About the artist:
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. In 1973 was launched a public contest for them renewal of the ten-francs coin : Mathieu was asked to participate. His project features the depiction of the industrial France on one side, and the Mathieu hexagonal shaped outline of the country on the other side. On the 31 July 1974, the French Minister of Finance announced that Mathieu's proposal had been chosen among the 342 other submitted projects. The cupronickel aluminium coin was emitted from 1974 to 1987 with a print-run of 100 millions copies. Mathieu has been commissioned several advertising campaigns. In 1966 the airlines company Air France ordered Mathieu a series of posters for its future advertising campaign. The series featured paintings evocative of some major destinations (New York, Brazil, Japan, Germany...), all in the style of lyrical abstraction, pointed out for the graphical coherence between the countries and their representation. The French television awards Les 7 d'or, broadcast from 1985 to 2001, offered a statue designed by Mathieu to the winners. The Champagne producer Deutz created decorated bottles of Champagne designed by Mathieu. The Gutai group of Japanese artists also created a live work inspired from Mathieu's in a similar spirit to his art during the 1950s. In their 1956 manifesto, its members acknowledged their interest in the techniques of two specific painters: “Concerning contemporary art, we respect Pollock and Mathieu because their work seems to embody cries uttered out of matter, pigment and enamel. Their work is about merging with matter using techniques that are particularly reflective of their own individual personalities. More precisely, they put themselves at the service of matter in a powerfully symbiotic way.” Some of his works anticipates the revival of the modern-style Graffiti.