Simon Hantaï, Meun, 1968, oil on canvas, 100 3/8 × 88 5/8".

Simon Hantaï

Mnuchin Gallery

Simon Hantaï, Meun, 1968, oil on canvas, 100 3/8 × 88 5/8".

This posthumous solo show, Simon Hantaï’s first at Mnuchin Gallery, offered a clear indication of the Hungarian-born French painter’s growing status in New York. Cocurated by Alfred Pacquement—the former Musée National d’Art Moderne director who previously helped organize the artist’s 2013 retrospective at the Centre Pompidou—and uniting fourteen large-format paintings, the exhibition tracked Hantaï’s production in the crucial years 1960–71, when he developed his signature practice of pliage: painting variously crumpled or knotted canvases and then subsequently unfolding and stretching them for exhibition. The show therefore had to reckon with one of the signal features of Hantaï’s first mature decade: that it is structured by two related yet importantly distinct breakthroughs.

The ground-floor rooms focused on the first of these turning points: Hantaï’s initial turn to

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