[Francis Naumann]
Jacques Moitoret: Portraits of the Most Important and Influential Artists of the Modern Era” will open at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art in New York on September 13, 2006.  This is the artist’s first solo show in New York.

Andy Warhol, 2006
Oil on canvas panel, 20 ¾ x 26 ¼ inches

Marcel Duchamp, 2003
Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches

Max Ernst, 2005
Oil on canvas, 28 x 20 inches

This show is comprised of 19 paintings—portraits of artists (primarily painters) whom Jacques Moitoret believes are among those who have made the most lasting and significant contributions to the development of modern art.  Chronologically, they begin with three artists: Henri Matisse, the great colorist and, for many, the most important and innovative painter of the last century; Pablo Picasso, who rethought the linear and spatial dimensions of depicted space; and, finally, Marcel Duchamp, whose conceptual strategies changed forever the way we think about art and the art-making process.   As all-encompassing as these divergent approaches may seem, they ignore what is arguably the most important artistic innovation of modernism: abstraction.  In this regard, Wassily Kandinsky is the pioneer, followed almost immediately by Piet Mondrian and, later in the century, by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko.  The only female artist in the group is Georgia O’Keeffe, posed before her painting of an enormous flower, its circular form surrounding her head like a halo.

Henri Matisse, 2006
Oil on canvas, 25 x 35 inches

Young Pablo Picasso, 2005
Oil on canvas, 24 x 18 inches

Old Pablo Picasso, 2005
Oil on canvas panel, 30 x 20 inches

Jackson Pollock, 2005
Oil on canvas, 22 x 27 ½ inches

While these artists define major trends of modernism—both in America and in Europe—no one artist better exemplifies the more bizarre and eccentric aspects of Surrealism than does Salvador Dalí, whose portrait is placed in a misshapen frame, reflecting his famous distended clocks, seen in the background of the composition.  When Duchamp’s conceptualism is fused with the eccentricities of Surrealism, artists like Man Ray and Max Ernst emerge, but nothing earlier in the century quite fully prepares us for the conceptual rigueur that is so emphatically displayed in the paintings of Jasper Johns, or in the unabashed commercial content and serial imagery of Andy Warhol.  The series ends with a portrait of Jeff Koons, the controversial contemporary artist whose curious but captivating countenance Moitoret has depicted on a postage stamp of a million-dollar denomination (a reference, perhaps, to the shockingly high prices paid for his work).

Georgia O’Keeffe, 2006
Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches

Jasper Johns, 2006
Oil on canvas, 28 x 22 inches

Willem de Kooning, 2006
Oil on canvas, 38 x 28 inches

Wassily Kandinsky I, 2005
Oil on canvas, 17 ½ x 23 ½ inches

Wassily Kandinsky II, 2006
Oil on canvas, 19 ¾ x 23 ¾ inches

Mark Rothko and Wife, 2005
Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

Jacques Moitoret—who lives in a small town approximately 80 miles North of Seattle—acknowledges that the artists chosen in the present series represent his personal choices, and that they would surely differ in other parts of the world, or from person to person.  The exhibition will be accompanied by a boxed set of 18 color postcards, reproducing a photograph of the artist, and 17 of the paintings included in the show ($20 each). 

Salvador Dalí, 2005
Oil on canvas, 23 x 24 inches

Man Ray, 2005
Oil on canvas, 25 ½ x 21 inches

Piet Mondrian, 2005
Oil on canvas, 29 ½ x 23 ½ inches

Jeff Koons, 2006
Oil on board, 28 x 42 inches