From June 9th to the 5th of September 2011 – Musee du Louvre
This exhibition brings together some sixty works dating from the 15th century to the present day. Organized in five sections, it illustrates the essential role of paper in the art of drawing, and demonstrates the range of its aesthetic potential, be it white, colored, transparent, oiled, ribbed, watermarked, cut, torn, distressed, or recycled.
The first section is devoted to colored papers: pink, with works by Botticelli, Degas, and Robert Barry; blue, with works including a drawing by Lavinia Fontana; and oils on paper, a very popular medium from the 18th century onward.
The second section explores the metamorphoses of paper: composite sheets by Rubens, glued paper by Braque and Picasso, gouache cut-outs by Matisse…
The third presents papers chosen for the effects they can create (made on demand or produced to meet the requirements of a specific graphic technique), together with papers reused by artists (such as the back of a cut-out print, or a piece of playing card).
The fourth section is devoted to transparent and transfer paper, with works by Le Brun, Cross, and Pierre Buraglio.
The final section is almost exclusively devoted to late 20th-century works—superimpositions by Claude Viallat, plaited canvases by François Rouan, and distressed papers by Miquel Barceló and Christian Jaccard.