Roger Bezombes — 1913
French painter, sculptor, medalist and designer. Bezombes studied in Paris, at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, and was much influenced by his friendship with Maurice Denis. He worked principally as a painter, adopting the saturated colors of Henri Matisse in landscapes and figures studied often based on observation of ‘exotic’ cultures, notably Mediterranean and North African. In the mid-1960s a new rawness emerged in his work, derived from ‘primitive’ examples and new materials associated with his experiments in other media. He executed tapestry designs for Aubusson, posters (winning the Grand Prix de l’Affiche Française in 1984), costumes and sets for ballets at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, reliefs and murals. In 1965 he took up medal-making, expressing his numerous metallic works for the Paris Mint that obssessionwith found object which is also evident in his large-scale sculpture and in his posters.
Bernard Buffet — 1928–2001
Born in Paris, Bernard Buffet is a modern French master of painting, lithography and etching. He entered the Paris École des Beaux-Arts at the young age of sixteen. He preferred, however, to spend most of his student hours studying the works of Rembrandt, David and Courbet at the Louvre. Buffet exhibited his initial paintings at the Paris Salon at age eighteen. His first original print—a drypoint engraving—was created in 1948. Buffet’s firt original lithograph dates from 1952 and since that time he dedicated himself almost exclusively to this demanding artistic medium.
Buffets lithographs have for many years been famous throughout the world. His bold and very personal form of expression has placed him among the most sought after and respected contemporary masters of figurative and landscape art.
Lebadang was born in Vietnam in 1922 and immigrated to France in 1933 to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Toulouse. His first one–person art show was held in Paris in 1950.
Internationally recognized as one of the world’s most accomplished printmakers, Lebadang is renowned for his fusion of the cultural influences of Europe and the Orient through a personal poetic vision articulated in watercolor, sculpture and fine prints. He has used paper as his means to communicate his artistic vision. Many works combine the techniques of etching, embossing, lithography and silk–screen. He has virtually re–invented these processes to achieve a grace and simplicity of imagery executed in infinite variations of line, shape and color. He adds virtuosity to silk–screen printing, where he individually hand–cuts each screen while in the studio, taking every creative opportunity to manipulate the image. His works in cast paper astound collectors, curators and fellow artists. The complex image, texture and color are achieved simultaneously in one closing of the press. Normally, this work requires multiple plates and impressions.
Roger Lersy — 1920
Twentieth century French Painter, lithographer and composer of classical music, Roger Lersy studies at both the School of Applies Arts in Paris, and at the Paris Conservatoire. He held his first exhibition in Paris in 1946. During the following years his art was also exhibited in London, Geneva, Los Angeles, Houston and New York. Roger Lersy won such awards as the Prix de Amateurs d’Arts (1953) and the Prize of the City of Marseille (1955). The artist also illustrated a number of fine art books with his original graphics, such as, Bestiaire (1968) and Multiforms (1977).
Lersy’s work can roughly be divided into two periods of artistic experimentation. Before 1960 the artist concentrated mostly upon forms of representational art, particularly still–life and landscape. Afterwards, his work shifted to forms of abstract expression. As one can see in such a composition as Untitled Abstract, the non–representational use of line, color, form and (most importantly) movement strongly links his visual art to his music.
In order to more fully explore Abstract Expressionism, Roger Lersy spent long periods of time in New York between 1961 and 1968.
Jean Marzelle studied first at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montpellier, then in Paris. He was accepted for the first time at the Salon d’Automne in 1942. Influenced by the work of Cézanne, Mazelle has painted works of powerful lyricism bordering on the abstract, marked by the colors and the quality of light of the western Mediterranean. Like many of his generation, he sought to rationalize the advances of contemporary art with realism. He was associated with Denoyer de Ségonzac and Jaques Villon, later establishing a friendship with more abstract artists such as Edouard Pignon and Olivier Estéve. He has won prizes at competitive expositions in France, has had one–man shows in Paris (many, beginning in 1953), Geneva (1958), New York (1953) and elsewhere. In addition to his paintings, Mazelle has worked on commission in mosaics and stained glass.
Zoran Music — 1909–2005
Anton Zoran Music was born in Slovenia, in a village near the border with Italy. He visited Vienna and Prague often during his studies, where he saw works by Secessionist painters Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. After leaving the Academy of Dine Arts in Lublijana, he traveled to Spain, where he copied works by El Greco and Goya, but fled to Dalmatia upon the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The dusty hills of this region had a profound influence on his palette. In 1944, Music was charged with collaborating with anti–German groups and was arrested by the Gestapo. Deported to Dachau, he made drawings of the horrors he witnessed and lived through. After the U.S. army liberated the camp in 1945, the artist settled in Venice, where he painted his first self–portraits and horses, and made watercolors of the Zattere and of St. Mark’s. The series entitled We Are Not the Last has its source in Music’s wartime experiences. Following the war –and perhaps in reaction to it, Music painted landscapes without people in dry, muted tones inspired by the countryside in Dalmatia and around Siena. Music continued to exhibit internationally since the 1950s. His work includes rocky landscapes, cathedral interiors and self–portraits.
M.E. Sarthou — 1911–2000
Sarthou was born in France and studied at the School of Art in Montpellier and Paris. Winner of several awards (the 1953 Buhrie Prize, the 1955 Prize of Criticism, the 1957 first prize at the biennial of Chin, and the First International Prize of the Biennial of Merignac in 1980), he drew inspiration from natural elements.