Jean Dewasne (1921 - 1999)
Signed Jean Dewasne
16.5 x 21 ins / 42 x 54 cms
Jean Dewasne was born in Lille on 21st May 1921. He was a French painter, sculptor and lithographer - widely considered one of the masters of constructive abstraction.
From an early age, Dewasne studied classical music (he was six years old when he started playing violin). But following a trip to the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life), Paris, (November 1937) Dewasne enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts (Paris) where he initially studied architecture before turning to painting
Dewasne first exhibited at Gallery lEsquisse (1941), producing his first abstract work in 1943.
In 1945, Dewasne received the (first) Kandinsky Prize and was part of the founding committee of the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles. Dewasne resigned from the Réalités Nouvelles salon in 1949. In his resignation letter he wrote - (the salon) was created to defend abstract art but not to defend idealist or spiritualist conceptions against materialist conceptions, nor aesthetic theories such as that of art for art's sake to the exclusion of all others; and vice versa. I cannot accept this reduction of my freedom of thought within our association as well as that of other members of society. Since the committee seems firmly decided in this direction, I hereby send you my resignation as a member of the New Realities committee."
He exhibited his abstract painting at the René Drouin gallery (1946) and in 1951 he created his first Anti-Sculptures using automobile or motorcycle body parts painted in bright colours. He became a key artist at the Denise René gallery (1945-1956) and with Daniel Cordier thereafter.
Dewasne's first retrospective took place at the Kunsthalle, Bern (1966). In 1991, he was elected a member of lAcadémie des beaux-arts.
Jean Dewasne died in Paris on 23rd July 1999, aged 78.