Maurice Estève


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French painter, printmaker, and designer, one of the leading abstract painters of the École de Paris of the 1950s. He was born in Culan, Cher. He worked at a variety of jobs, notably as a designer for a textile factory in Barcelona, before studying at the Académie Colarossi in Paris in 1924. In 1930 he had his first one-man exhibition (at the Galerie Yvangot) and in 1937 he assisted Robert Delaunay on his mural decorations for the Paris World Fair. He was to share the older painter's taste for spectral colour. His main subjects at this time were figure compositions, interiors, and still-lifes, and these formed the basis for the abstract style that he gradually developed in the 1940s, featuring tightly-knit interlocking shapes. He employed a distinctive colour range biased towards acidic lemony yellows, greens, and oranges. As with other French abstractionists of his generation, the paintings have a glow which recalls stained glass. His process was to paint directly on to canvas, not using any preliminary drawings, so colour and form would evolve simultaneously. A painting could be reworked over a period of several months. He also made collages and designed stained glass. There is a museum of his work in Bourges.

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

Subjects: Art.

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