Roger Bissière was a celebrated French painter who, after studying in Bordeaux, held his debut at the Salon des Artistes Français of 1910. In his early work Bissiere attempted to instil a classical humanist element into Cubism. Bissière himself stated 1919 as the beginning of his “real” career as an avant-garde artist, which is also the year in which he struck up a friendship with André Lhote, another ambitious artist of the young generation. He exhibited regularly at the Paris salons, notably at the Salon d’Automne of 1919, 1921, 1922 and 1923, the Salon des Tuileries from 1924 onwards and frequently at the Salon des Indépendants until 1927. He also contributed to ‘L’Espirit Moderne’.
In 1921 Léonce Rosenberg gave Bissière an exclusive contract with his influential gallery L’Effort Moderne, with the leading Cubistic artist’s of the time. In 1923 Bissière chose to move to Galerie Druet, another prominent gallery, where he joined André Marquet and Maurice de Vlaminck. In 1925 he became a professor at the Academie Ranson, but in 1939 developed a serious eye condition which required surgery to prevent him going blind.
During this period Bissiere developed a collaging technique, creating large wall hangings which were exhibited at Galerie Drouin in 1947, and attracted much interest. Establishing a reputation for himself, Bissiere would go on to exhibit extensively, and exerted a considerable influence on the younger generation of the Ecole de Paris. Turning fully to abstraction, he became associated with artists such as Jules Manessier, Jean Le Moal, and Vieira da Silva.
A major solo show at Galerie Jeanne Bucher in 1951 achieved great acclaim and he became the first painter to be awarded the Grand Prix National des Arts. In 1964 the Venice Biennale paid tribute to Bissière’s outstanding artistic contribution honouring him with a special award. He also received commissions to design stained glass windows, such as his vibrant abstract window at Metz Cathedral.
The artist is represented in a number of major public collections, most notably the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Tate Gallery, London; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Chaux-des-Fonds, Switzerland; and the museums of Modern Art of St-Etienne and Bordeaux.