Call for the realization of the catalog raisonné of

MARTINE DOYTIER (1947-1984)

Help us to find her artworks

An artist's catalog raisonné is a complete inventory of his or her artistic production. It is an indispensable reference document for a good knowledge of the artist. It reproduces the works, describes them, and indicates their location and mentions - with the agreement of their owners - the belonging to collections, private or public.
Martine Doytier (1947-1984) worked between 1971 and 1984. Her main means of expression was painting, but she also produced an animated sculpture, an engraving, artworks in terracotta, and numerous drawings. Her work is poorly documented and, after her death, did not give rise to major exhibitions. Her collectors are rarely identified and her work as an artist is still too little known.
Producing her catalog raisonné with the necessary scientific rigor would contribute to commenting on and enriching the knowledge and understanding of her work. But, to do so, we must first gather a lot of information.
An appeal is therefore launched to all those who hold documents or information that would allow us to find the works of this artist. Of the many dozens of paintings by Martine Doytier, only about forty are currently known and identified and about half of them are located.
Help us to make this artist, whose work has fascinated all those who have approached her, better known! If her last three works are now part of the collection of the Museums of the City of Nice thanks to the Ferrero Donation, it is important that a large exhibition complement them with works from different periods, with their studies and preparatory sketches.
We therefore count on you, your contribution is essential to bring this material together. You can also help us by participating in the diffusion of this message and call.
Thank you in advance for the invaluable help you may be able to give us! Of course, if you wish, it is with great pleasure that we will keep you informed of the works in progress as well as future exhibitions of Martine Doytier's works.
Any information or request for information should be addressed to:
catalogue.martinedoytier@gmail.com
+33 6 08 91 56 24
And if you want to know more about Martine Doytier:
Here is an Instagram account that brings together her works known to date



Brief Biography

Martine Doytier was born in Clichy in 1947. It is at the age of twenty that she decided to settle in Nice and devote her to painting. Artistic self-taught but gifted with a great talent as a draftswoman and colorist, her very first paintings are immediately the reflection of a rich, surprising and often offbeat mental and narrative universe.
Her first exhibition took place in 1971 in Flayosc, in the Var region of France. It was organized by Frédéric Altmann who was his dealer for several years and immediately met with great success. Each of the eighteen paintings she presents tells a story with a corrosive humor. Her childlike characters are intriguing and, like mimetic dolls, their invariably black eyes reflect the depth of the artist's gaze.
Martine Doytier's paintings often deal with herself, but she also offers a reading of those around her that she knows how to capture in a way that is both acidic and tender. The faces of those she paints almost always face the viewer and all of them question and unveil a little of their intimate drama, sometimes grimacing a slight smile. In 1969 her little boy named Brice was born. He will very often be present in her paintings: riding his trottinette, visiting the zoo, watching the dog-shearer, dancing at the Carnival or wearing a judoka outfit, very often with his little dog Mec-Mec or his big dog Urane.
Martine Doytier's pictorial world is precise, thorough, clean and without appeal. As the years go by and exhibitions follow one another, her technique asserts itself and develops to the point of astonishment. Success is always there and all the works, without exception, are immediately acquired by eager collectors.
"The Facteur Cheval", a painting whose execution seems to be a feat of prowess - just like the Palais Idéal of the one it deals with - earned him the Fondation de la Vocation Award in 1977. Winner of the Prize, she was received at the Élysée Palace by the French President and her recognition grew, even if it was limited to the region where she lived.
In Nice, the very young Museum of Prehistory of Terra-Amata commissioned a painting from her to make its poster and the cover of its catalog; then it was the Nice Carnival that gave her complete freedom to make her official poster for 1981, a poster that would be used again for the Centenary of the Carnival, in 1984. The previous year, in 1983, to celebrate the Centenary of the Nice's Urban Transports (TN), the City of Nice asked her to paint an urban bus. Through a fake painted tear, Martine humorously reveals improbable mechanical entrails. This bus has been circulating in the streets of the city for a long time and for several years has been part of the collection of the Écomusée du Haut-Pays et des Transports de Breil-sur-Roya where it is kept in perfect condition.
At the beginning of the eighties, Martine Doytier is a recognized artist. She can afford the luxury of taking months to paint a single work without any constraint. Since her beginnings, she never had to worry about selling her works, but from 1978, she benefited from the material support of a true patron of the arts: the gallery owner Jean Ferrero, better known for his great talent in doing business with artists. However, with Martine Doytier, from whom he bought almost all the production between 1978 and 1984, he never resold her works and therefore never made any money. This was not his goal and he would prove it later by donating all of Martine Doytier's works that he acquired to the City of Nice.
Her last years are characterized by the realization of rare works in which Martine Doytier invests herself totally. If the prowess may seem technical, in the end it is of little importance to her. Of course, the large canvases are painted with tiny illuminator's brushes and the surface of the work is so full that the eye gets lost in it, but it is something else that she is looking for. What fascinates her is the total immersion, the plunge into the infinity of the subject and the unfinishable character of her new way of approaching painting. Her "Self-Portrait", a monumental triptych painted between 1982 and 1984, testifies to the way she perfects every square millimeter painted, while the surrounding emptiness seems all the more immense and disturbing.
It will be a bit of this emptiness that will engulf the artist on a sad day in 1984. For, unfortunately, at the height of her glory as an artist, at the height of her human apprehension of the works she was relentlessly producing, Martine Doytier chose to stop everything and decided to put an end to her life, a gesture that would be implemented with the same panache and mastery that characterized every moment of her life.
It was a February 16th. A life stopped too soon. An artist disappeared too quickly.
Since that dark day, very little has been done for Martine Doytier and her work. The Museums of Nice regularly present her works from the Donation Ferrero and the small Martine Doytier Garden faces the entrance of the Art School of the Villa Arson, on the heights of the city of Nice.
It is therefore time to go further. It is time, for example, to bring together all of Martine Doytier's work in a catalog raisonné, to comment and criticize it. It is time to write a biography of this outstanding artist and thus try to better understand why her painting has always fascinated. And it is time to generously expose her paintings, to confront them to other stories and to offer them new encounters.
This is what is being undertaken today and, first of all, it is the search for the information necessary to locate all the works painted between 1971 and 1984 that is being undertaken. A small part has already been identified, but many of them remain to be discovered. We need to collect the testimonies of those who knew Martine Doytier and whose memories will be important to write the true story of this artist in the most documented and relevant way possible in order to shed light on both her work and her life so rich and committed.
A publication, book or catalog, will complete the exhibition of the works and documents, all unpublished, that helped in the preparation of the works and that will enrich the understanding of them: sketches, drawings, handwritten notes, reference documents, photographs of current states, objects, etc.
Together with Alain Amiel, author and editor, Bertrand Roussel, director of the Nice Archaeology Museums, and who will soon, we hope, be joined by other friends of Martine Doytier, we will make sure to give this work the place it deserves in the History of Art.
So you will hear about us!
But, above all, you will hear about Martine Doytier!
Marc Sanchez
September 2020

The association "Les Ami-es de Martine Doytier" has just been created,
to join, click here



Press Kit

> Press documents to download:
- Press release in pdf (content identical to this page)
- Text of the press release in Word format
> Photographs on request at:
- catalogue.martinedoytier@gmail.com
- +33 6 08 91 56 24
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Martine Doytier in 1977. Photo DR.
Martine Doytier, Elephants at the Roseland Abbey, 1983, oil on canvas.
Private Collection, Nice.
Martine Doytier, Self-Portrait,
1983-1984, oil on canvas, detail.
Martine Doytier during her exhibition
at the Gallery L'Art Marginal in Nice,
February 20, 1978. Photo DR.
Martine Doytier at work in 1979.
Photo Marc Sanchez.
Martine Doytier at the
Fondation de la Vocation Awards,
Paris, December 6, 1977. Photo DR.
Martine Doytier and the painting used
to make the official poster of the Nice Carnival in 1981. Photo DR.