At Galerie Pierre Loeb, anno 1953

I just came across the above picture by Denise Colomb and I thought I shared it as it reminded me of the pre-covid days. Normally the coming week would have been an exciting few days in Brussels with collectors from the whole of Europe flocking to Belgium for the winter Bruneaf and the BRAFA art fair at Tour&Taxis. While both events will take place (the fair on location in participating galleries), the travel restrictions, curfew, and closed restaurants and bars will make social get-togethers as above impossible. How we miss them!

Denise Colomb was in fact the artist’s name of Denise Loeb, sister of Pierre Loeb, the famed art dealer. The above photo was taken as his gallery in Paris in 1953. From left to right we see the abstraction lyrique group members Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jacques Germain (the painter, not the dealer!), Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Pierre Loeb himself, Georges Mathieu, and Zao Wou-Ki. Hanging on the wall we see a Sepik hook, mask and shield, next to a painting by Riopelle. The abstraction lyrique art movement in fact was born not long after the Liberation of Paris in mid-1944. At that time, the artistic life in Paris, which had been devastated by the Occupation and Collaboration, resumed with numerous artists exhibited again. I’m optimistic too, that when all current restrictions on our lives will be lifted again, we’ll finally be able to start with our roaring twenties!