Poisson d'avril


Acrylic on canvas

301 x 295.5 cm (118 1/2 x 116 5/16 in.)

In Poisson d'Avril (“April Fool”), a work in the Pinault Collection, Martial Raysse offers a terrifying yet comical vision of a childish practical joke. The pale woman covers her face as she is attacked by four men in disguise and a young boy who asks us to participate. Raysse’s radical gesture asserts his taste for carnival scenes. "Since my youth,” he says, “I have seen life as a nightmare punctuated by delightful moments."

Since the 1990s, Raysse, a major figure of the New Realism movement, has painted imposing compositions, poetic "frescoes" that function as allegories of humanity. He often uses the themes of carnival, popular farces or macabre dances to offer poetic critical distance from appearances, consumerism and politics.

Poisson d'Avril (“April Fool”) was first exhibited by the Pinault Collection in 2009 during the "Qui a peur des artistes ?" (“Who’s Afraid of Artists”) show at the Palais des Arts in Dinard.