Paintings and Drawings
January 03 – January 21, 1941
It is a difficult task to introduce a young artist to the public. One hesitates to dissect his work critically, to analyze his ambitions, and to classify him into a pigeonhole of a system of aesthetics. The best thing is to let him speak for himself. If he can do that in more than one way- that is, if he can express himself also by the spoken or written word as well as in his own medium- so much the better. Artists' letters have always had a great attraction for the art lover; it is astounding what originality and vigor we often find in them. A letter written to me by Jen Vigoureux about the ideas which are guiding him in his work seems to me to give an excellent introduction to his paintings. Therefore it may serve here instead of a more or less very aesthetic appreciation. It will no doubt be a welcome addition to the collection of artists' confessions in letters as we have them since the fifteenth century.
For general information about the artist it may be said that he was born in Paris in December 1907. Although he lived in various parts of France, his sole French subject has been Paris, the thrilling life of which he always liked. He travelled a little in Europe and spent two years in Indo-China, where he found in the rice fields and rubber plantations anough material for a series of drawings, some of which appeared recently in the December issue of Asia Magazine. He has spent the last three and a half years in the United States, and he says he feels that he can now begin to work on American subjects.
The works exhibited in the Goodspeed Galleries at the University of Chicago include a series of pen drawings illustrating in a striking, somewhat satirical way scenes from daily life in Paris and a number of more recent oil paintings in which the artist tries to solve certain problems of color, while the drawing continues in the striking manner of the earlier drawings. Mr. Vigoureux has had several other shows in the United States, among them one in the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco.