La pianiste

Technique: gouache on paper
Size: 49 x 63 cm
Date: circa 1970
Signature: top, right
ID: 1183

 

Description

Paul Gen (1895 – 1975)

Painter, draughtsman, engraver and lithographer, during the WWI volunteered for combat and in 1915 his right leg was amputated. Back in Montmartre he started painting floral scenes, portarits and the “Moulin de la Galette”, but from 1920, Gen began an evolution: urban landscapes are better constructed, he realized his first clown’s portraits, as well as his first depictions of Montfort-Amaury.  From 1924, he created a personal form of expressionism, inspired by the Prado Museum, El Greco, Velazquez and Goya. He traveled and worked incessantly until September 1930. In 1928, the Bing gallery exhibited some of his works alongside those of Picasso, Rouault, Braque, and Soutine. In a long text on Gen Paul, Bing puts him on par with all of these artists.
 Between 1930 and 1945, began the third stage of his carrer, defined “celinian” for his close friendship with Céline. Led by Céline, Marcel Aymé and himself, his circle of intimates comprised classical and jazz musicians, doctors, writers, actors from the Comédie Française and various colorful personalities who used to gather in his atelier. After his wife’s death in 1939, the imminent war and the lack of interest in his works induced Gen Paul to leave for Côte d’Azur. He returned to Paris via Marseille and met up with old friends who used to dine together at Chez Pomme, on rue Lepic. His fourth, “calligraphic”, period began in 1945. During this late stage of his career, Gen Paul returned to the world of horseracing, represented in oil paintings and gouaches. The views of Montmartre and Paris and the paintings with musicians produced between 1948 and 1958 are superb. Prolific and at the height of success, Paul became a genuine protagonist of
 the artistic life of early-20th-century Montmartre.  After his death, several exhibitions were dedicated to his artistic career. The Gazette of the Hôtel Drouot wrote at the time, “Gen Paul is undoubtedly the best expressionist artist, and perhaps the only one, in the French tradition.”

 

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