Aimée Moreau
Nature morte (Still Life), 1975

  • Aimée Moreau (Paris, 1926)
  • Nature morte (Still Life), 1975
  • Oil on canvas, 48 x 58 cm
  • Acquisition, 1976
  • Inv. 1976-061
  • © Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne

After leaving school in Paris, Aimée Moreau studied art privately in the same city, devoting herself entirely to painting from the mid-1950s on. She has painted from life every day since, working to a timetable set by her family duties for over sixty years. Most of her paintings are still lifes, produced in studios in her various family homes, first in the United States from 1961 to 1971, later in Geneva and in Greece during the summer months.

The artist methodically arranges household objects on a table or shelf in her studio before meticulously painting them in oils. She works in series, one composition leading to another, regularly reusing the same objects in different paintings, sometimes in almost exactly the same arrangement. She paints cleaning products and kitchen utensils, plastic packaging and supermarket jars – items often dismissed as merely functional, industrial, and throwaway, but all part of our everyday experience, especially for women. Devoid of the symbolic or ironic overtones often associated with paintings of this kind, her still lifes offer a glimpse of household labour.

Nature morte depicts a brush balanced on a plain wooden crate. Behind the brush is the dustpan in painted metal, propped against a wooden wall. The limited palette foregrounds the humblest details: the flaking white paint on the dustpan shows the blackened metal beneath, the loop of red string at the end of the brush handle, and the splinters on the rough wooden crate. Moreau brings the same painstaking sense of detail to every surface and volume, eschewing theatricality to bring out the simplicity of the objects and their

Bibliography

Barbara Zürcher, Aimée Moreau, exh. cat. Altdorf, Haus für Kunst Uri, Chur, edition Z, 2021.