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Gérard Eppelé

Born in: 1929

France

Biography
Gérard Eppelé’s work and artistic history are radically off the beaten track. Like the recurring character who walks across most of his works, Gérard Eppelé wanders around the world, casts on it an surprised glance, tries to understand it and attends, astonished, the tragic fate of men. This "walk" started some time ago already. Born in Cherbourg in 1929, Gérard Eppelé follows his family to Morocco during around ten years. He returns to France in 1942 and, having started then given up studies in a technical college, he enters Toulouse University of Fine Arts. There he spends two short periods, in 1946 and 1948. Having to stay in a sanatorium, he starts drawing and realizes a series of portraits of copatients. Then Gérard Eppelé spends two years in Aubusson at the National School of Tapestry and in 1952 enters the world of cinema as painter decorator. He works mostly in Max Douy’s team for directors as Jean Renoir (Elena and the men), Claude Autan-Lara (Marguerite of the night, The crossing of Paris), Luis Buñuel (It is called the dawn), Jules Dassin (The recrucified Christ). He then neglects a little painting. Forced to stop for health reasons, he settles down in 1959 in Vence in South of France where he starts again painting and drawing. There occurs a decisive meeting with Jean Dubuffet who takes him as his assistant and enables him to make his first exhibition in 1960 at the gallery Alphonse Chave in Vence. Since this date he has not stopped painting, drawing, sculpting and exposing while at the same time leading, from 1964 till 1992, a parallel career as a teacher at the school of Decorative Arts of Nice and at the Villa Arson. Gérard Eppelé was also sought many times by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote the French culture through exhibitions and university lectures. He himself defines his painting as «one of the images of man, a quest to idealize the being and formulate with perseverance the existential question».
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