Denise René took as her guiding principle the idea that art must invent new paths in order to exist. The first exhibitions organised by René were in June 1945. She studied geometric abstraction and kinetic art. Her work has been championed by art historian Frank Popper.
René showed modern art masters such as Max Ernst and Francis Picabia during her first five years of activity. Denise René developed different generations of abstract art by introducing to Paris the historical figures of the concrete avant-gardes of Eastern Europe while seeking historical antecedents like Marcel Duchamp. In 1955 she organized the exhibition Le Mouvement, which helped to popularize kinetic art. Following that show she exhibited works by Nicolas Schöffer, Yacov Agam, Jean Tinguely, Otto Piene, Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesús Rafael Soto, Victor Vasarely, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Pol Bury, Wen-Ying Tsai, Le Corbusier, Robert Delaunay, Nadir Afonso, Max Bill and Sonia Delaunay, among others.
In 1957, she presented the first solo exhibition of Piet Mondrian in Paris. Aside from Paris, she had galleries in New York City (1971-1981) and Düsseldorf (1969). In 2001, the Centre Georges Pompidou paid homage to her with an exhibition titled "Denise René, une galerie dans l'aventure de l'art abstrait. 1944-1978".
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