« J’ai mieux aimé les tableaux que la vie »

Jean Planque

Alfred Manessier

(1911 – 1993)

Jean Planque’s encounter with Alfred Manessier goes back to 1952. It opened a new chapter in the collector’s life inasmuch as the artist’s non-representational canvases made him conscious of modernity. “The paintings I saw there seemed to me so comprehensible, so totally ‘true’ that suddenly, in the extreme emotional state in which I found myself, I had the presentiment of a truth, of a non-representational art that could express things better and more powerfully than representational art.” Planque owned a large painting by Manessier, Office des ténèbres (Tenebrae), “an entirely vertical painting, a reaching for height, for the sky, the soul seeking to break loose upward. The same soaring as in cathedrals, like Notre Dame which I contemplated at length this evening.” A few years later Planque parted with this canvas and kept only a small Composition by the artist for his collection.

Composition, 1953



18,2 x 32,5 cm

© 2017, ProLitteris, Zurich