rbis pictus

The world in pictures. The world in motion.

A new gallery pening in Paris

Only art can apprehend and capture what matters to us and our planet. On October 18, 2019, Galerie Orbis Pictus, the place for a “world in pictures”, will open its doors on 7, rue de Thorigny, right next to the Picasso Museum in Paris.

Opening exhibition
From October 18th to December 21st, 2019

Lumière : autre terre

Joseph Sima

Joseph Sima

Henri Michaux

Henri Michaux

Inaugurating this new Parisian gallery with an exhibition of “Joseph Sima and Henri Michaux” is no accident. The two artists died several decades ago and meet for the very first time in this duo show. However, the same galleries represented them in the 1960s; they lived in neighbor apartments in the same street in the 1940s; and they both left their country and moved to France in the 1920s.

Both artists, one Czech and the other Belgian, were Parisian by adoption. In their time, Paris was still an inspiration for artists all over the world as it was a cosmopolite, international and free city! Galerie Orbis Pictus has set for mission to reconnect with this tradition, in keeping with our admirable predecessors of 7, rue de Thorigny, Thessa et Jacques Herold. In the course of their 25-year long career in the Marais district, they presented a large selection of artists from all over the world, including which Sima and Michaux. This exhibition is a tribute to them.

Joseph Sima (1891–1971)

Joseph Sima was born on March 19, 1891, in East Bohemia. After studying painting in Prague, he moved to France, his adoptive country, in 1921. To some briefs exceptions, he remained in the capital city until his death in 1971. Between 1928 and 1932, he built a reputation as the main painter of a dissident surrealist group named Le Grand Jeu, and the author of dreamlike works as well as enigmatic portraits and landscapes. He became the favorite illustrator of Pierre Jean Jouve, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes and Roger Gilbert-Lecomte. In 1939, he left Paris for Midi and came back only in 1945, working as a cultural attaché for free Czechoslovakia. In 1949, shortly after the communist coup in Prague, and more than 10 years later, he quit his position to go back to painting, which became darker and more underground, with touches of light in abysmal compositions. Once again, he regained a reputation as a masterful painter of light and shadow, especially thanks to the bookseller and gallerist Jean Hugues and his Parisian gallery Le Point Cardinal. In 1968, three years before his death, the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris held his first retrospective exhibition. In his native country, he is considered one of the most talented (and best priced) Czech painters of the 20th century, next to his Parisian compatriots Mucha, Kupka and Toyen.

Joseph Sima

© Archive Aline Sima-Brumlik

Henri Michaux (1899–1984)

Henri Michaux was born on May 24, 1899, in Namur, Belgium. He moved to Paris, his adoptive city, in 1924, where he remained until his death in 1894, with long interruptions during faraway trips in South America and China. In spite of his spontaneous surrealist work, he took distance with the Breton group early on to follow his own path, remaining deliberately independent during his whole career as a poet and painter. Quickly recognized as a poet and essayist, he struggled to convince conservative circles that his drawings and paintings on paper were more than mere sketches by a poet looking to illustrate his writing. Instead, they were logical continuation of his creative and even visionary researches, enhanced by the consumption of hallucinogens like mescaline, LSD and hashish. By merging writing and painting into a single discipline loosely inspired by Chinese calligraphy, he is a pioneer in the history of European modern art. It was only in the 60s that Michaux was recognized as a great international artistic figure and a magician of visual art. His first retrospective exhibitions took place in Amsterdam and Geneva in 1964, followed by the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 1965, the Guggenheim in New York and then all throughout the world. At its opening, the Centre Pompidou dedicated him a major exhibition in 1978.

Henri Michaux

© Photo Brassaï Archive Michaux