“Alfred Manessier: Composer in Color” at the Art Gallery through April 20

"Nuit" by Alfred Manessier

A non-figurative French painter, stained glass and tapestry designer, and fine art printmaker, Alfred Manessier (1911-1993) gained great acclaim in the last half of the twentieth century. An international artist, his award-winning work has been exhibited throughout the world and appears in distinguished museum collections. Like many artists of his era, Manessier experimented creatively with techniques in printmaking and he soon became known for his vibrantly colored lithographs.  His signature painterly style in lithography is the focus of this exhibition, particularly through his Suite de Pâques (Easter Suite) based on the biblical narrative of Lent and Easter.

On retreat at a Trappist monastery in 1943, Manessier had a profound religious experience which led to his conversion to Catholicism and inspired a great many of his works. "With a certain dramatic intent, Manessier couches recognizable symbols among luminous colors that emanate from beneath dark patterns," says Rivier Art Gallery Director Sr. Theresa Couture. "The results are deliberately expressive of a Christian approach to hope in a world searching for meaning."

As his career emerged, Manessier traveled extensively in search of truth and light, he claimed: the Nordic light of Holland, the aridity and brilliance of Spain, the Canadian winterscapes, the colors of Provence. The diffusion of landscape into surfaces of light and color remained a constant in his artwork, earning him the label 'Lyrical Abstractionist'. He was an artist for whom the artisanal aspects of creation and religious inspiration were equally important. At his passing, Manessier was credited as one of the "greatest painters of Christian art" by legendary art historian Werner Schmalenbach.

View the "Alfred Manessier: Composer in Color" exhibition from March 13 through April 20; it is free and open to the public. The Art Gallery is located in on the second floor of Memorial Hall on the Rivier University campus at 420 South Main Street in Nashua. Regular open hours are listed below. The Art Gallery is accessible by elevator and six low steps.


Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.   

Thursday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

Patrons can call (603) 897-8280 or email artgallery@rivier.edu for additional information, or visit the Gallery’s website at www.rivier.edu/artgallery.