Bernard Réquichot


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French painter, sculptor, and poet, born in Asnières-sur-Vègres. His family moved to Corbeil, just outside Paris, in 1934. He was educated in religious schools and in 1941 he began making paintings on Christian themes. Later in his career he adopted the form of the reliquary box for certain works. He began studying painting formally in 1947 at the Académie Charpentier, where he met another young painter Jean Criton (1930–), with whom he formed an idealistic association that campaigned for peace and the abolition of national boundaries. After completing his military service, he made his first distinctive paintings: studies of bulls in a geometric manner and an untitled painting of 1952 in which a man confronts a dog of his own height on its hind legs. Such work announced what was to be the prime theme of Réquichot, the disturbing fusion of human, animal, plant, and object. This was realized in a number of ways. Collaged surfaces suggest an eruption of life under the stone, and spiral lines evoke microscopic life forms. Most haunting of all are the sculptures made of curtain rings, curled into spirals, the everyday objects taking on the aspect of nightmare. This vision of the world was shared with other artists with whom he was friendly, Dado (see Surrealism) and Yolande Fièvre. Réquichot committed suicide by jumping from the window of his Paris studio, 48 hours before the opening of his solo exhibition at the Galerie Daniel Cordier.

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

Subjects: Art.

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