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In Aix-en-Provence, Raoul Dufy's intoxication with color is turning the Hôtel de Caumont upside down

The Hôtel de Caumont is honoring the work of Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) through more than 90 works. An opportunity to discover the Provencal palette of the Norman painter until 18 September 2022.

This is one of the key exhibitions this summer: Raoul Dufy, l'ivresse de la couleur explores the works of the French painter and his link with Provence. Through hundreds of paintings, the Hôtel de Caumont in Aix-en-Provence offers until September 18, 2022 an original journey between the blue of the sea and the ochre of the earth.

From Normandy to Provence

A native of Normandy, Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) was initially influenced by the Impressionists before following the example of Matisse and his friends, whom he accompanied in the Fauvist adventure. Like them, he used a palette of bright colours and a very free drawing.

It was in 1908, during a sort of initiatory journey to the south of France in the company of Georges Braque, that Raoul Dufy strolled through Cézanne's lands. "At the beginning, he is really someone who is in love with colour, following in the footsteps of Monet and Boudin, then he continued with the Fauves who taught him another form of colour. But he is also a great draughtsman", explains Sophie Krebs, curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition allows us to discover the artist in different media: from oil to watercolour and drawing, via engraving and ceramics.

The Electricity Fairy goes digital

Raoul Dufy's career took a radical turn when, in 1937, the organisers of the International Exhibition in Paris contacted him to commission him to create monumental decorations for the site. The Electricity Fairy came out of Dufy's head and hands to decorate the slightly curved wall of the hall of the Palais de la Lumière et de l'Électricité, built by Robert Mallet-Stevens on the Champ-de-Mars. An immense fresco as much by its dimensions as by its subject. An ode to modernity on 600 square meters that tells the story of electricity and much more.

Now on permanent display in the hall of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the fresco is impossible to transport but is reborn in Aix-en-Provence thanks to the magic of digital technology. The Culturespaces agency, which specialises in immersive art, was responsible for animating the work. "The idea is to offer a digital and immersive Electricity Fairy accompanied by a commentary that allows us to understand the complexity of the composition of this fresco", explains Ana Debenedetti, exhibition director at Culturespace.

This large painting presents several levels of reading. While the main focus is on the scientists who contributed to the advent of energy, on the upper part the painter has scattered his favourite themes: sailboats, swarms of birds, a threshing machine and a Bastille Day ball. The immersive work in motion allows you to fully immerse yourself in the colours and lights of Raoul Dufy.

Exhibition "Raoul Dufy, l'ivresse de la couleur" at the Hôtel de Caumont in Aix-en-Provence until 18 September 2022.

Photo : Midi libre. Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur.

Source : FranceCulture

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