This exhibition gives an opportunity to highlight the view of Charles Ratton, an expert, dealer and collector who changed the history of the way “primitive” art was received, by promoting objects which moved away from the taste for “negro” art that had prevailed up to that time.
His close involvement in the museum world and his scientific curiosity, shown in the richness of his archives, helped his expertise to flourish. His activities as an expert, and the exhibitions he organised, contributed to the shift in status of works from Africa, America and Oceania: fromanthropological study objects to works of art in the 1930s, thenmasterpieces in the 1960s, in France but also in the United States. The portrayal of his links with the artists (the Surrealists, Dubuffet) and photography (“documentary” and artistic photography: Man Ray) helps to highlight this shift towards art and history.
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