Jean Fautrier. Hostages (Les Otages), 1942 from Fautrier l'enragé. 1949

Jean Fautrier Hostages (Les Otages), 1942 from Fautrier l'enragé 1949

  • Not on view

Fautrier's career was upended in 1943 by his arrest for participating in the Resistance movement. Once released, he took refuge in a psychiatric hospital in the suburbs of Paris, where his friend, writer Jean Paulhan, arranged for him to have a studio space. There he created his Hostages (Otages) series, inspired by the tormenting experience of hearing Nazi troops abuse and execute prisoners in the forest surrounding the asylum. Comprising anonymous, featureless heads and abstracted floating torsos, Fautrier's hostages were described by the writer and politician André Malraux as "the most beautiful monument to the dead of the Second World War."

Gallery label from Soldier, Spectre, Shaman: The Figure and the Second World War, October 24, 2015-March 20, 2016.
Jean Paulhan
Etching and aquatint from the supplementary suite of twelve etchings (eight with aquatint) and one aquatint
plate: 11 x 10 3/16" (28 x 25.8 cm); sheet: 19 5/16 x 14 13/16" (49.1 x 37.6 cm)
Librairie Auguste Blaizot, Paris
Jean Fautrier, Chatenay, France
Monroe Wheeler Fund
Object number
© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Illustrated book
Fautrier l'enragé
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

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