Martin Barré, ‘91 - 120 x 160 - A’, 1991, Galerie Nathalie Obadia

About Martin Barré

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.

French, 1924-1993, Nantes, France, based in Paris, France

Solo Shows on Artsy

2013
1972-1977, The Decisive Years, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
Jean-Paul Najar: Vision & Legacy, Jean-Paul Najar Foundation, Dubai
2014
Biennial of Painting: "The Touch of the Painter", Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle