Charles Lapicque (1898 – 1988)
French painter of the new École de Paris, he spent his childhood in Epinal, and from 1909 he moved to Paris. From 1919, he attended the École centrale des arts et manifactures, where he completed his training as an engineer. In his free time, however, he devoted himself to another great passion of his: art, as a self-taught. He painted his first landscape in the vicinity of Caen in 1920, and later devoted himself to painting, printing techniques and sculpture. In 1929, the Jeanne Bucher Gallery hosted the first personal exhibition of Charles Lapicque. On his art he stated: “Many scientific studies have led me to consider red, orange and yellow as colors that are always ready to become lighter, to become brighter, and blue, on the contrary, as a color inevitably destined to darken, appear more black. The result was a certain advantage in showing solid and heavy bodies in blue, and in reserving red, orange or yellow for luminous or distant bodies, such as the sky”. In 1937, he received a commission to create five major wall designs for the Palais de la Découvert in Paris, one of which earned him the medal of honor at the 1937 Universal Exposition in Paris. In 1941, Lapicque participated in the collective exhibition “Vingt jeunes peintres de tradition francais” by Jean Bazaine (1904 – 2001). From 1943, onwards he devoted himself exclusively to art, leaving aside his career as an engineer, working on issues related to war and the liberation of Paris. In 1953, he received the “Prix Raoul Dufy” of the Venice Biennale, a city in which he returned several times to paint its villas, their gardens and interior furnishings, as well as the pediments and facades of churches. In the treatise “Essais sur l’espace, l’art et la destinée”, published in 1958, Lapicque formulated the theory of his artistic works. In the 1970s, he devoted himself to the production of metal and plastic sculptures, as well as tapestries and many engravings and lithographs, and in 1979, he received the “Grand prix national de peinture”. His works are considered important, between 1939 and 1943, for the development of non-figurative painting and in the 1950s, for the current Pop art, narrative figuration, free figuration; uses in an original way both the color palette and, above all, the space (separates multiple perspectives of various views). He died on July 15th, 1988 in Orsay (near Paris).