LES ANNÉES 55-60 : L'AVENTURE AMÉRICAINE

1955-1957

Pillet part pour les Etats Unis enseigner à l'université de Louisville, Kentucky, puis à l'Art Institute de Chicago pour deux ans. Il y fait œuvre de défenseur de l'art français contemporain et prononce plusieurs conférences sur ce thème.

Dans l'ouvrage " The world of abstract art " il présente les courants de l'art constructif, de l'abstraction lyrique, de l'impressionnisme abstrait en France qu'il illustre d'œuvres de ses contemporains. (Soulages, Mathieu, Vasarely entre autres).

 
Au contact des milieux artistiques américains et d'un contact privilégié avec Jakson Pollock, sa peinture va évoluer vers plus de lyrisme et de graphisme. Six expositions marquent son séjour aux Etats-Unis. Entre autres à la Rose Fried Gallery, à New York, à la Zoe Dusanne Gallery à Seattle et au Cliff Dwellers de Chicago.

Un de ses élèves, Léo Zimmerman édite un album de 8 offsets d'art de Pillet diffusé à 1000 exemplaires aux Etats-Unis, Japon et Finlande. Mais les milieux artistiques des Etats-Unis sont alors trop impliqués dans la promotion de l'Expressionnisme abstrait et de New York comme nouvelle capitale de l'art et Pillet décide de revenir en Europe.
 
 

France: Abstract Painting by E. Pillet 1957 (Extrait)

It is my firm conviction that we have now passed beyond the epoch of spectacular discoveries and that our own period is one of deepening and lengthening.

Since the time of impressionism, painting has shown proofs of vitality, of inventive power, of a spirit of discovery that are admirable, and may at first have seemed inexhaustible. We well know the series of transformations which occurred through the various and sometimes conflicting movements: an awareness of its own powers that led painting logically toward abstraction. In fact only a superficial view-point would regard the beginning of abstraction as an accident. Rather has it been the result (I would even say the foreseeable result) of a liberation of 'painting by painting' that started with freedom of color by the impressionists -- even before that with Turner, Delacroix, and a few others still more removed from us.

It should be noted, however, that it was with the impressionists that the whole thing really began; it was they who undertook the liberation of' color; they rejected the 'subject'; they abandoned pompous historical scenes to devote their attention to the most ordinary and everyday aspects of nature; seeing the tree merely as a colored mass, they were endlessly decomposing and recomposing these colors against a changing background (with equally varying hues) that is called the sky. Van Gogh and Cézanne further minimized the subject, painting artificial instead of real flowers, or even a pair of worn-out shoes. I imagine you will agree that such contempt for subject-matter undoubtedly heralded a time when the latter would be denied completely; when men would become aware of the specific power of color as color, or rhythm as rhythm, and of shapes as shapes.

Aside from cubism, in which the connexion is far too obvious, I think that Picasso's genius-mania for assassinating the appearance of things (to give them a supra-appearance instead) has ended not with the negation, but rather with the exaltation of the subject: the ultimate effort, the ultimate jump of the subject to hold us. Since his cubist period, all Picasso's work has expressed the final attempt, the last cry of nature to draw us back to her, in the same way as some people commit suicide to draw attention to themselves. This fascinating and derisive effort is one of the most winning aspects of Picasso's work.

 
 
1958-1960

L'Europe, aprés trois ans d'absence lui offre de nouveaux stimulants et de nombreuses expositions personnelles et collectives.

Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Salon de mai, Salon Comparaisons à Paris, Biennale de Turin, Expositions à Lisbonne, La Havane, Charleroi, Copenhague, Londres, Seattle et à la Galerie Craven à Paris.

 
Le Musée de Bielefeld (Allemagne) lui achète 2 toiles récentes Carrousel et Chicago mood et le Fond National d'Art Contemporain L'enclos (en dépôt à l'Ambassade de France à Canberra Australie) et Composition bleue.

Pillet poursuit sa double activité de peintre et de graphiste. Ses dernières recherches picturales le conduisent naturellement à s'exprimer en gravure. Les ateliers Lacouriére éditeront et diffuseront avec bonheur ses eaux fortes et aquatintes. On en retrouve certaines au musée d'Art moderne de New York et au Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.
 
 
 
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