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Jean Hélion

Born in 1904 - France

BIOGRAPHY

Jean Hélion (real name Jean Bichier) was a French painter. He was born in 1904 in Couterne (Normandy) and died in 1987 in Paris. A multifacetted painter, he is a rare case as he switched from abstraction to figuration.

He moved in 1921 to Paris, where he first worked as apprentice to an architect; began to paint in 1923, self-taught, and since 1925 has painted full-time. Began by painting still lifes, portraits and landscapes, his work gradually becoming more and more abstract. Painted in an entirely abstract style from 1929-39; co-founder of the Groupe Art Concret in 1929 with Théo van Doesburg, Otto Carlsund et Léon Tutundjian, and co-founder and member of Abstraction-Création 1931-4.

Moved to the USA (New York and Rockbridge Baths, Virginia) in 1936, but returned to France in 1940 to join the French Army. Was taken prisoner, but escaped in 1942 and returned to the USA. Published a book on his war experiences, They shall not have me, in 1942. Started to paint again in 1943 in a figurative style (scenes of everyday life, etc.), which was at first strongly based on abstraction but gradually became looser and more impressionistic in handling; since 1951 has painted many works from nature, including views of Paris and Belle-Ile. Has lived mainly in Paris since 1946 but traveled extensively.

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EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2013
Jean Helion: A Painter´s Journey in Life and Art - Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, WV
2012
Jean Hélion: Reality and Abstraction - The Fralin Museum of Art - University of Virginia Art Museums, Charlottesville, VA
Jean Hélion: Five Decades - Schroeder Romero & Shredder, New York City, NY
2011
Jean Helion - Galerie de la Présidence, Paris
2006
Jean Helion - Connaught Brown, London
Jean Hélion - Galerie Bertrand Trocmez, Clermont Ferrand
2005
Jean Hélion - Museo Picasso, Barcelona
Hélion - Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris
2004
Jean Hélion - Galerie Herve Bize, Nancy
Jean Hélion - Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
Jean Hélion - Galerie Bertrand Trocmez, Clermont Ferrand
1998
Jean Hélion - From Figuration to Abstraction and Back - Against the Tide - The Mayor Gallery, London
1997
Jean Helion - Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg
1992
Jean Helion et la traverse?e de l'abstraction - Galerie Marwan Hoss, Paris
1990
Jean Hélion - Tate Liverpool, Liverpool
Jean Hélion - IVAM - Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia
1986
Omaggio a Jan Hélion. Opere recenti - Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
1946
Paintings and Watercolors by Jean Helion - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
1943
Paintings by Jean Helion - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Hélion - Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1938
Paintings by Jean Hélion - Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1932
First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Pierre, Paris


GROUP

2015
Obsession - Maison Particulière, Brussels
2014
la parole est à la figuration - Galerie Natalie Seroussi, Paris
Resonance(s) - Maison Particulière, Brussels
2013
Difficult Art and the Liberal Arts Imagination - Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, TN
Auf Polls Spuren - Editionen 45 Jahre Galerie Poll (I) - Galerie Poll, Berlin
2012
L'Art en Guerre, France 1938-1947 - De Picasso a Dubuffet - Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - MAM/ARC, Paris
Encounters with the 1930s - Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Modern Art - Galerie Alexis Lartigue, Paris
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - Schroeder Romero & Shredder, New York City, NY
2011
The George and Ann Dannatt Collection - Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex
2010
Gipfeltreffen der Moderne. Das Kunstmuseum Winterthur - Museum der Moderne, Salzburg
C'est la vie ! Vanités de Caravage à Damien Hirst - Musée Maillol - Fondation Dina Vierny, Paris
2009
Capolavori della modernità. La collezione del Kunstmuseum Winterthur - MART - Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto
Gipfeltreffen der Moderne - Das Kunstmuseum Winterthur - Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
2008
De Rodchenko a Sol Lewitt - Galerìa Guillermo de Osma, Madrid
Die Hände der Kunst - MARTa Herford, Herford
Works on Paper 1930’s to the Present - Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York City, NY
2007
X mal ICH - Städtische Galerie Fruchthalle Rastatt, Rastatt
Die Erneuerung des Sehens - Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur
2006
Orangerie, 1934 - les Peintres de la réalité - Musée National de l´Orangerie, Paris
Ligne Couleur Espace - Galerie Natalie Seroussi, Paris
Die Zeit der Avantgarden - Aus den Sammlungen des Museum Sztuki, ?ódz - Sprengel Museum Hannover, Hannover
Da Monet a Boltanski - Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Parma
Exil und Moderne – H.W. Janson und die Sammlung der Washington University in St. Louis - Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg
2005
Prélude - Dessins, gouaches, collages - Galerie Lahumière, Paris
Exil und Moderne - Kunsthalle St. Annen Lübeck, Lübeck
BIG BANG - Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
Arbeiten auf Papier - Galerie Michael Hasenclever, Munich
EXIL UND MODERNE - Meisterwerke der klassischen Avantgarde aus der Sammlung der Washington University, St. Louis - Angermuseum Erfurt, Erfurt
2004
Action Painting. Arte americana 1940 - 1970: dal disegno all'opera - Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Modena
Exil und Moderne – H.W. Janson und die Sammlung der Washington University in St. Louis - Opelvillen, Rüsselsheim
2002
Hommage à François Pluchart - FRAC - Bourgogne, Dijon
2000
Art concret - Espace de l’art concret, Mouans Sartoux
Les figures de la marche : un siècle d - Musée Picasso - Château Grimaldi, Antibes
1996
Grabado Francés - MADC Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José
Acquisitions Récentes Du Musée National D'histoire Et D'art - Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain, Luxembourg
1995
France 1960-1995 - Galerie Herve Bize, Nancy
46th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale / Biennale di Venezia - La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1990
La Compagnie Des Objets - Centre d’art contemporain de Quimper - le Quartier, Quimper
1989
Une histoire de collections : dons 1984-1989 - Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QC
1988
Porkkana - kokoelma: nykytaiteen museon puolesta - Kiasma - Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki
The Artist Palate - Michel Soskine Inc. - New York, New York City, NY
1987
Peggy Guggenheim's Other Legacy - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY
1986
Trends in Geometric Abstact Art - Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
Pictura Loquens, 25 ans d'art en France - Villa Arson, Nice
1985
XIII BIENNALE DE PARIS - Biennale de Paris, Paris
1984
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America 1927-1944 - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY
41. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte - La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America 1927-1944 - The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America 1927-1944 - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
1983
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America 1927-1944 - Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA
1981
A new Spirit of Painting - Royal Academy of Arts, London
1977
Tendenzen der 20er Jahre - Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
1976
European Painting in the Seventies: New Work by Sixteen Artists - Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI
Schuh-Werke. Aspekte zum Menschenbild - Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg
European Painting in the Seventies: New Work by Sixteen Artists - Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO
1975
European Painting in the Seventies: New Work by Sixteen Artists - Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
1967
Great Ideas Of Western Man - Indianapolis Museum of Art - IMA, Indianapolis, IN
1961
Elements of Modern Painting - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY
1959
The Gregory Collection: a Selected Exhibition from the Collection of the late E.C. Gregory - ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts London, London
1955
20Th Century Painting And Sculpture: Cantor And Witzinger Collections - Indianapolis Museum of Art - IMA, Indianapolis, IN
1951
I Bienal de São Paulo 1951 - Bienal de Sao Paulo, São Paulo
1946
Cubist And Non-objective Paintings - Indianapolis Museum of Art - IMA, Indianapolis, IN
1945
European artists in America - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY
1944
Abstract and Surrealist Art in the United States - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Abstract and Surrealist Art in the United States - Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Abstract and Surrealist Art in the United States - Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
Abstract and Surrealist Art in the United States - Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Abstract and Surrealist Art in the United States - Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Abstract and Surrealist Art in the United States - Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
1937
Cubism and Abstract Art - Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
Cubism and Abstract Art - The RISD Museum - University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI
Cubism and Abstract Art - The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
Cubism and Abstract Art - The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
1936
Cubism and Abstract Art - The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Cubism and Abstract Art - Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Cubism and Abstract Art - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Exhibition of Drawings and Sculptures by Henry Moore, and Oils and Watercolors by Jean Helion - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Cubism and Abstract Art - MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
1933
Summer Exhibition: Painting and Sculpture - MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY

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