Germaine Richier (Centre Pompidou)
Centre Pompidou & Thames & Hudson, 2023
Germaine Richier (1902–59) occupies a central position in the history of modern sculpture. Predominantly working in bronze, her art revitalized the form of the figure, forging radical new images of men and women in the post-war period which blended the human body and natural forms in a hybrid of abstraction and figuration.
As the first woman artist to have a solo exhibition in her own lifetime at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, she held a unique position in the 1940s and 50s as a successful female career artist, exhibiting internationally and developing a style that has been largely overshadowed by the predominant male canon.
This major reassessment of Richier’s complete oeuvre establishes her key position within the artistic context of her time and, more broadly, her influential impact on 20th-century sculpture. Writers including Mika Biermann, Marie Darrieussecq, Maryline Desbiolles and Philippe Lançon, the philosopher Geneviève Fraisse, the anthropologist Charles Stépanoff and the artist ORLAN, evaluate the contemporary resonance of Richier’s creations, where her themes of identity, existence and our relationship with nature are increasingly relevant today. An anthology of the artist’s own writings, plus extracts from previously unpublished letters, complete this definitive volume, marking a long overdue appreciation of Germaine Richier’s distinct artistic originality.