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Jean Lurcat

Jean Lurcat

French, 1892 - 1966

Location of Death:Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, Europe
Location of Birth:Bruyeres Vosges, France, Europe
1892 Jean Lurçat was born in Bruyères. After attending high school in Epinal, his artistic formation gets underway at the workshop of Victor Prouvé, the director of the Ecole de Nancy where he receives training in fresco, drawing and booksbinding.

1912 Sets out for Paris and after several weeks at the Fine Art School, enrolls in the Académie Colorassi and in the studio of the engraver Bernard Naudin.

1913 With three friends, founds the Les Feuilles de Mai review.

1914 First work project with Jean Paul Lafitte in Marseilles. Travels to Italy.

1916 First exhibition at the Tanner Gallery of Zurich.

1920 Travels to Berlin, Munich, Rome, Naples, Palermo. Sets himself up at rue Nollet in Paris (18e) with Marthe Hennebert.

1921 Becomes friends with Pierre Chareau, Max Jacob, Louis Marcoussis. Discovers Picasso.

1922 Two exhibitions in Paris at the Povolotozky Gallery (gouaches) and at the Vildrac gallery. ( oils and watercolors). Large wall decoration for Edmond Bernheim at the Villeflix castle with Pierre Chareau ( architect of the « House of glass » .Fifth tapestry, « Le Cirque », for Marie Cuttoli’s salon.

1923 - 1924 Travels to Spain and spends time in North Africa, the Sahara, Greece and Minor Asia. Signs a non-exclusive contract with his friend , the art dealer Etienne Bignou.Marries Marthe Hennebert on December 15th.

1925 Moves to the house of his brother André, architect at 4, Villa Seurat in Paris (14th). Travels to Scotland, Spain, the Sahara.Shows his work in Paris at resp. the Georges Petit and Jeanne Bucher Galleries.Works for the realisation of the movie by Marcel L’Herbier « Le vertige », with an achitecture by R. Mallet-Stevens, decorated by Cavalcanti, Chareau, F. Léger with rugs and paintings by Lurçat.

1926 - 1927 Acclaimed by the critics. Executes a great number of portraits. Sets out again for the East, Greece and Turkey with Marthe.

1928 Travels to Greece and Italy. Prepares his first show in New York at Valentine Gallery. In Paris, show at the Vavin Gallery. Participates in Moscow’s First Exhibition of Contemporary Art.

1929 Long stay in Morocco. Marthe and Jean divorced.

1930 Show at the Alex Reid and Lefèvre Gallery of London. Return visit to the U.S.A. with an exhibition at the Valentine Gallery and the Becker Gallery.

1931 Moves to Vevey( Switzerland) with his new family. Marries Rossane Thimoteeff-Soskice in May, 12th.Shows in Philadelphia, Berlin and Paris at the Vignon Gallery. Composes eight large-scale drawings, published by Jeanne Bucher under the title « P.P.C. », the initials for « pour prendre congé » (to take leave).

1932 Thinks settling for good in the U.S.A. where he has acquired such a widespread reputation. Exhibits with Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Derain, Dufy at the « Selections’s », organized by the Valentine Gallery.

1933 Receives the Barnes Foundation award in the U.S.A.. Becomes friends with Thérèse Bonney.

1934 New stay in New York. Designs the stage sets and costumes for a ballet done by the American Ballets Company and choreographs by Balanchine.In August, show of paintings and gouaches at Moscow’s Museum of Modern Western Art, and then in Kiev.

1935 Start of the spanish civil war. Lurçat paints « the Dynamiteros ».

1936 New show at London’s Reid and Lefevre Gallery and the Jeanne Bucher Gallery in Paris. First tapestry at the Manufacture des Gobelins, a gift to the queen of Holland.

1937 - 1938 Creates many tapestries at Tabard’s. Produces by the Beauvais manufactory four armchairs, a divan for Chareau and a folding.

1939 Shows at the Bignou Gallery in New York and the Petit Palais in Paris.

1940 Collaborates with Derain and Dufy.

1941 - 1942 Sets in the Lot at Crégols with Rossane, then moves to Souillac and participates in the underground movement.Exhibition « Dufy and Lurçat » at the Bignou Gallery in New York.

1944 Shows in Paris at the Carré Gallery ( « 20 tapestries ») and in New York at the Bignou Gallery « paintings by Jean Lurçat ». After the liberation, directs the newspaper « Liberté ».

1945 Acquires Tours Saint Laurent, the remains of an ancient fortress overlooking Saint- Céré.

1946 In New York, E. Bignou organizes a new show of his paintings. Show at London’s Anglo-French Centre.

1947 Participates to the major exhibition « La tapisserie Française du Moyen-âge à nos jours », which travels in Brussels, London, New York, Chicago, L.A., Boston, Montreal.

1948 Lectures and shows in England, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland.

1949 - 1950 Travels a great deal to Milan, Venice, Zurich. Shows his work in Locarno, Beirut, Zurich.

1951 - 1952 Publication of « Bestiaire fabuleux » text by Patrice de la Tour du Pin and gouaches by Lurçat. Produces his first ceramic pieces at San-Vicens Pottery near Perpignan.

1953 Shows at the Gimpel Gallery in London and at the Musée Réattu in Arles.

1954 Travels to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and in South and Central American lands. Shows in Lausanne, Paris (La Demeure). Travels to Hannover, Essen, Hagen. Death of his wife Rossane.

1955 - 1956 Travels in China for two months. On August 11th, marries Simone Selves, whom ha had met through the underground.

1957 Many lectures and exhibitions in Europe and in the U.S.A.

1958 A major exhibition giving an overview of Lurçat’s œuvre at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, meets great acclaim. Travels to Japan, India, Portugal.

1959 Voted a member of Belgium’s Académie Royale, and Portugal’s National Academy of Arts.

1960 One-man shows of his tapestries in Cologne, Bremen, Lisbon. Continues his « Chant du Monde », one of his most important tapestries.

1961 - 1962 Works a lot. Travels to England, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Dahomey. Continues his shows throughout Europe . The Stiebel Gallery in Paris puts on a retrospective of his painted work.

1963 - 1964 Many shows in Genova, Tel-Aviv, Annecy, hannover, Zurich, Morocco. One-man show of his tapestries at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, including « Le chant du Monde ». Voted a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (Institut de France), on February 19th, 1964.

1965 Travels for the last time in Mexico, Greece. Fatigue suscitated by overwork.

1966 Lurçat passes away on January 6th, at Saint-Paul-de-Vence.