Jean
Piaubert
(1900-2002)
Artist

Piaubert was one of the leading European post-war artists, and enjoyed enormous international exposure. In Paris he was part of a group of avant-garde artists that was centred around Galerie Denise René the champion of post-war abstraction, and included Hartung, Schneider, Deyrolle, and Poliakoff. His work sought to reveal the primordial beauty of the underlying rhythms in the chaos of the universe, incorporating organic forms and natural raw materials, creating compositions which suggest erosion, oxidation, or sedimentation and a profound sense of the age and vastness of the universe.

 

Piaubert’s early work derived from the rugged landscape of the Médoc region of his childhood, and having moved to Paris in 1922 and attended the Academie de la Grande Chaumière he held his first exhibition in 1932 at Galerie Zack. These thickly pigmented paintings became increasingly rigorous and abstracted and by 1945, encouraged by the post-war atmosphere, had developed into complete abstraction. In 1946 Piaubert held his first solo exhibition of abstract works at Galerie Creuze where the catalogue preface was written by Gaston Diehl, the president of the Salon de Mai, (where Piaubert would exhibit between 1946-1961, as well as the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, 1946-1952). His status was fully endorced in 1947 with a high profile solo exhibition at Galerie Denise René, (catalogue preface by eminent critic Charles Estienne). Recognised as an important avant-garde artist he went on to participate in groundbreaking exhibitions such as “Tendences de l’Art Abstrait” organised by Denise René in 1948 and which travelled to several European museums; “Quelques aspects de la Peinture Présente” in 1950 with Lanskoy, Poliakoff, Soulages, de Stael. In 1949 the Musée National d’Art Moderne de Paris purchased a painting by the artist, and he was invited to represent France at the Sao Paulo Biennale, a privilege which would be repeated in 1951, 1955; and furthermore at the International Art Exhibition, Japan 1953; Tokyo Biennale, 1955, 1961; 1960 International Exhibition, Buenos-Aires, with Fautrier, Lapicque and Soulages.

 

By 1960 Piaubert had established an international reputation, and participated in many major international group exhibitions, most notably: 1951 “École de Paris” Royal Academy, London; 1953 “Younger European Painters” Guggenheim Museum New York; 1960 “Peintres de l’École de Paris”, Tokyo; 1965 “Peintres Français Contemporains” Rio de Janeiro.

 

During the course of his career Piaubert held over seventy-five solo exhibitions around the world, and received several awards including: Gold Medal, at the XI Milan Triennale, 1951; Prix de la Critique, Belgium, 1958; Prix Paul Cézanne, Brussels, 1959; Gold Medal SEAI Paris, 1964; Grand Prix International VI Menton Biennale, 1964.

 

The artist is represented in numerous major museums of modern art including: Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Musée Royale, Brussels; Cologne; Copenhagen; Le Havre; Luxembourg; National Museum of Modern Art, Rome; Santiago; Strasbourg; Turin; Wupperthal.