Jacques VILLON |
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France 1875 - 1963
Jacques Villon (July 31, 1875 – June 9, 1963), also known as Gaston Duchamp, was a French Cubist and abstract painter and printmaker.
Jacques Villon was a powerful figure in the history of modern painting. His birth name was Gaston Duchamp. One of the gifted artistic family of a Rouen notary, Jacques Villon worked in a law office when he left school but found sparetime art studies more interesting.
In 1894, he came to Paris where he studied at Atelier Cormon and met the habitues of the cafes and dance halls. He adopted the profession of Toulouse Lautrec, Steinlen, and Forain, doing humorous drawings for periodicals, Le Rire, Gil Blas, and Le Courrier Francais. Those years of drawing and engraving established a formative discipline. He exhibited with the Salon d'Automne from its foundation in 1904 and took up portrait painting for a short time.
About 1911, Cubism became a major interest and to the tenets held by Picasso, Gris and to others he added some of his own, including a higher key to his palette. Another principle he adopted was the system of pyramidal vision formulated by Leonardo da Vinci based on his theory that the lines if extended to a certain point would converge into a pyramidal form. In 1912, Villon with his brothers Marcel Duchamp and Raymond Duchamp- Villon, his sister Suzanne and fellow artists Gleizes, Leger, Metzinger, Kupka, La Fresnaye, Picabia, and Delauney formed the Section d'Or group. It developed the precept of the Golden Section and extended the analytical approach to Cubism to reconstituting the whole subject with intensification of its poetic and dream-like qualities.
After military service, Villon returned to painting and from 1919 to 1922 followed an abstract line of experiment. This involved the rejection of natural appearance completely and attempting to suggest its essence by overlapping planes of muted tones of grey and brown. Finding little material satisfaction in painting, Villon returned to engraving and until about 1930 he was obliged to produce an unrewarding succession of prints. It was however a solace to find his early success in the United States, when he had sold nine pictures at the original Armory Show in New York in 1913, was partially repeated when he showed at the Brummer Gallery, New York, in 1928 and later in Chicago. The quiet and thoughtful devotion to his inventive and exploratory marriage of vision to the autonomy of paint and his capability of evolving pictures full of mood and stimulation give Villon a secure place in the hierarchy of French painting attuned to the movement of Modern Art and its non-conformity while preserving the national reverence for the authority of paint and its immutable importance in transmitting color sensation. ...
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