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Jeanne COPPEL (1896-1971)

“In my eyes, the work and the personality of Jeanne Coppel were one. As her grand daughter, the kindness and the great strength that emanate as  much from her paintings than from her collages are traits of Jeanne’s personality that I hold dearly. I am really greatful to have had such a noble and sweet woman as a role model. More than anything else, it is her attention for the discrete poetry of life and its daily manifestation that marked me.

Unlike the myth of the cursed artist, Jeanne Coppel has always known how to overcome with great celerity the challenges that came up all along her life. Thus, when it was impossible to stumble upon tubes of paint or canvases during World War 1, she used silk papers that she had found to create her first collages. Later, during the second world war, housing restrictions prevented her to use oil paints so she started using found objects to feed her creative energy. The “depersonalisation” of this approach lead her to a brand new field of investigation. It was as if she was playing in a concert to which she needed to bring her own personnal touch. She used to tell me when she talked about collages that “protected by a kind of anonimity, the freedom of investing remains open”. Forever carried by a deep sense of spirituality, Jeanne knew how to keep moving forward, sticking to her own path, while an admirable modesty kept her attentive to historical upheavals as much as to her fellow artists’ work.

It’s probably thanks to the ability to cultivate her personal space as much as her inner freedom, without ever falling in the traps of selffishness or disdain, that Jeanne Coppel was able to find her voice within the art world. Even though she took part in a movement dedicated to women artists, she never really seemed to worry about belonging to a any sort of categories. 
In my opinion, the way she was able to remain herself and reach for her goals in a world where women were supposed to live for others represents great heroism that could inspire every women.”

Text by Judith Coppel