Auguste Herbin

Born in 1882 - France


Auguste Herbin is a French abstract painter, born in Quiévy in 1882 and died in Paris in 1960. From 1898 to 1901, he studied at the School of Fine Arts of Lille. He then moved to Paris.

At first influenced by the Impressionist style, his encounter with Picasso and Georges Braque in 1909 led him to approach cubism, an approach encouraged by his friend Wilhelm Uhde, a German art critic and collector. Between 1913 and 1923, he moved to Céret and created several Cubist pieces such as " Landscape in Céret". He focused in the notion of perspective.
In 1917, Herbin got interested for the first time in abstract painting and created some pieces. Léonce Rosenberg noticed his paintings and they started working together. Herbin exhibited his work in the Gallery "L'effort Moderne" until 1921.
In 1919, Herbin wanted to definitely give up Cubism, which he though was becoming old fashion. "Art can only be monumental" he wrote in Gleizes. He then started creating a collection of "monumental objects" that led him to paint on geometric wood in relief. This work was not well received by the critics and Rosenberg advised him to come back to a more figurative style, which he did momentarily. In 1922 he married Louise Bailleux.

Auguste Herbin created in the years 1940-1950 a plastic alphabet where each letter was associated to a color, a geometry shape and a particular sound. The letter I for example corresponds to the color orange, a circle and a triangle and the note ré.
In 1949, he presented his book "L'Art non Figuratif, non Objectif" in which he presents this plastic alphabet at the gallery "La Gentilhommière" in Paris and which later on became a reference in abstract painting.
During those years, his painting was very geometric, consisting of simple forms and pure colors.

Suffering from hemiplegia in 1953, Herbin had to relearned to paint with his left hand. He died in 1960 in Paris.

Auguste Herbin participated in numerous exhibitions including at the Salon des Independants several times, in Section d'Or in 1912, at the Salon Association in 1940, in 1931 he created the group Abstraction-Creation with artist George Vantongerloo

He donated many works to the Matisse Museum in Cateau-Cambrésis, which to this day are still exhibited at the museum.

In the 2000s, Didier Marien made a collection of original carpets, signed and numbered Herbin, which he exhibited in France, London, New York and Moscow, a collection that greatly contributed to the rediscovery of the artist in these major cities.

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Nature morte à la boule rouge, 100 × 73 cm, 1919, Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre Pompidou, Paris
Relief Polychrome, 1921, 76 × 65 × 4 cm, huile sur bois, 1921, Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre Pompidou, Paris
Réalité spirituelle, huile sur toile, 195 x 130 cm (1938), Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis
Union, huile sur toile (1959), Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis
Autoportrait, huile sur toile, 46 × 38 cm, (non daté), Musée d'art de Toulon.Et aussi l' impasse

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