Andre Minaux French, (1923 - 1986)

Andre Minaux

(b Paris, 5 Sept 1923). French painter and printmaker. He studied under Maurice Brianchon at the Ecole National Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (1941–5). From 1944 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, Salon des Indépendants and Salon de Mai and had his first one-man show at the Galerie des Impressions d’Art in Paris in 1946. In 1949 he participated in the second Homme-Témoin group exhibition at the Galerie Claude and the same year won the Prix de la Critique.

The social realism of Homme-Témoin was in tune with Minaux’s own work, in which he pared away detail and employed thickly painted, expressive brushstrokes in subdued colours to depict everyday scenes, as in Seated Woman (c. 1949; see Chevalier, pl. 4). In the same style were a number of townscapes, such as Landscape of Toury Ferrotes (1950; Paris, Pompidou), and such still-lifes as Armchair in an Interior (1951; London, Tate). He also made lithographs to illustrate books, for example Jules Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly’s L’Ensorcelée (1955), Jules Renard’s Les Philippe (1958) and Blaise Cendrars’s La Grande Route. In 1960 Minaux exhibited the large work The Wedding (1957–60; see Besson, pl. 1) at the Maison de la Pensée Française in Paris.

Covering an area of 20 sq. m, the painting depicted an interior scene with figures gathered in celebration, which was compared by contemporaries to Gustave Courbet’s Burial at Ornans (1849–50; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay). From the 1960s his colours brightened yet his work became more serene, although the subject-matter remained the same. In the 1970s he concentrated on the theme of women in interiors in a series of coloured etchings, where the forms were flattened and abstracted, as in Denise (1976–7; see exh. cat., p. 17). Also in the 1970s he made etchings of still-lifes mainly depicting elements taken from the artist’s studio, as in Two Palettes (1976–7; see exh. cat., p. 4).

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