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Artists Biography

Gen Paul

French 1895-1975
Paul15659web
Gen Paul was a French painter widely acclaimed for his use of rapid brushstrokes and dynamic angles, in depicting street scenes, figures, and horse races. He was largely a self-taught artist.

He was born as Eugène Paul in Montmartre, Paris on 2nd July 1985. His father died when he was only ten years old and Paul was trained to work in decorative furnishings. He served in the French army during World War I and was wounded twice, losing one of his legs. During his convalescence, he returned to painting after having shown talent for drawing as a child. He never received any formal training however he went on to make a living from his art for almost 60 years.

While his early works reflected the influences of his friends in Montmartre, Vlaminck, Utrillo and Frank Will, he soon developed dynamic form of expressionism reflecting influences as varied as Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Goya, Velázquez and El Greco.

Between 1925 and 1929, he produced many of his best works which were fuelled by his passion for life and a desire to overcome his handicap. Unlike other expressionists of the time, Gen Paul's works are full of optimism and some consider Paul to be the first action painter; a precursor to the abstract expressionists of the 1950s.

In addition to painting scenes from his native Montmartre, including that of his friends, composer Darius Milhaud, writer Louis Ferdinand Celine, Paul travelled to the United States where he painted jazz and classical musicians, a subject with which he had much interest.
Paul began the 1930s with a serious addiction to alcohol, further complicating his chronic health problems. The paintings of 1930s reflect a more sombre mood with precise lines and carefully chosen colours and an emphasis of rhythm over motion. In 1934, he was recognized for his contributions to France and was awarded the Legion of Honour. In 1937, he was contracted to paint a large fresco for the Pavilion of Wines of France at the Paris International Exposition.

In addition to painting scenes from his native Montmartre, including that of his friends, composer Darius Milhaud, writer Louis Ferdinand Celine, Paul travelled to the United States where he painted jazz and classical musicians, a subject with which he had much interest.

Gen Paul died on April 30, 1975 in Paris. A great many of his works remain in private hands but a number of his important pieces can be found at museums in France and in other parts of Europe.

Works by this artist…

  • Cavaliers
    Cavaliers
    ( ref : 15659 )
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