charles ratton, the invention of the "primitive" arts
from tuesday 25 june to sunday 22 september 2013
- East mezzanine
- Collections ticket
- Philippe Dagen, art historian and Professor of the history of contemporary art at the University of Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne
- Maureen Murphy, senior lecturer at the University of Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne
around the exhibition
visits, catalogue and events related to the exhibition
About the exhibition
This exhibition gives an opportunity to highlight the view of Charles Ratton, an expert, dealer and collector who changed the history of the way “primitive” art was received, by promoting objects which moved away from the taste for “negro” art that had prevailed up to that time.
His close involvement in the museum world and his scientific curiosity, shown in the richness of his archives, helped his expertise to flourish. His activities as an expert, and the exhibitions he organised, contributed to the shift in status of works from Africa, America and Oceania: from anthropological study objects to works of art in the 1930s, then masterpieces in the 1960s, in France but also in the United States.
The portrayal of his links with the artists (the Surrealists, Dubuffet) and photography (“documentary” and artistic photography: Man Ray) helps to highlight this shift towards art and history. The exhibition of objects from the “Early Periods” enables us to appreciate the nuances and context of Charles Ratton’s taste for objects which were ultimately an “entertainment” for him, the earlier illuminating the later and vice versa.