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Gérard Cochet (1888-1969) at La Piscine

19 March —29 May 2022

In the same vein as the Jean Martin exhibitions: De l’atelier à la scène, Edouard Pignon: Du rythme entre les choses or Marc Chagall: L’épaisseur des rêves, this summer La Piscine will present a remarkable set of drawings of theatre and ballet costumes and scenery by the painter and engraver Gérard Cochet (1888-1969), brought together in Roubaix thanks to an exceptional donation from the family of the artist, granted to the museum in 2009.

Born in Avranches, Gérard Cochet grew up in Nantes. He took up painting at a very young age with his friend Amédée de La Patellière (1890-1932), while pursuing classical studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Nantes and then at the Académie Julian in Paris. After the First World War, where he was wounded and lost an eye, he began a successful career, marked by regular participations in exhibitions at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Salon des Indépendants, Salon d’Automne and Jeune Gravure Contemporaine.

Alongside his career as an engraver, his development as a painter brought him into contact with the Jeune Peinture Française school, whose most exemplary members include Dunoyer de Segonzac, Marcel Gromaire, Charles Dufresnes and their friends Yves Alix and Robert Lotiron. For the critic Claude Roger-Marx, this informal movement embodies a certain “French standard”. They created a renewed realism and assert a certain sensuality. Gérard Cochet became a painter of the landscapes and farmers of the Manche Department in Normandy, race tracks and bourgeois homes and would also regularly evoke the theatre and music that he loved so much and which is showcased in this exhibition, comprising costume and scenery designs for the plays Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost and Jules Massenet (1938), The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart (1939) and Amphitryon 38 by Jean Giraudoux and Marcel Bertrand (1944), which he collaborated with.

Committee made up of Patrick Descamps and Amandine Delcourt
Catalogue published for this exhibition

See also