Jean Bazaine


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French painter and designer, born in Paris. His early love was sculpture, which he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, but in 1924 he abandoned it for painting, which he studied at the Académie Julian. From 1931 he exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, and in 1932 he had his first one-man show. This was seen by Bonnard, who encouraged Bazaine. His work of this time was figurative and mildly Expressionist, but after the Second World War he gained an international reputation as one of the leading exponents of Lyrical Abstraction. However, he continued to base his compositions on natural appearances and denied that his work was abstract; his principle, in his own words, was that ‘an essential quality of the object devours the complete object’. He set out his ideas on art in his book Notes sur la peinture d'aujourd'hui (1948). His work also included stained-glass windows for the church at Assy (1944–6), a ceramic mural for the church at Audincourt (1948–51), and a mosaic for the UNESCO Building in Paris (1960).

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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