Marcel Pouget

The conscience of the dog, 1966

Oil on canvas

Signed middle left
Signed, titled and dated 1966 on the back
Size: 22 x 27cm
With frame 27.5 x 32.5 cm
Price: 2900 euro

For this painting, Marcel Pouget demonstrates his mastery of the small format. The artist twirls the colors. Crisp, sharp and swirling, they push the boundaries of the frame and give depth and character to its subject, the dog.

The animal evokes both millennia-old representations of cave painting and those, later, of the fantastic bestiary.

Not devoid of humour, Marcel Pouget borrows from mystical aesthetics to restore a very real triviality: the conscience of the dog. With a hollow belly, he observes the spectators as if he were ready to be approached to pet him and feed him.

Painter, poet, choreographer and filmmaker, after having studied and started painting at the Beaux Arts in Algiers, Marcel Pouget went to Paris in 1946, aged 23, thanks to the generosity of a group of amateurs.

The constant of his work, says Jacques Busse, is that he contributed to the maintenance of the figuration in a period of prevalent abstraction

He only made brief appearances at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, preferring to frequent the avant-garde artists of his time – those with ties to the international artistic movement, including Alechinsky, Appel, Lindström .

His paintings are described as “Abstract Expressionist”, a term rejected by Pouget who prefers that of “New figuration”. Back in Oran in 1947, Pouget disconcerted his patrons with his style. He returns to Paris on the occasion of his first metropolitan exhibition.

The painter participates in a number of individual and collective exhibitions in Parisian galleries as well as in Europe. It appears at the Salons des Indépendants, Autumn, May and at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles.

Although Marcel Pouget is attached to the expressionist current of the new figuration, he quickly finds his own writing. Color is at the heart of his expressionist language. His characters are surrounded by a powerful line.

Solitary and tormented, Marcel Pouget died of Legionnaire’s disease on December 5, 1985.


• Museum of Fine Arts of Algiers, George Pompidou Center – Museum of Modern Art of the city of Paris.