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Masters of the Tondo. International exhibition 2012


  • Espace Claude Lemand 70 avenue Jean Moulin Ave Paris, IDF, 75014 France (map)

On the occa­sion of its eighth inter­na­tional exhi­bi­tion enti­tled Masters of the tondo, the Galerie Claude Lemand will dis­play the paint­ings of 18 con­tem­po­rary artists. Coming from dif­ferent geo­graphic, cul­tural and aes­thetic back­grounds, they all chose Paris, London or New York as their cap­ital of life, cre­ation and inter­na­tional growing suc­cess, whether it be tem­po­rary or per­ma­nent.

Artists. Shafic Abboud, Pat Andrea, Assadour, Dia Azzawi, Farid Belkahia, Abdallah Benanteur, Mahjoub Ben Bella, Jorge Camacho, Saul Kaminer, Joël Kermarrec, Mohammad O. Khalil, Kim En Joong, Manabu Kochi, Bengt Lindström, Najia Mehadji, Mario Murua, Antonio Segui, Vladimir Velickovic.

History and Continuty of the Tondo
The use of the round format goes back to the ori­gins of painting, both in the East and in the West. Beyond its tech­nical and sym­bol­ical speci­fici­ties and the variety of the tondo’s aes­thetic and social func­tions, it fur­ther­more encom­passes all the trends of modern and con­tem­po­rary painting.

It is true that many artists never felt the use or the attrac­tion to explore this shape and some even loathe it, as they feel they cannot grasp it and instead, they need angles and marks. The tondo also desta­bi­lizes many ama­teur artists who wrongly assim­i­late it with the oval shape, some­times used for bour­geois por­traits. In the clas­sical era, tondo painting cor­re­sponded in some instances to the con­straints of archi­tec­ture or inte­rior design from public and pri­vate com­mis­sions.

However, from 1900 onwards, many painters were drawn by the tondo because of its ideal shape and its formal chal­lenge in having to adapt one­self to its specific fea­tures, just like during the Renaissance period. Some have dis­cov­ered through the tondo the revival of their art and the per­fect channel for their artistic expres­sion, by including in it con­cen­tric cir­cles, an eye, a dish, a target, our planet seen from space…

In Europe, some of the most impor­tant mas­ters dis­tin­guished them­selves in tondo painting, from Jean Maluel (1400) to the painters of the Italian, Flemish and Dutch Renaissance, without omit­ting the great artists of later cen­turies, from Goya and Delacroix to Ingres with his iconic Bain turc, Monet with his sig­na­ture Nymphéas (1907), Delaunay (1911), Picasso, Metzinger, Kandinsky (1923), Léger, Gleizes, Gorin, Bolotowsky, Herbin…

After 1940, a con­tin­uous re-emer­gence of the tondo took place, with Glarner, Pollock, Riopelle, Hantai, Zao Wou Ki, Villeglé, Stella, Télémaque, Rancillac, Wesselman, Tovar, Lichtenstein, Estève, Corneille, Doucet, Alechinsky, Viallat, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, Honegger, Belkahia, Sam Francis, Zenderoudi, Jaffe, Benanteur, Kim En Joong, Kuroda, Rougemont, Madi, Shimi, Kuroda, Klasen, Camacho, Vedova, Azzawi, Lindström, Kermarrec, Franta, Le Parc, Morellet, Kapoor, Mitchell, Velickovic, Koraichi, Titus-Carmel, Schlosser, Skira, Keita, Khalil, Haring, Corpet, Favier, Kaminer, Kochi, Hirst, Mehadji, Abboud, Andrea, Segui, Paladino, Rondinone, Castaneda, Sahli, Afjehei, Ehsai, Derakshani, Assadour, Baalbaki, Ben Bella, Pasqua, Takashi Murakami, Zhang Huan, Kaws, Bharti Kher, … and many other painters from all around the world, whom we con­tinue to dis­cover throughout exhi­bi­tions and auc­tions.

Translated from French by Valérie Hess.