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Artists and their works go on show in Geneva

Photographs of leading 20th century artists at work in their studios are on show in Switzerland, alongside some of their paintings. "The Artist's Eye" opened in Zurich and has now been transferred to Geneva.

This content was published on February 7, 2000 - 12:37

Photographs of leading 20th century artists at work in their studios are on show in Switzerland, alongside some of their paintings. "The Artist's Eye" opened in the exhibition centre of Sotheby's in Zurich and has now been transferred to Geneva, where it can be seen at the Banque Edouard Constant.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is the collection of Francois Meyer, who has been collecting and taking photographs of artists since 1973. "I had always been interested in art," he says, "and wanted to discover who was behind the paintings or sculpture."

The idea for the exhibition, which runs in Geneva until March 8, emerged from conversations with art historian Caroline Lang of Sotheby's. "We wanted to show original works from private collections so that people would be able to see the eye behind the artist and the work of art he created," she said.

Because the paintings are from private collections, some are rarely on public view. In the photographic portraits, the artists are seen facing the pictures they created, so that they seem to be looking at their own works.

Francois Meyer said most of the artists he approached were pleased to co-operate. Some sessions were brief while others were over a number of days, giving him the chance to get to know his subject. "I have particularly fond memories of spending a long weekend with Roy Lichtenstein at his studio in Southampton, New York State, taking photographs, talking, swimming and walking with him along the beach."

The exhibition also features photographs taken by Denise Colomb, Jacques Betant and Michel Sima, and where possible they have a connection with the works of art. For example a Picasso sculpture of an owl is near a photograph of the artist looking at the camera with owl-like eyes and holding an owl in his arms.

By Richard Dawson

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