Jean Messagier

Jean Messagier (Paris, 13 July 1920 – Montbéliard, 10 September 1999) was a French painter, sculptor, printmaker and poet. Jean Messagier had his first solo exhibition in Paris at Galerie Arc-en-Ciel in 1947. From 1945 to 1949 the artist worked under the influence of Pablo Picasso, André Masson, Paul Klee and François Desnoyer , his professor at École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris.Messagier again was revealed to the public at an exhibition organized by Charles Estienne at the Galerie de Babylone in 1952, entitled "La Nouvelle École de Paris" (The New School of Paris). The following year, Messagier deliberately broke away from his expressionistic form of Post-Cubism; his inspirations now focused on Jean Fautrier and Pierre Tal-Coat to develop a personal vision in which he renders "light...approached abstractly."Jean Messagier is often associated with Lyrical abstraction, Tachisme, Nuagisme, Art informel and paysagisme abstrait, though the artist himself had never accepted any labels, and had always refused the distinction between abstraction and figuration. From 1962 until the year of his death Jean Messagier exhibited in France and abroad, taking part in some major international events as a representative of new trends in French painting. Messagier, beyond abstraction and beyond figuration, had immersed himself in the world of life and nature. His gesture is life, his colors impressions and sensations of nature. His work was described by the critic Jean-Luc Daval as "the true nouvelle figuration." In response to Picasso's phrase "I do not search, I find", Messagier would scribbled a few years before the end of his life, "I do not find, I search." In this phrase, writes Alexandre Rolla, "Jean Messagier gives some clues as to the nature of the gesture", the stance he defended throughout his life, and observed throughout his oeuvre, "a winding path that should be explored today, to consider, finally, the importance of this work in the history of art."
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