A selection of works by the artists of the School of London is being held at the Dina Vierny Foundation in Paris until January 20th 1998.
It is the first time in France that such an exhibition of British figurative paintings has been taking place.
Works by Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Lucian Freud (born in 1922), Frank Auerbach (born in 1931), Léon Kossof (born in 1926), Michael Andrews (1928-1995), Paula Rego (born in 1935), Tony Bevan (born in 1951) and Celia Paul (born in 1959) are being shown in the small and attractive museum set up by Dina Vierny who was Maillol's favourite model.
All these artists are londoners and there works have been placed alongside those of expatriate artists such as Stephen Conroy (born in 1964 and now working in Scotland), Raymond Mason (born in 1922) who has been living in Paris since 1946, Bill Jacklin (born in 1943) now in the U.S and Ron Kitaj (born in 1932) who left London in 1997.
It was Kitaj who was the first to refer to the School of London during an exhibition titled « the Human clay » at the Hayward Gallery in 1976.
On this occasion Kitaj noted that while abstraction, happenings and transformations were triumphant there was a special trend towards figurative painting as well as a kind of obsession for the human figure among most London painters.
Each of them instilled a personal style in their works dissecting reality and the morphological attitude of models, expressionist and violent for Auerbach, haloed with dream and mystery for Andrews, coloured and graphic for Kitaj while Kossof seems much attracted by thick materials.
Bacon, now a legendary artist, was much concerned by human condition using derision to depict human figures always shown distorted so as to express anguish and solitude.
Contrary to Bacon's nudity of the soul, Lucian Freud seems fascinated by the nudity of bodies and proves to be a master in expressing sheer intimacy with no restrictions.