mixed media on canvas: 92 x 73 cm; signed ‘doucet’ (l.r.)
on verso: signed and dated ‘Jacques Doucet, 1990’,
and numbered ‘3F.92 73’.
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Jacques Doucet was born in Boulogne-Billancourt in 1924. While he was a teenager, he was passionately fond of poetry and painting. In 1941, Jacques Doucet visited the poet and painter Max Jacob in the Saint-Benoit-on-Loire. The two men bound friendship. “His judgement was all in subtlety, said Doucet later, but I understood in the complexity of his criticisms that one should ask himself questions continuously”. Max Jacob encouraged Doucet to paint.
Initially influenced by Klee, Miro, Matisse or Picasso, his work was marked by humour and play. With Atlan, he was one of the only French painters to maintain at the end of the war, relationships with the Belgian, Dutch and Danish experimental groups. He belonged to the Dutch group “Reflex”, adhered to “Revolutionary Surrealism”. In 1947, Doucet met Corneille in Budapest. In this city, the same year was organized his first personal exhibition. Jorn and Dotremont with Doucet were cofounders of the movement Cobra (COpenhague, BRussels, Amsterdam) created in 1948. The artists of the movement exalted experimentation and vitality, approaching the poetic libertarian. Cobra, as a true laboratory of artistic experiments, was used for the blossoming of individualities.
From 1944, Doucet took part in many French collective exhibitions (Salon of Automn, Salon of Surindépendants, Salon of May, etc) and international ones (Amsterdam, Liege, Brussels, etc).
Doucet found quickly his own style in painting: abstract, round and knowingly soft forms, in generous and tarnished pastes, encircled with thick black features. The artist also carried out important works on paper: lithographs, gouaches, collages, drawings. He created paperboards for the tapestry.
From cruelty to pure state, Jacques Doucet’s work was offered to one who deserved it. Work without concession, without pretence, recognizable between all, Doucet kept in mind all his artistic life long, advises Max Jacob gave him at the beginning. However, his work never ceased evolving.
Jacques Doucet died in Paris in 1994. The gallery Ariel (Paris), in 1997, organized a great retrospective of his work.
According to historical records, the Monte Pascoal, one of Pataxó indigenous reserve today, would be the first Brazilian territory sighted by Pedro Alvares Cabral and his crew on April 22, 1500, the date of the discovery of Brazil.
Since its discovery to the present, the history of the Pataxó people denotes numerous attempts of acculturation exercised by creating artificial villages where the natives have been transferred from different indigenous groups and where they had to learn to speak the Portuguese language (or language invented by the Jesuits on the basis of a Tupinambá vocabulary and Portuguese grammar), thus losing their original language, their way of life, their beliefs.
The need to return to themselves an ethnic authenticity brought Pataxo to reinvent their own language, the Patxohã (or the warrior Pataxó language).
Jaski Art Gallery, ‘Jacques Doucet’ , with text by Corneille, 1992, illustrated in colour.