Jacques Prévert, the enchanter

Alberto Giacometti and Jacques Prévert in 1956 at the Maeght Gallery on rue du Bac.

When children are good, we give them pictures. Prévert was THE poet, the poet of life quite simply. His favorite occupation? Spending his time piercing the mysteries of everyday life.

Prévert was a child, a happy and cheerful child in all circumstances, a child that he remained until the end. He loved the circus and the theater where his father took him. These tastes will never leave him. All his life, he will remain this child with wide eyes. He lives on the roofs of the Moulin Rouge, what better place for a poet? He writes for the Groupe Octobre and for children. And scripts and dialogues with his brother Pierre. Not the least: "Quai des brumes", "Les enfants du Paradis", "Les visiteurs du soir", songs "Barbara", "Les feuilles mortes"... All masterpieces.

Jacques Prévert, Ogre-vœux 1970, 1969, collage on paper, 37x28 cm.

Adonides by Jacques Prévert illustrations by Joan Miro Maeght Éditeur, Paris, 1975.

When he assembles words, it is like no other. All this is not enough for him, of course, he cuts out, and sticks chromos on photographs. And when he assembles images, it doesn't look like anything else. Yes, to Prévert. Words, images and, above all, a sense of friendship. Braque, Miró, Picasso, Calder, Doisneau, Topor...
Opening of the exhibition of Jacques Prévert's collages at the new Maeght gallery created by Paule and Adrien Maeght, 1956.

In Saint-Paul, La Colombe d'Or, brings together a new family, an ideal family, where artists, writers, actors, singers, filmmakers... And even Hollywood stars. And all are exhausted in laughter and conversations until the end of the night. Prévert is there, sometimes he leads the dance and in the afternoon, he is already under the plane trees of the square playing petanque with a glass in his hand and a cigarette hanging from his lips. A complicity unites Jacques and Adrien in spite of their great age difference. With Paule, his young wife, a funny and cultured woman, they became friends with the poet, to whom they offered to hold the inaugural exhibition of their Parisian gallery. For his friends, Prévert shows, for the first time, his Collages and publishes, with Adrien, "Images" in 1500 numbered copies. The exhibition was a commercial failure, but Adrien managed to hide it from him and paid for his works as if they had been sold. Thus, the collages are gradually packed, hidden in the storerooms and paid to Jacques Prévert. This allowed him to live for some time.
Jacques Prévert. Collage made with the poster of the first exhibition of Jacques Prévert at the Galerie Maeght rue du Bac in 1956.

This unfailing friendship is shared with the children of Paule and Adrien. In the evening, he comes to tell them, with tenderness and humor, scary stories populated with monsters and gorgons. That's why the little Isabelle, Florence and Yoyo nickname him "the ogre".

Joan Miró, Virginia Chagall, Aimé Maeght, André Verdet, Marc Chagall, Jacques Prévert, La Colombe d’Or, Saint-Paul, 1953.
Photo dedicated by Jacques Prévert to Robert Doisneau.

Jacques Prévert dedicates the catalog.