Jean-Michel Sanejouand


Born in Lyon in 1934, died in Baugé-en-Anjou in 2021.

« Picasso used to say: what prevents any artist from doing whatever he wants? Duchamp ironized: one cannot ask a painter to have a new idea every ten years. Picabia affirmed that it was necessary to know how to change ideas like a shirt to have clean ideas. Coming a long time after these joyful companions, I was at ease. Thanks to them, I would be able to behave normally. Wrong! Today, more than ever, an artist in a free state is perceived as a threat.
-Jean-Michel Sanejouand
Born in 1934 in Lyon, appeared on the French art scene in the 1960s with his pioneering series of « Charge-objets », died in 2021, Jean-Michel Sanejouand lived in Vaulandry, near La Flèche (Sarthe), after having lived in Paris from 1959 to 1995.
Since 1962, the self-taught artist, trained in law and political science, has developed successive bodies of work in which his sense of experimentation and formal freedom are continually expressed. Between 1962 and 1967, he created the series of « Charge-objets », notably exhibited at the 1965 Paris Biennale. Between 1967 and 1974, he conceived the « Organisations d’espace », notably in 1968 at the Galerie Yvon Lambert and for the exhibition Le Décor quotidien de la vie en 1968: expansions et environnements at the Palais Galliera (organized by Pierre Restany), then in 1969 at the Kunsthalle de Berne then directed by Harald Szeemann. From 1968 to 1978, he realized the « Calligraphies d’humeur », a set of figurative and comic sketches, often erotic, in contrast to the aesthetics of the time. Continuing the « Organizations of space », a set of works taking into account the public space and the urban planning are worth him to be present in the exhibition-summary of the conceptual art Information in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1970, then exposed to the Guggenheim Museum in 1972. In 1978, he began the « Espaces-Peintures » that the Galerie de France exhibited in 1982, a body of work closed in 1986. Then came the « Peintures en noirs et blanc » (1986-1992), followed by various sets of paintings and sculptures, including the series of paintings « Espaces-Critiques » (2002-2008), which proposes a reformulation of the work by depicting in imaginary landscapes the meeting of recent sculptures and earlier works, and finally the series « Espaces & Cie » (2009-2019). In 1995, the Centre Pompidou devoted a retrospective exhibition to him, an exercise that the FRAC Pays-de-la-Loire undertook in 2012.
Selection of solo exhibitions
Spaces and Company, Telmah Gallery, Rouen
Operation Contact, Galerie kreo, Paris
Beyond Color, Art : Concept, Paris
Un peu d’espace(s), Art : Concept, Paris
Jean-Michel Sanejouand, Charges-Objets, Mamco, Geneva
Les Organisations d’espaces (1967-1974), La Box, ENSA, Bourges
Retrospectively, Hab Galerie, Hangar à bananes, Nantes, and Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou
Calligraphies d’humeur, Musée de l’abbaye Sainte-Croix, Les Sables d’Olonne
Jean-Michel Sanejouand, Frac Île-de-France, Paris
Question Peinture, Chez Valentin Gallery, Paris
Retrospective 1963-1995, Centre Pompidou, Paris
Espaces-Peintures 1978-1986, Museum of Modern Art, Villeneuve-d’Ascq
Retrospective: from Charges-Objets to Espaces-Peintures, Octobre des arts, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lyon
Espaces-Peintures 1978-1981, Galerie de France, Paris
Tables of Orientations, Germain Gallery, Paris
The Organizations of spaces of Sanejouand, National Center of Contemporary Art, Paris
Les Organisations d’espaces de Sanejouand, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
Two Organizations of spaces, Sonsbeek 71, Dordrecht
Two Organizations of Spaces, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris
First Organization of Space, École Polytechnique, Paris
Selection of group exhibitions
Gigantism, FRAC Hauts-de-France, Dunkerque
Being stone, Zadkine Museum, Paris
Art in Europe 1945-1968-Facing the Future, ZKM, Karlsruhe
A New Festival 2015: Air de jeu, Centre Pompidou, Paris
What is French Art, Crac Midi-Pyrénées, Labège Innopole, Toulouse
Venice Biennale, French Pavilion, Venice
Amsterdam, Paris, Düsseldorf, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
72/72, 12 years of contemporary art in France, Grand Palais, Paris
Information, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Art Concept from Europe, Bonino Gallery, New York
Arts according to plans, Kunsthalle, Bern
Art Objectif, Galerie Stadler, Paris
Biennale de Paris, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris
Chicken 20 NF, Yvette Morin Gallery, Paris
La Leçon des choses, Galerie du Ranelagh, Paris