Paris Post-War: Art and existentialism 1945-55

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The Independent Online
Today, new men are coming to the fore - sometimes gropingly, hesitantly, for they are just emerging from the desolate night of the past. Yet already they recognize as their own domain this world which makes other men - men who were once its masters - despair and seek a pretext for closing their eyes. They do not believe it is vain to ask painting to make them 'admire the original', because for them this original wears the beautiful hue of the future and is not devoid of hope like Hamlet's 'sterile promontory'. And they

know how to hail beauty, real beauty, because in the face of the dying realm of shadows they are the heralds of reality itself.

From an article on painting in Paris by the critic Jean Marcenac, Magazine of Art (Washington) May 1950, Vol. 43 No. 5

Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55 at the Tate Gallery until 5 September.

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