Published: January 22, 2002
NEW YORK CITY – Wildenstein will host an exhibition of 40 oil paintings by the French artist Charles Lacoste from January 30 to March 2.
This elegant artist was a good friend of such painters of the Nabis contingent as Édouard Vuillard and Félix Vallotton, as well as the Symbolist writers André Gide and Francis Jammes. His highly poetic art cannot be neatly classified.
Composed primarily of landscapes in which the very essence of a scene is captured without any extraneous detail, in its flat decorative patterns it betrays the influence of Japanese prints.
Charles Lacoste was born on March 3, 1870 in Floirac, a village near Bordeaux. His father – the subject of the Nabi “L’Approche du solstice d’hiver” (Arrival of the Winter Solstice) of 1899 – was an accountant, while his mother was descended from plantation settlers with roots in Hai-ti. At Bordeaux’s Grand Lycée, he befriended the Symbolist poet Francis Jammes and the collector and art patron Gabriel Frizeau (one of Odilon Redon’s champions), two figures who would play a major role in the development of his career.
Lacoste, by his own account, was essentially self-taught. Settling in Paris in 1899, he had his first one-man show there the previous October at the Salon des Cent. Beginning in 1901, he exhibited often at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants; two years later, he helped establish the first Salon d’Automne (where he regularly showed his work until 1956).
In December 1904 Gide introduced the artist to Eugéne Druet, whose prominent gallery organized some 30 Lacoste exhibitions between 1905 and 1938. A major traveling exhibition of his paintings took place in Paris, Beau-vais and Bordeaux in 1985, followed by a monographic show at the Galerie Katia Granoff in Paris in 1992.
The present show is the first exhibition of Lacoste’s works to be held in America.
The exhibition is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. Wildenstein, 19 East 64th Street, can be reached at 212-879-0500.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm