From Instantaneous to monumental
tribute to Jocelyne MAHler
Photographer and filmmaker, Jocelyne Mahler, born a few years before the start of the Second World War, passed away on November 13, 2020. Of Alsatian origin, she arrived in Caen in 1950 and was introduced to the world of images.
After her first short film “You will give birth in pain” in 1957, she will direct “Hell” which will receive a prize in Belgium in 1960.
In 1971, Jocelyne Mahler created the Regain group to promote Norman artists and the cultural world. It was in this context that she met Yvonne Guégan with whom she participated in numerous exhibitions in Würzburg before directing in 1992 a very beautiful film on her friend’s life.
In 2005, when Yvonne died, Jocelyne Mahler continued to preserve the memory of this multi-talented artist and in 2007 organized her first major retrospective “From Instantaneous to Monumental” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Saint-Lô.
There are many works presented in Saint-Lô that we are able to see today on the walls of the gallery to synthetically retrace the course of this faceted artist. Painter, ceramist, sculptor, passionate about working with the earth, fascinated by the monumental, Yvonne Guégan haunts us through her many achievements. She crossed the twentieth century happily, free, without concessions, crossing genres and expressions.
From paintings of the turmoil of the 1940s to watercolors of trips to his friend the Canarian sculptor Placido Fleitas, stained glass projects for May-sur-Orne, to those of the mural in the library of the University of Caen, we can better understand why Yvonne Guégan has become over time a living heritage.
At the start of the 1960s, the Caen cultural landscape was undergoing radical change. Modernity is gaining ground in all fields of art and is beginning to touch the public. […] Like Jo Tréhard and his team, Yvonne Guégan is one of those pioneers who changed the spirit of the city.
Around the same time, the Ministry of Culture became aware of the need to promote the visual arts and to help artists. He endows them with a social system and sets up an imposing public order policy. A new opportunity to experience an adventure, to explore other materials, other techniques, other constraints. Yvonne Guégan throws himself into it with a certain interest. With pleasure, almost for fun. Multiplying experiences, she tackles wall painting, wood mosaic, metal sculpture as well as tapestry, stained glass and ceramics … and a very pronounced interest in the monumental work seems to be at the origin of a real passion: that of ceramics.
An art, as much as a technique, where for more than forty years, Yvonne Guégan has been discovering an extension of her research, in relief, on the art of portraiture and a field of prospecting where her natural fantasy is expressed as fully as in the painting. […]
Gilles Boulan – 2007
Extrait du catalogue de l’exposition “Yvonne Guégan,peintures / dessins 1942-1992” du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen
“– What are you trying to give back, how do you go about saying everything?
– What I’m looking for is to create an emotion, a reaction on the part of the connoisseur and I am happy when he experiences what I wanted to put in my painting.”
Claude Yvon, Entretien avec Yvonne Guégan
Presse du Calvados le 4/02/1947
and even more...
Find below the press kit and the catalogue :