Exhibition ROUBAIX 2022

Exhibition opening
Critical reception
Roubaix 2022 VERNISSAGE

frGood evening to all of you,

First of all, I would like to thank all those who made this exhibition dedicated to my father possible: the City, the Region and, of course, the entire team of this magnificent Musée de la Piscine - André Diligent, starting with Bruno Gaudichon and Alice Massé. My gratitude also goes to the lenders of works, whether institutional or individual, to the Fonds de Dotation Boris Taslitzky and especially to its members who wrote texts for the exhibition catalogue, Christophe Cognet, who also wrote a film about my father, Nathalie Hazan-Brunet, Isabelle Rollin-Royer and Sarah Wilson, as well as all the other authors, Anissa Bouayed, Julie Constant, Didier Schulmann, the list is long, I can't name them all, but they have my gratitude.
As far as the Fonds de Dotation Boris Taslitzky is concerned, my gratitude goes to all its members. They agreed to take care of my father's work with me and after me: those I have already mentioned, but also his former students Anne-Françoise Couloumy and Denis Pérus, as well as Marie-Christine Auzou, Blanche Grinbaum-Salgas, Diane Royer and Laure Wolmark. I also want to thank Pierre Buraglio and the artists who agreed to exhibit in the counterpoint of this exhibition: Clause Vialat, Ernest-Pignon-Ernest, Najah Albukai.

Towards the end of his life, my father would hold his head in his hands and look at me and say "my poor child, what are you going to do with all this?" showing me with a wide gesture all the contents of his workshop. He was well aware that it would be a heavy burden. He knew that I would have to return his studio to the City of Paris and look for another place to keep his work. He was aware that although he was known in certain circles, he was not known to the general public. His greatest desire was to have his works entered into museum collections to be preserved and exhibited. Of course he sold many paintings and drawings to amateurs during his lifetime, but he was fully convinced that only museums could showcase his great social and political works and trace his career. A little before he died, he was still worried about "what are you going to do with all this", so I said "I'll take care of it". He looked at me and said "I know". It was a brief but intense exchange. A promise.

Since his death, I have been taking care of it, with the help and support of a few people close to me, in particular Marie-Christine Auzou who proceeded to the archiving and digitisation of all the drawings (about 17,500), Isabelle Rollin-Royer who initiated and organised the website dedicated to my father, and Sarah Wilson who has always been there to give me her advice.
I effectively returned the rue Ricaut studio to the City of Paris and found a new place in Montrouge to store and show the works. Paintings, drawings, the painter's main tools, his library - all these are preserved and distributed in several places.
Contacts were made, books were republished, exhibitions were held at the Museum of Jewish Art and History, at the Maison Aragon and Elsa Triolet, participation in collective exhibitions such as Les Trésors de Banlieues in Gennevilliers, Libres comme l'Art in Paris, Inferno in Rome. Engraved cement destined for destruction was saved in Levallois-Perret thanks to a collective mobilisation of Levallois residents and representatives of the world of culture, including in particular Bruno Gaudichon, who is present here, and Hélène Amblard, a journalist, who helped me to lead this fight. Works have entered museums: the Musée National d'Art Moderne, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme, the Musée de l'Immigration and the Musée de Denain.

And now, right here, in this wonderful museum that is La Piscine, this beautiful and large exhibition has been organised, which gives a broad account of my father's career. As it was not possible to show everything, the museum's management team chose to highlight the social and political aspects of his work, leaving, I hope, more intimate aspects for future exhibitions: portraits, still lifes and landscapes that he produced throughout his life.
I would like to stress that I am not defending my father's work out of mere filial piety. I am involved in it because I am convinced that it is a work of great artistic and historical value, spanning almost an entire century, which it reflects, with great attention always paid to individuals and to history, and with an intact sensitivity to all aspects of life. A life that he never stopped loving despite the tragedies he had to overcome. He said of himself that what characterised him was kindness. This term had to be understood in its noblest sense. Even though he had experienced the barbarity of men and had few illusions about the workings of the human mind and feelings, he always looked for the positive in others. He never minimised or forgot the offence, but still tried to be fair in his judgements.
I have always loved and admired my parents, both of whom I considered to be "good people" as the saying goes. Honest, upright, active, courageous, trying to put their actions in line with their convictions. I am proud of the values they left me and I thank them for it.

Today, in this splendid place of culture where this tribute is being paid to Boris Taslitzky, I feel proud of him and happy to be his daughter. I am sure that he too would have been happy with this retrospective. I think that this work has a lot to say to us today, that it is in no way a work of the past. It is undoubtedly the destiny of artists, of "real artists" as we sometimes say, that their works cross the years, the centuries, always being a source of creativity and reflection for the following generations. I am convinced that my father is part of that great family of artists capable of inspiring reflection and sparking a renewal in creation based on their own work. These artists are transmitters, referring themselves to their elders, bringing their own research, their own experience, and accompanying the following vocations in this long chain of references which constitutes the history of art, always renewed, never frozen, which owes a large part of its actuality to its past. Thank you for your attention.


Highslide JS
ROUBAIX, exhibition 2022, opening, speech by Évelyne TASLITZKY, © Alain Leprince
Highslide JS
ROUBAIX, exhibition 2022, opening, speech by Évelyne TASLITZKY
Highslide JS
ROUBAIX, exhibition 2022, opening, speech by Évelyne TASLITZKY, © Alain Leprince