Georges Mathieu Pioneer Lyrical Abstract Painter Dies




One of the best known abstract painters Georges Mathieu  has died age 91.  In the 1950s and 1960s his reputation was widespread and he was one of  best known artists in France. He was born in 1921 in the northern city of Boulogne-sur-Mer. He was a champion of the US artist Jackson Pollock and his Action style of painting.

In 1947 he organised a series of workshops which promoted a movement of art free from classical theory and coined the term lyrical abstraction.The art form concentrated on movement and emotion.
Despite his unconventional technique, he considers himself an historical painter working with abstract subject matter. His paintings are related to American Lyrical Abstraction and to Art informel as well.

Georges Mathieu never had any art education. In 1947 he was working for American Express in Paris, France and rented a chambre de bonne near the Palais Luxembourg. There he executed a number of large canvases with a black background on which he painted colored scrolls, whorls and other shapes. He subsequently refined his technique, using a white background on which he painted simple geometrical forms, most often a single line in color. In the 1950s he exhibited fifty of these canvases at the Leicester Galeries in London


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