From April 16, 2016
to May 2, 2016
For its eighth participation in the Salon des Antiquaires d'Antibes, the gallery chose to exhibit works in a particularly original and innovative stand thanks to a corner presenting the two new activities developed by the gallery: an art bookstore - Le puits aux livres - and a stand of exceptional framings. A particular light was brought to a collection of more than a hundred letters, some of them illustrated, testimony of a considerable epistolary exchange and of a close friendship between two major artists of the 20th century: Henri Person and Paul Signac.
Always anchored in the will to promote and highlight the production of artists from the South of France, the collection presented during this event, allowed the public, amateurs and collectors, to discover about forty landscapes, portraits and other scenes of life painted by artists such as Charles Camoin, René Seyssaud, Henri Manguin, Louis Valtat and Henri Lebasque, impregnated by the light and the southern spirit.
Paul Signac's correspondence with Henri Person
After the premature death of Georges Seurat in 1891, Paul Signac, tired of Parisian life and its "intellectual shit", undertook a journey by water: he left Bénodet in Finistère with Olympia, his boat, and sailed to Bordeaux, he then went up the Garonne and reached the Mediterranean through the Canal du Midi. After this long journey, he discovered a village with flamboyant colors and reflecting the very essence of the Mediterranean: Saint Tropez. He moved there in 1892, amazed by the beauty of the little port about which he declared "Here, I have enough to work for my whole life". He alternated between "La Hune", his villa where he invited Matisse, Marquet, Picabia, Dufy, Bonnard and other masters whom he tried with varying degrees of success to convert to Pointillism, Antibes and Paris for the Salon des Indépendants in the fall. The first decade of the 20th century was marked by the arrival of Henri Person in Saint-Tropez, at the request of Paul Signac. Fervent sailors, they sailed together to the rhythm of the French Riviera, at least twice a week and thus created close ties based on their common passions, art and sailing, but also on the sharing of an ideal of life. Henri Person, particularly attached, like so many other artists, to the sweetness of life as well as the warmth and beauty of the landscapes offered by the Mediterranean coast, undertook in 1922 the creation of a museum in Saint-Tropez: the "muséon Tropelen", considered as the first museum of modern art in France. This museum, which fell into disuse, became a few years later, thanks to the widow of Henri Person and the help of Georges Grammont, a great collector and wealthy industrialist, the Musée de l'Annonciade, now recognized for the quality of the works on display.
The Alexis Pentcheff Gallery in collaboration with the heirs of Henri Person, guardians of a true artistic treasure, offered the public the opportunity to discover a hundred letters written to Person by his friend Paul Signac.
Writings which are the testimony of a rich life led by these great masters of the painting of the XXth century. More than a simple artistic inspiration between two men, this correspondence that lasted more than 20 years (circa. 1905 - 1926, death of Henri Person) reveals the intensity of the shared relationship, through conversations revealing both the private aspects of their lives and their respective artistic careers that the love and deep respect they felt for "the big blue" and its shores.
A signing session of the monograph dedicated to Henri Person and published by the gallery was also organized within the corner Le Puits aux Livres - Librairie d'art by Pentcheff on Saturday, April 23, 2016 in the presence of Mrs. Marie-Aude Bossard, granddaughter of the artist.