Boris Aronson, Rainier Lericolais - Sonate
In autumn 2020, the galleries Le Minotaure and Alain Le Gaillard, join forces with the gallery Thomas Bernard Cortex Athletico to present a three-part exhibition confronting two artists : Boris Aronson - a leading figure of the Jewish avant-garde of the 1920s, one of Broadway's most prominent theater decorators and winner of eight Tony Awards - and contemporary French artist Rainier Lericolais, author of visual, sound and spatial works.

Boris Aronson (1878-1973), son of the Chief Rabbi of Kiev, after the obligatory passage through the heder, frequented in the years 1917-18, the studio of the avant-garde artist Alexandra Exter known for her revolutionary theatrical scenographies and her completely futuristic costumes from the first science-fiction film Aelita (1924). Even before the First World War, he became one of the major figures of the Kultur-Lige, a movement for the emancipation of the Jews by the avant-garde, which was carried out through editorial and theatrical activity. After stays in Berlin and Paris, Aronson moved to New York in 1923 where he was immediately hired by Unzer Theater (Our Theater) in the Bronx - a small institution at the forefront of the avant-garde in the field of performance. His first production was a mural decorating the theater's grounds, a tribute to Marc Chagall, but also his own vision of the history of Yiddish theater. He was immediately noticed by Maurice Schwartz, stage manager of the Second Avenue Theatre, the most famous and largest theater in New York at the time. Aronson worked there until 1931, before being hired by Broadway where he had a brilliant career, directing sets, costumes and lighting for thirty-four plays and three musicals that won the ultimate American theatrical awards several times.

As for him, Rainier Lericolais - like many artists who began their career at the end of the 20th century - is marked by avant-gardes and modernity. His personal education is marked by the discoveries he made during the exhibition L'art conceptuel, une perspective (l'ARC, 1989), by stumbling upon the cover of Laibach's Panorama (whose aesthetics borrow from Kasimir Malevitch and John Heartfield), or upon a copy of Fragments d'un discours amoureux by Roland Barthes bought from a bookstore for the enigmatic detail of a painting by Verrocchio printed on its cover.

"Fascinated by a time he has not lived through" - as Thibaut de Ruyter, the author of the text in the catalog, sums up - he is a lover of old books, an avid collector of discoveries, always in search of material for his future creations. It may simply be papers cut out of fashion magazines that he will use in his collages, but also precise sources, historical anecdotes, which are subtly found in his works.

The exhibition proposed by the three galleries is not a tribute that Lericolais would pay to Boris Aronson, but an imaginary dialogue between these two artists, focused on three areas that are close to both of them. It is "an invitation to look at Aronson's works as if they were produced today, to observe those of Lericolais as if they were almost 100 years old. And if you decide to push the game a little further, you can also imagine that Lericolais is the author of some of Aronson's drawings (and vice versa). This will probably not please the fussy art historians, but it will allow amateurs to look again, otherwise, at what they think they know perfectly.

In the image of a play, or a sonata - music being a universe close to Lericolais - the exhibition takes place in three acts, or rather in three movements: in Thomas Bernard's case, the structures of Lericolais (works in volume, assemblages and collages) and Aronson's projects for theater sets will be grouped together; in Alain Le Gaillard's case, the studies for costumes in one and the drawings representing strangely deconstructed and fragmented characters in the other. Finally, at Galerie Le Minotaure, one of the emblematic figures of Jewish mythology, the Dibbouk, will resurface, whose legend inspired and inhabited the work and spirit of the two artists.The exhibition will feature almost a hundred works (paintings, works on paper, sculptures, mixed media) and will be accompanied by a bilingual catalog.