Charles Lapicque

Born in 1898 - France


Born in 1898 and died in 1988, Charles Lapicque was a French painter from the Nouvelle Ecole in Paris.

Adopted son of a professor in General Physiology, Louis Lapicque, whose name he took, Charles Lapicque learned piano, drawing and violin during his childhood. In 1917, Charles Lapicque did his service and left to do field artillery, where he acquired a knowledge on horses.

After the war, Charles Lapicque joined Ecole centrale des arts et manufacture in Paris, where he specialized in industrial design. In 1920, he painted his first landscapes. He began a career as an engineer in the electrical energy distribution near Lisieux before settling down in Paris in 1924. Charles Lapicque participated in choir and painted on Sundays. This is when he developed a strong passion for the two arts that led him to research projections in space. Jeanne Bucher noticed his abstract work and asked him to display his work in the gallery. In 1928, the artist abandoned his engineering profession and the following year he obtained his first solo exhibition.

Charles Lapicque went back to university to learn the physical sciences. After his doctorate, he became assistant trainer with Maurice Curie and rubbed shoulders with many physicists. This environment led him to research color perception. To develop his theory, he joined Ecole supérieure d'optique. Later he participated in several seminars where he talked about his research on blue and red in Art. In 1936 he met Jean Wahl, who made him embark on a philosophical and aesthetic reflection.

His work was gradually recognized by institutions and he received an order of 5 large murals for the Palais de la découverte in Paris, one of them received the medal of honor at the Universal Exhibition in 1937. He experimented with granite sculptures along with primitive arts, all the while learning new musical instruments.

In 1939, Charles Lapicque joined the National Center for Scientific Research, where he was responsible for studying night vision and camouflage. In 1941, he participated in the first avant-garde exhibition of Jean Bazaine and the exhibition of today's painters at the Galerie de France, the Nazi government condemned it. He made a series of paintings on the liberation of Paris and the Galerie Louis Carré displayed them in 1946.

Charles Lapicque received the Raoul Dufy award at the Venice Biennale in 1953, which led him to discover Venice for a year. Then the artist went to Rome, Greece, Spain, Holland and eventually toured France from 1975 to 1980. He received the National Painting Prize in 1979.

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1960 : Musée des beaux-arts de Nantes (rétrospective)
1962 : Kunsthalle de Berne (rétrospective, 170 numéros); Musée Lenbachhaus de Munich (rétrospective), catalogue : préface de Jean-Louis Ferrier et textes inédits de Lapicque, Document utilisé pour la rédaction de l’article; Musée de peinture et de sculpture de Grenoble (rétrospective); Musée-maison de la culture, Le Havre (rétrospective)
1963 : Städtisches museum, Trèves (rétrospective), catalogue : préface de Curt Schweicher; Musée d'état, Luxembourg (rétrospective)
1964 : Kunstverein, Hambourg (rétrospective), catalogue : préface de Walther Scharf
1965 : Musée de l'Athénée, Genève (peintures, dessins, tapisseries); Museum Folkwang, Essen (rétrospective)
1967 : Kunstamt-Tempelhof, Berlin (rétrospective de dessins); Musée national d'art moderne, Paris (rétrospective, 152 numéros), catalogue : préface de Bernard Dorival et anthologie de textes critiques (122 p.) Document utilisé pour la rédaction de l’article
1968 : Musée des beaux-arts de Nîmes, catalogue : texte de Charles Lapicque
1969 : Musée municipal de Brest (rétrospective), catalogue : textes de Gaston Diehl et René Le Bihan
1970 : Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi (rétrospective)
1978 : Musée national d'art moderne, Cabinet d'art graphique, Paris (Dessins de Lapicque, 295 numéros), catalogue : préface de Pierre Georgel, Les dessins de Lapicque au Musée national d'art moderne, exposition itinérante Document utilisé pour la rédaction de l’article
1979 : Musée des beaux-arts de Dijon (cinquante ans de peinture, cinquante tableaux), catalogue : texte de Pierre Granville
1986 : Musée de Morlaix (La Bretagne et la Mer, tapisseries, lithographies)
1991 : Royan, Centre d'arts plastiques (peintures de 1939 à 1961)
1992-1993 : Les Sables d'Olonne, Musée de l'abbaye Sainte-Croix, catalogue : textes de Didier Ottinger et Charles Lapicque (ISBN 2-901432-73-5)
1998 : Royan, Centre d'arts plastiques (L'écriture de la mer, peintures, dessins), catalogue : texte de Maryvonne Georget
1996 : Antony, La Maison des arts, catalogue : texte de Gabriel Salloum
2011 : Charles Lapicque à Besançon, Donations Norbert Ducrot-Granderye, Musée des beaux-arts et d'Archéologie de Besançon, catalogue : textes de Philippe Bouchet, Norbert Ducrot-Granderye, Henri Ferreira-Lopes, Emmanuel Guigon, Charles Lapicque, Matthieu Pinette, Pierre Rosenberg, Françoise Soulier-François, Musée des beaux-arts et d'archéologie de Besançon, Éditions Hazan, 2011 (ISBN 978-2-7541-0545-3)

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