Denise René

(b. 1919)

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(1919– )

French art dealer. She established her first gallery in the Rue La Boétie, Paris, in November 1944, soon after the city was liberated from the Germans, and in the years immediately after the war it was a rallying point for geometrical abstraction at a time when the type of spontaneous abstraction known as Art Informel was becoming dominant in France. This was typical of René's independence of spirit, for she followed her own interests rather than prevailing fashion (she disparagingly likened Art Informel to ‘flaking walls, decomposing flowers, and patches of earth’). In 1955 she mounted probably the most famous exhibition of her career—‘Le Mouvement’, the show that launched Kinetic art as a movement. A few years later her gallery became the centre of activities for the Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel, founded in 1960, one of the best-known associations of Kinetic artists. René also took the lead in promoting Op art in France (indeed Vasarely, the father of Op art, had been the subject of her first exhibition in 1944). During the 1960s her reputation became international and she organized several shows abroad. In 1966 she opened a second gallery in Paris, located in the Boulevard Saint-Germain, specializing in graphic art and multiples. This was called the Galerie Denise René Rive Gauche, while the original became known as the Galerie Denise René Rive Droite. In 1967 and 1971 she opened galleries in Krefeld and New York respectively, but she later closed these, retaining only the Paris galleries. In 2002 the Pompidou Centre held a special exhibition in her honour.

http://www.deniserene.com/historique.html Daniel Abadie on Denise René, on the website of the Galerie Denise René.

Subjects: Art.

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