The Saturday, April 24, 2021 edition of the London Times features an interview with author Young Kim. The article reviews her recent memoir, which was published in collaboration with Ubu Gallery. The full text can be read here.



Ubu Gallery is pleased to take part in a new exhibition at Galerie Christophe Gaillard.
DANS L’OEIL DE DANIEL POMMEREULLE is a group exhibition featuring artists such as Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Henri Michaux. A work by Unica Zürn, on loan from Ubu Gallery, can be seen at the exhibition, which continues until June 26, 2021. Further information about the show can be found here.

Unica Zürn
Ink on paper
8 1/4 x 10 5/8 inches (21 x 27 cm)
Drawing on verso
(ZURN 129)



Today marks the birthday of one of the gallery’s favorite artists, Hans Bellmer (13 March 1902 – 24 February 1975). He was a German Surrealist, widely known for his series of photographs of two adolescent female dolls, which he constructed himself, as well as his partnership with fellow artist Unica Zürn.

Hans Bellmer
La Poupée
[“The Doll”] 1937
Hand colored vintage gelatin silver print
6 5/8 x 6 3/4 inches (16.8 x 17.1 cm)
(BELL 486)



Ubu Gallery is pleased to take part in a new exhibition at Kicken Berlin.
Sheroes of Photography Part 1: From Lady Hatton to Hannah Höch, From Monika Von Boch To Tata Ronkholz is part of the gallery’s 2021 program, dedicated to female photographers from the 19th to 21st centuries. A work by Marta Hoepffner, on loan from Ubu Gallery, can be seen at the exhibition, which continues until April 23rd, 2021. Further information about the show can be found here.

Marta Hoepffner
Afrikanische Kunst
(“African Art”)1935
Tempera on board with applied vintage silver print cut-outs
nailed to original stepped, black wood mount
19 3/8 x 15 inches (49.2 x 38.1 cm) – image
22 x 17 1/2 inches (55.9 x 44.5 cm) – mount
Signed on recto
(HOEP 1)

An image consisting of picture cut outs of various images, including what appear to be African masks, a statue, and a vase or pitcher. The background is rusty orange with areas of yellow, red and green. A human figure, sitting cross-legged or kneeling, is painted on the bottom right.


Young Kim, author of A Year on Earth With Mr. Hell, appears on the most recent episode of the Bret Easton Ellis Podcast. They discuss her relationship and life with the late Malcolm McLaren as well as the writing process behind her debut book. Information about accessing the podcast episode can be found here.



Daily Mail has published a feature about Young Kim’s debut book, A Year on Earth With Mr. Hell. In the article, the author explains how her book, which is published in collaboration with Ubu Gallery, came into being, and what she imagines would be the reaction of her late partner, Malcolm McLaren. The article can be accessed online here. The book, which centers around the author’s relationship with American punk rocker Richard Hell, is available on Ubu Gallery’s online store now.


Ubu Gallery is please to take part in a new exhibition held at Massimo De Carlo Gallery. An entirely virtual exhibition, How They Met Themselves: Folie à Deux is curated by Piotr Uklański and explores the various kinds of partnerships and couplings between an artist and their muse. Famous examples throughout art history include Leonora Carrington and Max Ernst, Unica Zürn and Hans Bellmer, and Dante Gabriel Rosetti and Lizzie Siddall.

Though the term “folie à deux” may have connotations of madness and obsession, the exhibition subverts this meaning and delves into these relationships as an exploration of their complexity and psychic intensity. The exhibition can be viewed online here.



Galerie Alain Margaron is presenting an exhibition paying tribute to Daniel Cordier who died on November 20, 2020 at the age of 100. Margaron collaborated with Ubu Gallery for the works of Bernard Réquichot, Dado and Fred Deux, which we presented in our own tribute to Cordier at FIAC! 2018.

The text from Margaron’s website page honoring Cordier can be read as a pdf in French here or tranlates as follows:

Daniel Cordier, who has just left us, had the stature of a legendary character. “I could organize paid lunches to meet you, I’ll fill the table,” I told him. The joke made him smile. But it was true.

Our relationship was forged around Bernard Réquichot. Cordier, after a generous donation to the Center Pompidou, jealously guarded some very fine works. He was, along with Dubuffet, his favorite artist.

I had to meet Daniel Cordier in order to be able to more effectively defend this powerful, original and fruitful work.

Finally, here he is at the gallery, smiling, mischievous, full of energy. I show him around. A sympathy is created. He tells me he will come back. He keeps his word. He has rarely been to Paris since without tasting the pancakes ordered at the restaurant next door.

We hardly spoke of Requichot at the beginning. He wanted to take the time to test me and got caught up in the game.

He chose four small paintings by René Laubiès to include in his donation to the Center Pompidou. In front of a large canvas of Lunven, he exclaimed to himself: “How come he wasn’t in my gallery, this one?” After having carefully looked at works from the 60s: “Macréau will participate in your fortune!”

During an exhibition by Fred Deux: “What an imagination, what a creation, look, there are not two drawings repeating themselves! I haven’t understood it.” He had been his merchant around 1960, like Dado, whose quarantine he regretted. When it comes to judging artists and their works, Daniel Cordier showed remarkable sincerity.

He found that the galleries had grown cold and impersonal. “What I like about you is that you can tell you like what you are showing.”

Beyond the friendship and the independence of our choice of artists, we had the same love of art and in many ways the same ethics for our profession. I was convinced like him of the need to make a long-term commitment to our artists and to buy their works before offering them for sale; the importance of certain museums in establishing lasting recognition of these artists; and our duty to contribute to the enrichment of public collections.

We finally come to Réquichot. “Do you want us to go see the works in my collection?” he asked me. It was in the southern suburbs near Orly. Daniel, 95, in the middle of a conversation with me, said to the driver, barely looking: “You will take the third on the right, then after passing under the railway….” Former number 2 in the London espionage service at the end of the War, after having assisted Jean Moulin in Lyon, he never took the wrong path.

On the return one, he tells me at length about Dubuffet, first of all how he set his prices: “I had just received three paintings, which were placed on the floor. An American walks in and is ecstatic. He asks me: “How much?” I look at the visitor, I look at the paintings, I look at the visitor again. Am I going to say 1,000 or 10,000? Finally I say 10,000. Response from my interlocutor: “I take all three. Let me know when you have more.” Dubuffet’s prices were fixed, concludes Daniel Cordier.

He confided in me not always to his advantage about his relationship with the artist, answered my questions, even indiscreet, before adding, perhaps to condition me: “In the end, people no longer spoke about more than money. It didn’t interest me anymore, that’s why I closed the gallery in 1964.” This reason convinced me less than others he gave me.

During the lunch which follows this first visit to his reserves, he returns to Requichot’s works: “I agree to sell them to you, but we are not going to talk about money between us. It will be so much for each painting, so much for each drawing.” Both sums were extravagant or, shall we say, highly anticipatory. I do not ask him if he spoke in old francs, remaining impassive, I am still a little annoyed until I learn that he had requested two thirds of this amount from a large museum seven years ago .

He’s the one who calls me back a month later. He forgets his first proposal, we end up agreeing on an objectively reasonable amount. After the check is signed, I ask him if he’s happy. “Yes. You can say that I could have sold them at a higher price, that I gave you the preference because you are the best person to defend them.”

We stayed close, he continued to come to lunch regularly, bought two Laubiès inks from me, while trying to give me the few works by Réquichot he had kept, again at a very high price.

His “dynamism” at his age had finally amused me, I even joked with him.

I owe him a debt of gratitude. He knew that by entrusting Réquichot to me, he was dubbing me, as the many messages of sympathy I have received since his passing show.

Malicious rumors had circulated about the Resistance’s treasury. He told me what really happened and that he had kept a secret so as not to tarnish the image of an important and well-known French officer.

Emmanuel Macron, after presenting him with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, asked the general of the order to take him to Mont Valérien where the last companion of the liberation will be buried. Only one survives him.

Daniel Cordier was a true hero, for whom freedom was more important than anything, deeply human, with fears he overcame during the war and weaknesses he did not hide.

A national tribute, which should take place at the Invalides, will be paid to him on Thursday by Emmanuel Macron who esteemed him very much.

Alain Margaron



Ubu Gallery is saddened by the death of legendary French art dealer, curator and collector, Daniel Cordier, on November 20, 2020. Ubu paid tribute to Cordier, a man of courage, vision and uncompromising taste, at FIAC! 2018, presenting works by the artists he represented and/or collected, including Hans Bellmer, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Michaux and Bernard Réquichot.

The New York Times recognized the importance of this great French Resistance hero with an extensive obituary that can be read online or as a pdf here.


A pdf file (in French) of the following obituary, which appeared in Le Monde on November 20, 2020, can also be accessed here.

Former resistance fighter Daniel Cordier, secretary of Jean Moulin during World War II, is dead
By Philippe-Jean Catinchi

One of the last two Liberation companions, who was later a recognized art dealer, died on Friday at the age of 100, according to several official sources.

Daniel Cordier, a great resistant, former secretary of Jean Moulin, died Friday, November 20 in Cannes, at the age of 100, Le Monde has learned from several official sources. He was born Bouyjou-Gauthier in Bordeaux on August 10, 1920 into a family of wealthy merchants (the Bouyjou, paternal line and the Gauthier maternal line). He was 4 when his mother divorced and 6 when she remarried to Charles Cordier (he adopted his father-in-law’s surname, which he admired “without limits” as a teenager, for reasons of “orthographic convenience”, he said during his engagement in London in 1940).

From these ancestors, he inherits an astonishing cocktail of influences: the Napoleonic cult of a grandfather, the “temptation of an aesthetic anarchy” of an American grandmother, the “spells of elegance” of his mother and “The tolerance and the pleasures of classical music” of his father, finally the passion for automobiles and political fanaticism instilled in him by his mother’s second husband. Gassed in Verdun, royalist and anti-Semite, the man had a determining influence on young Daniel. The latter founded the Cercle Charles-Maurras in Bordeaux, auctioned off L’Action Française and campaigned against the Republic that his detractors call only “the pig”.

Placed very young in a boarding school run by Dominicans, the young man discovers there both the austerity and the rigor of Catholic morality and, more intimately, the torments of a sensuality which carries him towards his fellow students. The Confessions, by Augustin of Hippo, therefore compete with the discovery of the Gray Book by Roger Martin du Gard, where the friendship between adolescents is “chaste but excessive”, and that of Gide’s L’Immoraliste. A dilemma which, in his nineties, Cordier delivered the overwhelming confession in Les Feux de Saint-Elme (Gallimard, 2014).

But the adolescent, in the political field, is not wracked by doubt. He, who was the king’s hawker at 14, has no doubts that the Popular Front has sealed the bankruptcy of France. As soon as the war breaks out, he impatiently waits to fight to save, as a patriot, the honor of France. If the debacle of May 1940, in accordance with Maurras’s dark prophecies, does not surprise him, while he awaits his order of mobilization in Bayonne, Pétain’s request for an armistice on June 17, scandalizes him. He sees it as an unbearable betrayal of the patriotic ideal. And although his idol, theoretician of integral nationalism, rallies to the marshal now in command, Cordier chooses to fight.

With about fifteen comrades, he embarked on June 21 aboard a Belgian freighter, the Leopold-II, which was to reach Algeria. Finally, the boat tacked towards the United Kingdom. Disembarked in South Cornwall at Falmouth on June 25, the young men enlisted in London on the 28th in the “French Legion”, the embryo of the Free French Forces. There Cordier – he has just adopted this surname – discovers in awe that some of the patriots who share his choice are socialists or communists.

He met Raymond Aron and Stéphane Hessel, forging unwavering friendships, and later Georges Bidault, fierce opponent of Maurras, whose “brilliant mind” he recognized. He began a radical revision of his political convictions, apart from anti-Semitism, despite Aron and Hessel, since reading Lucien Rebat’s pamphlet Les Décombres, just a few days after the Vél’d’Hiv roundup, “dazzled” Cordier.

Passed by the training camps, where the exchanges with the other volunteers are as many electroshocks for the one whose far-right reflexes are struggling to fade until the letter of rupture which he sends to Maurras on December 2 1941 (“How can you continue to live after this betrayal?”), Cordier joined the Central Bureau of Intelligence and Action (BCRA) headed by Colonel Passy. There he follows an intense training to act on the ground because he dreams only of “killing Boche”. Hence his disappointment when he parachuted near Montlucon on July 25, 1942 to provide radio assistance to Georges Bidault, head of the Information and Press Office (BIP), an underground press agency.

But on July 30, in Lyon, he met the man de Gaulle had charged with unifying the internal resistance movements. Having come to give him documents, Cordier discovers a simple, direct, smiling personality who immediately invites him to dinner and tests him. The young man gives himself up unvarnished. This franchise appeals and “Rex”, alias Jean Moulin, immediately recruits as secretary this 21-year-old man with origins and primary convictions so diametrically opposed to his. No doubt he immediately discerns Cordier’s idealism, his dedication and his fidelity to his mission.

For more than ten months, they will work together on the capital mission set by London. Invaluable collaborator by his rigor and his dedication, Cordier, who chose “Alain” as an underground identity in reference to the philosopher, assists the “boss”, to set up a clandestine staff, without means and almost without staff at the start . Patiently, he manages mail and radio links, expanding the team both in Lyon and in Paris to make it more efficient, allocating subsidies when Moulin is away. What does not earn him only friends.

A privileged witness to the birth of the National Council of the Resistance (CNR) as the bitter struggles that slowed it down, Cordier knows so well the functioning of the Resistance and the links, more or less delicate, that the different currents maintain between them. , that it is essential. And despite the hostility of many who appeared from the arrest of Jean Moulin in Caluire in June 1943 (Pierre Brossolette declared him “null and imprudent” and demanded that he be recalled), Cordier remained in place and continued with Claude Bouchinet- Serreulles, interim successor of Jean Moulin, his mission in the northern zone as secretary of the General Delegation of France.

In danger as soon as he learns that the Gestapo has his photo and can identify him, he asks to be relieved. In March 1944, he intended to reach London via Marseille, then Spain. But he was arrested by the Francoists and interned in Pamplona, then in the Miranda de Ebro camp, in the province of Burgos. When he managed to reach London in mid-May, appointed head of the airdrops section of agents of the BCRA, he prepared for the physical confrontation with the enemy which was his first wish in 1940. But he had to be patient. the landing, like the parachuting on the combat zones and regains France only by boat, by Le Havre, to reach Paris at the beginning of October.

In November, he becomes a companion of the Liberation by decree of General de Gaulle and finds Colonel Passy, promoted to the head of the secret services, who takes him as chief of staff. At the General Directorate of Studies and Research (DGER), of which Jacques Soustelle took the head in November 1944, Cordier discovered the world of spies and secret agents. He was even sent to Spain to assess the solidity of Franco’s regime for de Gaulle. A report that he will keep like a treasure. But this environment is not for him. No more than the self-celebration of former resistance fighters at the time of the return to peace, which echoes in him the discourse of veterans of the Great War and with which he does not feel solidarity. In fact, he resigned from his post after General de Gaulle’s political withdrawal in January 1946.

A brief moment tempted by political commitment – he said then “almost communist” – he soon gave it up, however, to devote himself to the modern art that Jean Moulin had made him discover and appreciate, of which he finally broke through. identity without mask. While he was ignorant of contemporary creation, he learned from contact with Jean Moulin to be passionate about these aesthetic adventures which he had rejected until now. It must be said that, to thwart indiscretions, Rex had established a code which was equivalent to initiation: “When we are in the street, in a restaurant or in any place where we risk being overheard, I will start talking to you. of art so that we are not suspected. “Hence their exchanges on Cézanne and Renoir or the discovery of Kandinsky …

Thanks to a welcome inheritance – his father died in 1943 – Daniel Cordier tried his hand at painting, enrolling in a private art school, the Académie de la Grande Chaumière; bought his first work, a painting by Jean Dewasne, member of the founding committee of the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, temple of abstraction; discovers the work of Nicolas de Staël whose paintings he researches and buys, and, a collector, already dreams of himself as a gallery owner.

He fulfilled this dream by opening his gallery in Paris, rue de Duras, in 1956. Address that he transferred three years later to rue de Miromesnil. Accompanying an artistic world in full revolution, he gives André Breton carte blanche for a new surrealist celebration, dialogue with the poet and writer Henri Michaux while becoming the merchant of Jean Dubuffet, the first theorist of “art brut”. Cordier imposes the first Yugoslav artist Dado and the painter and writer Bernard Réquichot, opens branches in Frankfurt and New York, is passionate about the arts that come from elsewhere than from the West and finally closes shop in 1964 when he considers that the essential is played out elsewhere and that Paris is only a secondary home. However, he continued his commitment as a collector and, thanks to an exceptional address book, organized major exhibitions.

No doubt he would have remained an “ordinary man” as he defined himself after the Liberation, when he gave up capitalizing on his epic resistance, but the media return of the Occupation in the 1970s decided otherwise. It all comes from the words of Henri Frenay, founder of the resistance movement Combat, who initiated Moulin into hiding. As early as 1973, in La Nuit finira (edited by Robert Laffont), the great resistance fighter accused Cordier’s “boss” of incompetence and megalomania. Less than ten years after Jean Moulin entered the Pantheon, the charge is severe. It became unbearable when L’Enigme Jean Moulin (ed. Robert Laffont) appeared in 1977, in which Frenay insinuated that Rex was in fact a communist agent.

When rumors and slanders smear the face of his “boss”, Cordier becomes indignant and pulls out his reserve. For Moulin. Convinced that the memory of the protagonists is not sure, more apt to recompose the past than to illuminate it, he launches headlong into an investigation where oral testimony is secondary, suspected of blurring the line and multiplying confusion. and approximations. Coming from a first-hand witness, the posture is singular as the competition for partisan memories rages on. He will stick to it, strictly, and for a very long time, at the cost of a work worthy of a monk copyist, compiling, crossing, testing every piece of information, without abdicating his approach as radical as it is austere.

In several volumes, published between 1983 and 1999 (L’Inconnu du Panthéon and La République des catacombes), all centered on the figure of Jean Moulin, it defines an essential historiographical milestone of the Resistance. If former comrades in the struggle sulk or criticize, professional historians are impressed by this work, carried out alone by a witness who distrusts only human testimony. When he resolves to write his own memories (the first volume, Alias Caracalla, published in 2009), Daniel Cordier even seduces the Académie Goncourt which registers him among the postulants for the autumn laurels, despite the atypical nature of the work.

Resolutely, like his political and artistic commitments, the legacy of historian Daniel Cordier is as singular as it is unique.

Daniel Cordier in a few dates:

August 10, 1920 Born in Bordeaux

1940 Enlistment in the “French Legion” in England

1942-1943 Secretary of Jean Moulin

1944 Companion of the Liberation

1946 Buys his first paintings (Jean Dewasne, Nicolas de Staël)

1956-1964 At the head of his own gallery in Paris, he is active in Europe and the United States

1977 Henri Frenay accuses Jean Moulin of having been a “cryptocommunist”

1983 Publishes Jean Moulin and the National Council of Resistance (CNRS ed.)

1989 Donation of part of his art collection (514 objects) to Beaubourg

1989-93 Jean Moulin – L’Inconnu du Panthéon (JCLattès, 3 vol.)

1999 Jean Moulin. The Republic of the Catacombs (Gallimard, “La suite des temps”)

2009 Alias Caracalla – Memoirs 1940-1943 (Gallimard, “Témoins”)

2013 From History to History (Gallimard, “Témoins”)

2014 The Fires of Saint-Elme (Gallimard)

November 20, 2020 Death in Cannes