Current exhibitions

Exhibition : Joe Downing (1925-2007)

 Unterlinden Museum

The Story of Aircraft

 Musée du jouet

Exhibition Margaritifera, the pearl bearer

 Musée d'Histoire Naturelle

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Exhibition : Joe Downing (1925-2007)  

Adress :
Place Unterlinden, 68000 Colmar

Descriptif lieu

In 2009, thanks to Emmanuel Wardi, the Musée Unterlinden received a collection of around one hundred works by the American painter Joe Downing, with whom he was a companion. The recent death of Emmanuel Wardi (2021) is an opportunity to pay tribute to his generosity towards the museum. From 23 February 2022, the Musée Unterlinden will present a group of works (30 collages, works on paper, paintings, sculpture) by Joe Downing. Born in 1925 in Tompkinsville (Kentucky), Joe Downing moved to Paris in 1950, then the capital of the artistic avant-garde. The small oil paintings on paper of his beginnings are gradually emptied of all figuration to give way to gesture and colour. Collages and staples became the laboratory for the painter's future creation. Joe Downing joins the painters of "lyrical abstraction" for whom the apotheosis of the gesture translates the freedom regained in post-war Paris. He works his paint with a knife, a razor blade or a finger, making successive subtractions by forming reliefs and cursive lines. While the 1960s saw a return to figuration in France, Downing pursued the path of abstraction. Returning to the use of the brush, his paintings evolve towards broad gestures where we find the oval forms of his collages. After moving to Provence in 1968, his canvases are broken up into a multitude of coloured parcels, reminiscent of Byzantine mosaics and Seurat's divisionism. Early in his work, cut-out leathers appear, painted and nailed onto wooden supports, whose appearance evokes primitive totems. Driven by the vital need to give a second life to the objects in his environment, Downing works on the most varied of supports. This quest for new materials, which he continued until his last years, shows the endless inventiveness of a painter fascinated by the poetic power of colour.

Jours d'ouverture et horaires

From May 2nd 2022 to August 29th 2022


Public ciblé
  Adults (individuals)



  Rates adults : 11-15 € children12/17 years old : 8-10 €


Place Unterlinden, 68000 Colmar

Nearest Station : 2

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 Place Unterlinden

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