Georges Mathieu

French, 1921–2012

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Biography

Considered the founder of Lyrical Abstraction—a movement distinct from geometric abstraction in the organic style of its forms—and the organizer of the “Abstraction Lyrique” exhibition held in Paris in 1947, Georges Mathieu is best known for his large-scale paintings featuring curving calligraphic lines. Mathieu was a colorful and famous personality during his lifetime, often creating paintings during public performances, working rapidly in front of the audience. The speed of his execution was a signature component of his style, which he once described as “an orgasm of uncontrolled expression.” Mathieu also claimed to be the first to practice “Tubism”—squeezing paint directly from the tube—and the drip technique, though the latter is widely attributed to Jackson Pollock. Mathieu was influenced by Wols, Jean-Michel Atlan, and Hans Hartung.

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Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition
Shows Featuring Georges Mathieu