June 18 to December 15

Françoise Gilot

Shaping Freedom Through Abstraction

Françoise Gilot (1921-2023) established a life-long career as a painter and printmaker through a distinct, intuitive style inspired by her memories and the subconscious. She emerged as an artist in the 1940s and spent much of her career in France. After 1970, she began working in the United States as well. Gilot’s surroundings often affected her work, and the transatlantic move inspired an artistic freedom in her process, aesthetic, and subject matter.

Gilot refused to be limited within her craft, and so she continually challenged herself. Her creative output included paintings, drawings, lithographs, monotypes, mixed media, and costumes. These various mediums offered countless outlets to explore her visual vocabulary.

Her compositions depicting familiar figures and objects of the everyday elicit a dynamism through the way she manipulates line, space, form, and color. Her mastery of these formal design elements combined with her various subject matter allowed for myriad ways to process and express her perspective.

In her body of work, she often delved into themes of mythology, irony, time, and relationships. Working in abstraction allowed her to investigate multiple understandings in a work simultaneously. Her abstract compositions also challenge the viewer’s perception and invite them to find their own interpretations.

This exhibition features a selection of Gilot’s works alongside archival materials dated from the 1970s through 1990s from the Berman Museum’s permanent collection and Françoise Gilot Archival Collection.