Georges Mathieu, French (1921 - )

French painter, Georges Mathieu gained an international reputation in the 1950’s as a leading Abstract Expressionist. His large paintings are created very rapidly and impulsively. Despite his unconventional technique, he considers himself a historical painter working with abstract subject matter.

Post-war painter, Georges Mathieu was born in Boulogne sur Mer, in 1921, and received a bachelor's degree in English. After the war he went to work in Paris, working in public relations for the marine company LAST American Lines.

Mathieu began to paint non-figuratively around 1942, and in 1947 his abstract work began to attract attention due to the application of paint directly from the tube.
This new abstraction, described as: "lyric, informal or "tachiste" (having spots and blurs), ignored the traditions and the rules that existed previously. Mathieu was the first to bring this new style to the School of Paris before 1950 and also to the painters of the School of New York.

His position at the U.S Lines, allowed him to keep in touch with the movements of the vanguard New York art scene, thus becoming aware of Action Painting. He became aware of lyrical abstraction and abstract expressionism. He began to show at galleries around 1946, at the Sixth Hall of the Minors for 30 years, Galerie Des Beaux-Arts of Paris, and in 1950 he held his first solo exhibition at the Galerie René Drouin, Paris.

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