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Jacques GERMAIN (1915-2001)

Jacques Germain began to paint early on, and since 1931, upon the advice of Blaise Cendrars, he studied at the Académie moderne in Paris who is directed at the time by Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant. But Jacques Germain does not stay long and he leaves for Germany already in 1932 where he worked at the Bauhaus in Dessau with Kandinsky and Albers. In 1936 he returned to France to do his military service and then the war broke out. Taken prisoner, the war had a great influence on his work. Geometric abstraction imposed on him, not because he didn’t dare to paint the reality, but because it was the only way for him to express himself, to be engaged.

From 1947 he exhibited alongside Fautrier, Hartung, Wols, Mathieu, Bryen and others. His painting evolved, but it never deviated from its original commitment that was abstraction. His lines, previously very built, started to widen, tighten, turning into bundles, this lyricism found, a technique mastered perfectly, became his anchor. In 1949, he exhibited at Réalités Nouvelles for the first time, a salon to which he remained faithful all his life. Then followed numerous exhibitions in galleries, museums and salons. Notably the salon of October and of May, where Charles Estienne introduced him to the galleries Maeght, Kaiser, Bongers and Barbier to name a few. He died in Paris in 2001 at the age of 86. 

“We are seduced from the beginning by a multitude of tones… There is a play of transparencies… below them the colors vibrate, following the subtle chords and refined harmonies… It is these squares, rhombus (diamond shaped), trapezes, rhombs that press into tight battalions and form a substantial texture… All these figures are moving in a direction that is suggested to us rather than indicated. Every lyricism worthy of this name has an underlying order and movement, an inner strength … “

J. Grenier Text for the exhibition catalogue “Groupe” at the Gallery J. Massol in 1959