Dimension: 65×45 cm
Painting technique: Oil on canvas, relief statue
Painting style: Tachisme, Expressionism, Abstract art, Lyrical abstraction
Jean Fautrier was born in Paris in 1898. He studied art at the Royal Academy, then at the Slade School in London. In 1920 he returns to Paris. Influenced by expressionist painting, he will paint with realistic brushwork. Jean Fautrier paints and designs portraits, nudes and skinned animals. His first solo exhibition takes place in 1924.
In 1925, Jean Fautrier becomes a veritable precursor of informel art.
He will traverse a period of reflection in which he will qualify for « season of hell ». He will produce a lyrical work, a series of landscapes, of black nudes which Jean Paulhan will say are « more naked than nature ».
During the second world war, Jean Fautrier will be an active resistance fighter. He will go into hiding in 1943 and live in the house of Chateaubriand in the Wolf Valley (Vallee des Loups). He will embark upon a series of collages using various materials, oil painted designs on paper. These works will constitute « Hostages » and « Massacres », a collection of sensitive portraits where the artist wants to capture the memory of the victims.
In the 50’s, his work becomes abstract; Jean Fautrier will continue to « portray » the suffering of survivors and he will resume a series of sombre landscapes. His work fascinates Jean Dubuffet and Malraux. Red chalk drawings, sculptures, lithographs and engravings, the artist, continually working on the edge, treating his works as living flesh. He receives the first prize at the biennale of Venice in 1960.
Fautrier dies in 1963 in Catenay-Malabry in France. A retrospective was dedicated to him at the Gianadda de Martigny Foundation in Switzerland in 2005. The poet Francis Ponge, one of his most fervent admirers, wrote the following about him : « Each one of his paintings sums up the realistic with the vivacity, resolution and naturalness ».