In 2010, in Normandy, the idea was born to create a major event to celebrate one of the major trends in art history: impressionism. Following one edition after another (2010, 2013, 2016), it has become one of the most important artistic events in France. Today, Normandie Impressionniste offers a multidisciplinary festival which celebrates artistic creation from impressionism to the present day.
For its fourth edition, in 2020, presided by Erik Orsenna, Normandie Impressionniste is celebrating its tenth birthday and reinventing itself with a new approach initiated by its general curator, Philippe Piguet. The 2020 edition is not offering a single theme for all of its events, but rather a versatile driving force, rich and open to interpretation: A new day, a new colour. It is through the prism of this pictorial revolution of colour that the impressionists seized their everyday lives and the subjects associated with the evolution of society at the time: the industrial revolution and its social, economic and urban consequences, along with – in its wake – the flourishing of a new social class and practices (e.g. leisure activities, collections). It is around this guiding principle that the projects suggested by various organisations in Normandy – museums, art centres, dance centres, associations – have been selected by the academic and artistic advisory board of Normandie Impressionniste.
Just like the artistic movement, which encouraged a new way of seeing and thinking about the world, the ambition of the fourth edition of the festival is to reveal the contemporaneousness of the movement, which, in turn, is firmly set in its time.
From 2018, Normandie Impressionniste has wanted to show that it had renewed its proposition, mobilized actors and provided iteself the means to increase attractivity. While preparing its next edition, Normandie Impressionniste tries to create, structure and highlight the territory artistics resources during transitional years.
A trip to Normandie Impressionniste
With a serie of videos produced in partership with Beaux-Arts Magazine, Normandie Impressionniste proposed a virtual trip to Normandy during Summer 2018 to discover or rediscover the territory through impressionistic works coming from norman museums' collections.
"Prewiew" week-end on 13th and 14th October 2018
On the occasion of that week-end, events showing the program's diversity have been organized in four big norman museums : the musée des Beaux-Arts of Rouen, the musée des Beaux-Arts of Caen, the musée des impressionnismes Giverny and the musée d'art moderne André Malraux in le Havre. Events such as a meeting with the filmmaker Agnès Varda, a workshop with the cartoonist Marie Jaffredo, a debate with curators Jean-Hubert Martin and Philippe Piguet, a drawn chronicle by Christelle Téa, movies projections and museums visits have set the tempo of those two days and gave a sneak look of the fourth edition, that took place from 4th July to 15th November 2020.
Armada 2019, Razzle Dazzle #4 by Jean-Baptiste Sauvage
Initiated by the Dans le Sens de Barge collective and coproduced with Normandie Impressionniste, Razzle Dazzle #4 is a wandering work that travelled between two regions (Normandy and Île-de-France) in 2019 and made a stopover in Rouen for the Armada 2019. Painted directly on the hull of a Undinelux 1960 boat, Jean-Baptiste Sauvage's work echoes the theme that impressionists liked to paint that was sailing. It was inspired by camouflage patterns called Razzle Dazzle, which were created by french and english artists on the boats of the allied fleet during World War 1 in order to protect ships from submarines' shoots in preventing the ennemy to estimate precisely their position, their volume, their speed and their direction.
Paul Signac, Le Phare de Gatteville, v. 1934, huile sur carton, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin