Skip to Main Content

Martin Barré

French, 1924–1993

261 followers

Martin Barré

Bio

French, 1924–1993

Followers
261
Biography

A major figure in the history of post-war French abstraction, Martin Barré’s restless experimentalism led him to challenge accepted modes of abstract painting throughout his career, exploring line, color, form, and two-dimensional surface. Trained first in architecture before turning to painting, Barré’s compositions typically feature white backgrounds and spare forms with a distinct relationship between figure and ground; in his later career he painted brightly colored geometric shapes and introduced serial works. “I do not paint to convey moods,” he once said. “I use a rule, a ‘rule of the game,’ and I transgress it when it so requires.” He employed a range of tools at different points in the evolution of his practice, using a palette knife in his early career before going on to squeeze paint directly from tube to canvas, later turning to spray paint and stencils. He was profoundly influenced by the work of Kasimir Malevich, and his inventive approach to painting has been likened to the innovative spirits of his contemporaries Gerhard Richter and Robert Ryman.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition
Biography

A major figure in the history of post-war French abstraction, Martin Barré’s restless experimentalism led him to challenge accepted modes of abstract painting throughout his career, exploring line, color, form, and two-dimensional surface. Trained first in architecture before turning to painting, Barré’s compositions typically feature white backgrounds and spare forms with a distinct relationship between figure and ground; in his later career he painted brightly colored geometric shapes and introduced serial works. “I do not paint to convey moods,” he once said. “I use a rule, a ‘rule of the game,’ and I transgress it when it so requires.” He employed a range of tools at different points in the evolution of his practice, using a palette knife in his early career before going on to squeeze paint directly from tube to canvas, later turning to spray paint and stencils. He was profoundly influenced by the work of Kasimir Malevich, and his inventive approach to painting has been likened to the innovative spirits of his contemporaries Gerhard Richter and Robert Ryman.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition