1012 Budapest, Várfok u. 11.
Friday, 26th. November, 2021 from 18.00 to 20.00
The exhibition is open from 27th. November, 2021 to 12th. February, 2022, between 11.00 and 18.00 from Tuesday to Saturday.
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In line with current Coronavirus restrictions, visiting our current exhibitions is only allowed with an immunity card.
The legendary artist of the Várfok Gallery’s artist circle, Françoise Gilot (b.1921, Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France), celebrates her 100th birthday this year. The Várfok Gallery will pay tribute to the artist with a large-scale, retrospective exhibition, opening on Gilot’s 100th birthday, 26th. November, 2021.
The exhibition, showing works from all periods of the artist’s career in celebration of decades of tireless talent, will include outstanding paintings from private collections, monumental floating canvases, as well as works on view for the first time in Hungary – all securing Françoise Gilot’s place in art history, further demonstrated by the fact that her works are held in renowned public collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Françoise Gilot’s painterly career, spanning almost 80 years, is a story of triumph, her oeuvre gradually taking its rightful place over the last decades. She has fought many battles to shed the title of “Picasso’s muse” and to be recognised by the profession as a first-rate artist in her own right. Her art traces its roots back to the revolutionary heyday of the twentieth century where she was in direct contact with such notable personalities of the time as Braque, Matisse, Paul Éluard, André Breton, Aragon, Cocteau and Robert Capa. The exhibition will also exhibit Capa’s famed image of Gilot and Picasso taken in 1948.
Since 2000, the Várfok Gallery has staged several solo exhibitions of Gilot’s unparalleled œuvre and it is proud to be the only European gallery to maintain a personal relationship with the artist and to show the largest collection of her work available in Europe.
Endre Rozsda, the Hungarian-born surrealist painter, is to be thanked for Gilot’s joining the Várfok Gallery’s artistic circle. The Várfok Project Room will commemorate this legendary artistic relationship with the exhibition titled, ‘I’m Dreaming about Françoise: The Friendship of Françoise Gilot and Endre Rozsda’. Telling a story through photographs, paintings and drawings, the exhibition will hope to recreate the sophisticated language that Gilot and Rozsda spoke to each other – the most beautiful expressions of mutual understanding in painting, the eternal imprints of a lifelong friendship.
Françoise Gilot is the last eyewitness to the art of the last century. The exhibition honoring her at the Várfok Gallery is a journey back in time seen through her person and her painting.
This exhibition is sponsored by the National Cultural Fund.
Special thanks to the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center for the Robert Capa photograph: Pablo Picasso with Françoise Gilot and his nephew Javier Vilato, on the beach, Golfe-Juan, Vallauris, France, August 1948 © International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos
1921, b. Neuilly-sur-Seine (F)
1921 Born November 26th., Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris (F).
1938-1945 Studies philosophy, literature, law and, of course, art (Académie Julian, Academy of Fine Arts, Paris under Jean Souverbie).
1939 Meets Endre Rozsda for the first time. Oil painting becomes prominent in her work.
1943 First exhibition with ’Geneviève’ (Galerie Madeleine Decre). She meets Pablo Picasso.
1945 Meets Nicolas de Staël and the Réalités Nouvelles artistic group.
1946 Moves in with Picasso in their house in the south of France. Meets Matisse.
1947 Birth of her first child, Claude Picasso.
1949 Her second child, Paloma, is born. The gallerist, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, signs an exclusive contract with her; she is one of only two women artists to have a contract with the gallerist.
1952 Gilot’s first solo exhibition at the Galerie Louise Leiris. She makes her first lithographs, considered by her as ’real works’ at the Atelier Mourlot. The positive feedback encourages her to continue with an enriched palette. Other foreign galleries contact her.
1953 Gilot and Picasso separate for good. In September she moves with the children to Paris.
1955 Gilot marries Luc Simon.
1956 Birth of her daughter Aurélia.
1957 Rozsda is back in Paris where they meet again. In spite of Picasso’s influence, the Parisian Galerie Coard signs a contract with her.
1959 She accepts the invitation of the Atelier Mourlot to make another series of lithographs.
1960-62 First trip to the USA. She divorces Luc Simon at the end of ’61.
1964-1968 Her book, ‘Life with Picasso’, is published in several languages. Gilot resided in an artist studio in Chelsea, organised by the director of the Tate Gallery in London. She continues to have numerous exhibitions in the USA and in England.
1969 She meets Dr. Jonas Salk in ’69 who she marries in ’70. Gilot moves to the USA, but frequently returns to Paris.
1975 Publication of her second important book, ‘The Look and the Mask’, in which she details her own artistic development (meanwhile two books containing her poems and her illustrations are also published).
1978 She designs a new signature monogram. She is decorated with the officer grade of the French Republic’s Ordre des Arts et Lettres.
1980-86 This is the period of her ’floating paintings’. Mostly important retrospective exhibitions follow up, i.e. at the Musée Picasso. In ’82 she obtains her doctor’s degree (Honoris Causa) at the Hofstra University of New York.
1988 She is decorated with the commander grade of the French Republic’s Ordre des Arts et Lettres.
1990 Her book, entitled ‘Matisse & Picasso, a Friendship in Art’, is published in the USA (1992 in France).
1995 After the death of her husband, she moves from La Jolla (California, USA) to New York where she is elected member of the National Academy of Design of New York.
1996 She is decorated with the officer grade of the French Republic’s National Order of Merit. Her book, entitled ‘1946, Picasso and the Rediscovered Mediterraneum’ is published (F).
1998 First trip to Budapest on the occasion of Endre Rozsda’s retrospective exhibition at the Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle).
2000 First solo exhibition at the Várfok Gallery in Budapest; the first step in a long term cooperation. The first big monograph about her art is published.
2004 Publication of her book, ‘In the Arena with Picasso’ (F). It is translated into Hungarian the next year.
2009 She is decorated with the officer grade of the French Republic’s National Order of the Legion Honour.
2010 During this year several retrospective exhibitions open: in the USA (mainly of her early works); in Japan (Fondation Chanel | Nexus Hall, Tokyo; Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Kasama City); in Slovenia (Galerija-Muzej Lendava) and in Hungary (Municipal Gallery of Pécs).
2011 Besides the exhibition at the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz (D), a retrospective-like show opens at Várfok Gallery exhibiting about 50 paperworks. Françoise Gilot celebrates her 90th. birthday.
2012 One of the leading galleries of the world, the Gagosian Gallery in New York, organizes a joint exhibition of Gilot and Picasso entitled ‘Picasso and Françoise Gilot: Paris-Vallauris 1943-1953’.
2015 Publication of two books about Françoise Gilot: ‘Die Frau, die nein sagt’ (‘The Woman Who Says No’) is published, first in German and later in English. Another, co-written by Gilot and Lisa Alther, entitled ‘About Women: Conversations Between a Writer and a Painter’ is also published.
Gilot’s cooperation with the American Ballet Theatre for whom she designs a monumental artwork for the company’s piece entitled ‘After Effect’.
The unique artworks of Françoise Gilot, exhibited by the Várfok Gallery at the artKARLSRUHE International Art Fair in Germany, attract great interest.
2016 Auction success continues at Sotheby’s. In June, her exhibition opens at the Várfok Gallery.
2018 Parallel to the Várfok Gallery’s exhibition, TASCHEN publishes the book titled, ‘Françoise Gilot. Three Travel Sketchbooks: Venice, India, Senegal’, which contains facsimile editions of Gilot’s sketchbooks made in Venice, India and Senegal.
2019 Her solo exhibitions open at the Elkon Gallery in New York and the MacGryder Gallery in New Orleans.
2021 At Sotheby’s auction in London, ‘(Women)Artists’ showcases some of the most prominent women artists of the past 400 years, Gilot’s 1965 painting, ‘Paloma with Guitar’, achieves a record price of more than €1 million, making the work the most expensive picture sold at the auction. Annie Maïllis’ documentary, ‘Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot’ is released.
Gilot celebrates her 100th birthday. A solo exhibition opens in the Musée Estrine in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, conferences take place at the Musée de Montmartre in Paris and the FIAF French Institute in New York. The exhibition of the Várfok Gallery in Budapest and Christie’s in Hong Kong open on the 26th of November, Gilot’s 100th birthday, and the centenary year will continue in the United States during 2022.