Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister of Culture, would like to pay tribute to Jean-François Jaeger, an exceptional gallery owner, who played a crucial role in the emergence of European, American and also Asian avant-garde artists for nearly seventy years.
When his great-aunt died in 1947, Jean-François Jaeger became director of the Jeanne Bucher Jaeger Gallery, founded in 1925, at the age of 23. A woman of passion and conviction, she had made it one of the liveliest Parisian artistic hotbeds of the period between the two wars, a highlight of cubism and surrealism.
Driven by the importance of his mission, and by what he himself described as a «gluttony» for the arts, Jean-François Jaeger never ceased to promote with devotion his artists, faithful to the spirit of rigour inspired by Jeanne Bucher.
Gaining the trust and esteem of the house’s historical artists such as Vieira da Silva, Arpad Szenes and Nicolas de Staël, he soon attracted such remarkable new creators as Roger Bissière, Jean Dubuffet, and Louise Nevelson. In the 1970s, Gérard Fromanger and Louis le Brocquy also joined his gallery.
He then invests in new spaces that allow him to present a new scale, such as those he dedicates to the First Arts, or to public and environmental art, with Jean-Paul Philippe and Dani Karavan among others.
Driven by an insatiable curiosity that goes beyond the limits of Western art, Jean-François Jaeger opens the doors of his gallery to the Japanese Kunihiko Moriguchi, master of traditional painting on textile (the Yūzen), today recognized as a “living national treasure” in his country, as well as to the Taoist Master Chen, invited to present his magical incantations (the Fu) during traditional tea ceremonies.
Tireless support of the artists of the gallery, he has become over time an indispensable critical reference to the understanding of their works, and has not ceased to be solicited for his expertise, whether for major international exhibitions or for the creation of their catalogues raisonnés.
Jean-François Jaeger was joined by his daughter Véronique Jaeger in 2003 at his gallery.
Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin extends her deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.