Aubusson tapestry woven in the Picaud workshop.
A member of the A.P.C.T. (Association des Peintres-Cartonniers de Tapisserie), Wogensky is one of the many artists who would follow in Lurçat’s footsteps immediately after the war. At first influenced by his predecessor, Wogensky’s subsequent work (159 cartoons according to the 1989 exhibition catalogue) would evolve during the 1960’s towards a, not completely self-avowed, lyrical abstraction, from cosmic-astronomical themes expressed in decomposed, moving, birdlike shapes to cartoons both more refined and less dense. Although always claiming to be a painter, the artist’s conception of tapestry is extremely well thought out : “the realisation of a mural cartoon…. requires the consideration of a space which is no longer ours alone, by the nature of its dimensions, its scale, it also imposes a grand gesture which transforms and accentuates our presence.”
This spectacular cartoon is an example of Wogensky’s early work, before he shrugged off Lurçat’s influence and moved away from figurative representations. Woven in 1955, commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Nancy, this “speaking” tapestry (“I have made my soul by breathing in the four seasons of Lorraine”, Maurice Barrès) revisits, by the intermediary of regional references (pennywort, mirabelles, a coat of arms…) a conventional view of tapestry, with its border of thistles. A public commission in a large format, a classic subject and a classical treatment : all the typical characteristics of the great tapestry tradition are united here together in 1955.
Exhibition catalogue Robert Wogensky, Aubusson, Musée départemental de la tapisserie, 1989
Exhibition catalogue Robert Wogensky, Angers, Musée Jean Lurçat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine, 1989