Stemming from an idea suggested by Man Ray, Marcel Fleiss, Fred Fisher and Philippe Klein founded Galerie des Quatre Mouvements in 1972. Showing Dada, Surrealist, Pop and Hyperrealist art, it took part in its first art fair in Basel two years later. In 1981, Marcel Fleiss launched his own space, Galerie 1900-2000, where in addition to other Avant-Garde expressions (Lettrism, Fluxus…), were also featured contemporary artists such as Pol Bury, George Condo, Jean-Michel Basquiat or again, Keith Haring for his last exhibition before his passing away.
In 1991, Marcel Fleiss is joined by his son David, who developed links with contemporary artists who either conceived exhibitions for the gallery (Sylvie Fleury or Laurent Grasso) or for their art fair booths (Joseph Kosuth and Hiroshi Sugimoto at Art Basel). He also expanded the gallery’s photography department.
In 2003, Aube Elléouët-Breton asked Marcel and David Fleiss to organize the important André Breton auction, which had a major international impact.
While still focusing on Dada and Surrealism at large (Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Hans Bellmer, Arthur Cravan…), Galerie 1900-2000 also conceived many exhibitions with artists from the 1960s and 1970s such as Ed Ruscha, Robert Whitman, Edda Renouf, Bill Copley, or Al Hansen among others.
With over 40 years of experience reconsidering and discovering modern and contemporary artists, more than two hundred national and international exhibitions whether at the gallery or at fairs (including Art Basel, Frieze Masters, FIAC, Art Basel Miami…), and the publication of over one hundred catalogues (with texts authored by Daniel Abadie, Gladys Fabre, David Bourdon, Robert Nickas, Pierre Restany, Billy Kluver and Julie Martin, Margit Rowell, Jeff Ryan, Timothy Baum, François Letaillieur, Christian Schlatter, Arnauld Pierre, Edouard Jaguer, Bernard Blistène, Alain Jouffroy and so many others, some of whom are now leading authorities in their field), Galerie 1900-2000 has become a reference both in Paris and internationally.
1950 – 1972 Fur, Jazz and Surrealism
In the early fifties, Marcel Fleiss, who was meant to succeed to his father, a furrier in Paris, is sent to New York to learn the trade. The young man falls in love with jazz and photographs the great musicians of the time. His photographs and critics are published in the magazine Jazz Hot. Back to France, in the Parisian furriers’ neighborhood, Marcel Fleiss goes to Drouot and discovers the world of auctions. There, he meets Fred Fisher, who introduces him to the world of Surrealism. Then in 1959 in a gallery in Vence, Marcel Fleiss meets an old man complaining that no one bears any interest in buying his drawings; he was Man Ray. A few years later, Man Ray will end up convincing Marcel Fleiss to open a gallery.
1972 – 1976 Galerie des Quatre Mouvements
With Fred Fisher and Philippe Klein, Marcel Fleiss buys a former drycleaner’s shop on the rue de l’Université: the Galerie des Quatre Mouvements (Dada, Surrealism, Pop Art and American Hyperrealism) is born. Man Ray obviously is the first artist exhibited with forty rayographs and Marcel Fleiss welcomes Max Ernst, Salvador Dali or again Julien Levy. Furrier in the morning, gallery owner in the afternoon, Marcel Fleiss meets his first success that same year thanks to an exhibition with American Hyperrealist artists that will attract collectors such as Daniel Hechter or Daniel Filipacchi. In 1973, Salvador Dali authors the introduction to the catalogue « Grands maîtres hypperréalistes américains » and realizes an etching in relief. His associate and friend Fred Fisher dies in 1976.
« Man Ray, 40 rayographies » (25 February- 25 March 1972)
« Hypperéalistes américains » (25 Octobre-25 November 1972)
« Tom Wesselmann » (7-31 March 1974)
1981 – 1990 Galerie 1900-2000: the beginning
Marcel Fleiss goes beyond over Quatre Mouvements’s initial project and launches his own space, Galerie 1900-2000, 8 rue Bonaparte. Oddly enough, a furrier formerly occupied that space. Then two annexes are subsequently opened on rue de Penthièvre and the Galerie de Poche, 3 rue Bonaparte.
In 1988, Isidore Isou, Maurice Lemaître and Jacques Spaccagna are part of the Lettrism exhibition. Marcel Fleiss’ close ties with the emerging New York scene leads to many exchanges, notably of works of art, and Julian Schnabel will make his portrait. During the exhibition Happenings & Fluxus in 1989, Yoko Ono stages a performance at the Beaux-Arts. A few months later, Marcel Fleiss organizes a solo show of her work at the gallery with major critical success, and displays a few pieces at FIAC. Thanks to Yoko Ono, Marcel Fleiss meets Keith Haring, which will lead to his last exhibition, at the « Galerie de Poche », in January 1990.
« Les enfants d’Alice. La peinture surréaliste en Angleterre 1930-1960 » (13 May-30 June 1982)
« La peinture surréaliste et imaginative en Tchécoslovaquie 1930-1960 » (7 March-15 April 1983)
« Francis Picabia. Arc en ciel » (6 April -16 May 1985)
« Salvador Dali. Douze dessins, 1936-1938. Onze dessins 1947-1948 » (28 September-8 October 1987)
« Le Demi-siècle lettriste » (11 April -7 May 1988)
« Man Ray. Peintures et dessins provenant de l’Atelier » (20 September -18 October 1988)
« Joseph Cornell » (13 March -8 April 1989)
« Happenings & Fluxus » (7 June-29 July 1989)
« Yoko Ono » (7-15 October 1989)
« Keith Haring 1983 » (15-30 January 1990)
« Sol Lewitt. Papiers déchirés de 1975 » (5-29 March 1990)
« Dora Maar. Œuvres anciennes » (10 June -27 July 1990)
« Art conceptuel Formes conceptuelles » (8 October-3 November 1990)
1991 – 2007
In 1991, Marcel Fleiss met Dora Maar and organized the first exhibition of her photographs. That same year, his son David, a specialist of Marcel Duchamp and of photography, which he will develop within the Galerie 1900-2000, joins the gallery. David Fleiss also renews the program of exhibitions and conceives projects with contemporary artists for specific exhibitions. In 2003, Aube Elléouët-Breton asks her friend Marcel Fleiss to handle the major André Breton’s auction. In 2007, Roxana Azimi, Harry Bellet, Philippe Dagen, Antoine de Galbert and Emmanuel Guigon are invited to present their vision of Galerie 1900-2000.
« Neon & Signs. Antonakos, Flavin, Hamilton, Finlay, Holzer, Jaar, Kosuth » (13 April-1 June 1991)
« Roy Lichtenstein, œuvres des années 60 » (6-29 June 1991)
« Julian Schnabel » (3-31 October 1991)
« Sol Lewitt, œuvres de 1961 à 1986 » (4-27 December 1991)
« Dora Maar, photos des années 30. » (5-28 December 1991)
« Arthur Cravan poète et boxeur » (7 April-5 May 1992)
« Clovis Trouille » (2-31 December 1993)
« Pierre Molinier » (29 October -28 November 1998)
« Arshile Gorky » (27 June -26 July 2002)
« Pomerand, Brau et Spacagna » (4 Mach-11 April 2004)
« La part du jeu dans le surréalisme » (16 -21 June 2004)
« Hans Bellmer » (2 March-8 April 2006)
« Un regard sur la Galerie 1900-2000 » (15 March 2007)
Curated by Harry Bellet
« Natalia Gontcharova » (20 September-27 October 2007)
2008 - …
Since 2008, David Fleiss suggests, in collaboration with Marcel Fleiss, most of the gallery’s exhibitions. While the focus remains on Surrealism (paintings, drawings and photographs), they pursue their action, defending both Modern art from the 20th century and contemporary art from the 21st century.
« Francis Picabia. Dessins pour Littérature » (10 January-16 February 2008)
« Ed Ruscha. Œuvres sur papier » (15 October-15 November 2008)
« Rarissimes » (15 December 2009-15 January 2010)
« Robert Whitman » (26 mai-23 July 2011)
« Underwood » (12 October -12 November 2011)
« Hans Bellmer. Photographies, dessins » (28 February -30 April 2013)
« Purkinje effect », un projet de Laurent Grasso (22 juin-27 July 2013)
« Jean Dubuffet » (9 October -30 December 2013)
« Richard Prince. New Figures » (14 mai-26 July 2014)