For nearly four decades, Derrière le miroir (“behind the mirror” in French), the modern art periodical founded by Parisian gallerist Aimé Maeght in 1946, sought to make the work of significant postwar artists widely available. Its issues were primarily produced in Galerie Maeght’s printmaking studio, a collaborative workshop that served as a hub of creativity for artists and intellectuals alike. Each issue included original prints, usually lithographs. Artists worked closely with professional graphic technicians in the studio to develop experimental methods and techniques that best translated their painting, drawing, or sculptural practices to the printmaking medium. Because the prints were unsigned and unnumbered (most fine-art prints are produced in limited numbers or “editions”), they were unprecedentedly accessible and affordable as works of art. The publication’s pages also contained essays, poems, and critical reviews by leading contemporary writers such as Louis Aragon, Jean Genet, Jacques Prévert, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Derrière le miroir did, of course, act as a promotional tool for the gallery—each issue coincided with an exhibition—but the publication permitted artists substantial, even unusual, creative freedom within a commercial gallery model.
The Derrière le miroir covers and prints on view are drawn from the MSU Broad collection. They reflect the unique opportunity Galerie Maeght afforded artists such as Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Eduardo Chillida, Alberto Giacometti, Ellsworth Kelly, and Joan Miró to broadly reconsider traditional modes of fine-art production.
Derrière le miroir is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Georgia Erger, Curatorial Assistant. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Alan and Rebecca Ross endowed exhibition fund.