel Frank coexisted alongside each other.
The visitor is at once in Jacques Doucet’s final home on the Rue Saint-James in Neuilly in 1928 and in the apartment owned by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé on the Rue de Babylone some fifty years later. The artistic spirit of these places forms the subject of this exhibition along with the underlying aesthetic stance, which can be summed up in a single phrase: the search for the perfect space. With a set and decor inspired by the atmosphere of these places, the exhibition proposes a hybrid space that leads the visitor from one salon to the author across a series of five rooms that mirror each other
Jacques Doucet - Yves Saint Laurent, Vivre pour l'art
Éditions Flammarion, 192 pages, 39 €