A life of workshops
From November 11, 2022
to April 2, 2023
100 bis rue d’Assas – 75006 Paris
The sculptor Ossip Zadkine and the painter Valentine Prax, his wife, spent almost forty years together, from 1928 to 1967, in the house, the studios and the garden of the rue d’Assas. Forty years is precisely the age that the Zadkine Museum is celebrating this year. The museum opened in 1982 in this same place, thanks to Valentine Prax’s bequest.
To celebrate this anniversary, the museum presents the exhibition “Ossip Zadkine. A Life of Workshops”, which takes the visitor to the heart of the two artists’ studios.
Nearly one hundred works make up the exhibition, which includes a fine selection of Zadkine’s masterpieces, including an exceptional loan, as well as rarely shown paintings by Prax and numerous previously unpublished photographs, some by great photographers such as André Kertész and Marc Vaux. It occupies all the rooms of the museum in a renewed scenography, which evokes the “spirit of the studio”.
Zadkine in his studio rue Vaugirard, with the painter Foujita
Gelatin silver print, 11 x 16 cm
Paris, musée Zadkine © Adagp, Paris, 2022
For forty years, the walls and trees of this house have witnessed the daily life and creation of the artist couple. For forty years, the Zadkine Museum has preserved and promoted their respective works, and more particularly that of the sculptor, the architect of the 20th century sculpture revival.
At once a physical place and a mental space, as much a nest, a shelter as an observation post, this home-workshop unfolds as a habitat for the works. The stage of creation, it also serves as the setting for Zadkine’s and Prax’s memoirs, and as a backdrop for the many photographs that are part of the museum’s archives today.
The exhibition Ossip Zadkine, La Maison-atelier is an opportunity to reveal some of these precious testimonies and thus to offer the public an embodied evocation of the two artists’ studio. In a game of mirrors, the photographs are associated with sculptures, paintings and drawings by Zadkine and Prax, mainly from the museum’s collection, to make their place of life and creation appear as a whole; for “as much as a piece of the world, the house is a world in itself: the one that its owner carries in his head and that it materializes” (Mona Chollet, Chez soi: une odyssée de l’espace domestique, 2015).
From the first workshops that Zadkine populated with his sculptures upon his arrival in Paris to the garden studio that the sculptor had built for himself after the war, the exhibition’s path follows a chrono-thematic principle. An introductory section recounts the first workshops in which Zadkine lived and worked, in the heart of the Montparnasse district. The second section is devoted to the house-workshop on rue d’Assas where he settled in 1928 with Valentine Prax, whom he had married in 1920. The third and final section offers a glimpse into the creative process and the bustle of studio life.
Zadkine in his studio, rue Rousselet, leaning at Formes féminines
Gelatin silver print, 24 x 17,7 cm.
Paris, musée Zadkine © Adagp, Paris 2022
Cécilie Champy-Vinas, directrice du musée Zadkine; Pauline Créteur, chargée de recherche à la BnF