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Goetz, Henri Bernard Goetz
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Henri Bernard Goetz
1909-1989

Henri Bernard Goetz (September 29, 1909 – August 12, 1989) was a French American Surrealist painter and engraver. He is known for his artwork, as well as for inventing the carborundum printmaking process. His work is represented in more than 100 galleries worldwide.

In September 1935, Goetz meet Christine Boumeester at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Christine was a very shy Dutch painter from Java, Indonesia. Goetz invited her to visit his studio, and she moved in with him several days later. They were married when Christine's parents visited them in Paris. He credited Christine with much of his early development from realism to his more modern surrealist painting style. Around this time he met Hans Hartung, who introduced him to his circle of friends. Through this, he met Fernand Léger and Wassily Kandinsky.

As World War II began, both Goetz and his wife worked with the French Resistance. They printed leaflets on a simple printing press and created posters to paste on walls around Paris. However, they primarily worked to forge identity documents. In 1939, Goetz, Christian Dotremont, and Raoul Ubac created La Main à Plume, the first surrealist publication under the Occupation.

The group made false documents for a Czech poet who, upon being caught by the German authorities, told them of the surrealists who would be meeting in a few days. The group was arrested, although Goetz was not among them. However, Ubec was arrested, and the authorities found a note from Goetz detailing instructions on forging identity cards. For this, as well as for Goetz's American nationality, he and Christine were forced to flee to Côte d'Azur.[2]

They moved to Cannes, where Goetz was forced to take on such jobs as cutting sandstone. After the Liberation of Paris in 1944, Goetz and his wife were able to return.

In 1968, Christine became ill. She lived with her illness for three years, before dying in Paris on January 10, 1971.[1] After her death, he came across a number of her journals, which he published in a book called Christine Boumeester's notebooks. He prefaced the book.

After being hospitalized for an illness, Goetz committed suicide by jumping from the fifth floor of the hospital, dying in Nice, France on August 12, 1989.

When he was eighteen, he left home to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he studied to be an electrical engineer. However, he started taking evening art classes and began to devote his summer vacations to painting instead of apprenticeship. He decided to enroll at Harvard University, also in Cambridge, where he attended art history lectures with the intent of becoming a museum curator. While attending classes in Fogg Museum, he realized he wanted to be an artist. He left Harvard the next year to attend the Grand Central School of Art in New York City, where he enrolled in morning, evening, and night classes. In July, 1930, he decided to leave America to go to Paris, Franceusing money he had saved working as a golf caddie and as an apprentice electrical engineer.

The day after arriving in Paris, Goetz began attending the Académie Colarossi, aiming to split his time between the studios there and those at the Académie Julian and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. He also frequented the Montparnasse art studios, including the studio of Amédée Ozenfant.[1] He was not interested in formal training, instead looking for somewhere to paint. He began by painting portraitureand studying the nude figure. He stayed in Paris for two years, only returning home once to collect his belongings after deciding to stay in France permanently. However, after these two years, he returned home to stay with his ailing father. After staying with his father for a year, he again returned to Paris. His father died several weeks later. Goetz lived with several other undiscovered artists in France.

In 1934, Goetz met Victor Bauer, an Austrian artist. Bauer taught Goetz of the existence of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, and Georges Rouault. Bauer also taught Goetz about left-wing politics, Sigmund Freud's ideology, and avant-garde poetry and music. Through Bauer, he was able to show his first painting in a show in London.

In January 1937, Goetz held his first exhibition at the Galerie Bonaparte with his wife. In 1945, after returning to Paris from several years working with the French Resistance forging documents, Goetz worked with René Guilly on a national radio program called The World of Paris. Ubac covered poetry, and Goetz covered painting. Goetz visited a new studio each week and, through this, met with artists such as Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brâncuși, Wassily Kandinsky, Julio González, Francis Picabia, and Max Ernst. He continued broadcasting for six months before giving his position to someone else.

In 1947, Goetz became the subject of a short film by Alain Resnais for the Musée National d'Art Moderne entitled Portrait de Henri Goetz.[1] Goetz showed the film to Gaston Diehl, leading Diehl to commission Resnais to create the film Van Gogh in the following year. Resnais went on to win an Academy Award in 1950 for the Best Short Subject, Two-reel film for Van Gogh.

In 1949, Goetz began to teach a painting class. The class grew so large that he had to move it to the Académie Ranson. After five years of teaching there, he taught for another five years at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, eventually running two classes due to the number of pupils. He taught at many other schools before finally founding the Académie Goetz. He never charged money for his lessons. Of his students, Goetz said, "Some became excellent artists, and some became fashionable artists, but rarely the same ones became both."[2] In 1968 he accepted a teaching position at École des Beaux-Arts, but the school was closed due to student strikes two weeks later. He then moved to work at Paris 8 University, where he taught painting and etching classes.

Goetz and his wife had long worked together to illustrate several books with their etchings. Christine had taken classes in the subject before World War II at the Académie des Beaux-Arts, and had taught Goetz. They collaborated on Georges Hugnet's book, La femme facil, as well as other books. After seeing some of their lithographs, a friend of theirs encouraged them to etch full-time. Johnny Friedlaendergave them a small printing press that he no longer used, and Fin, Pablo Picasso's nephew, helped them modify it. Christine focused mostly on lithography, while Goetz focused mostly on etching. They also helped design silk screens.

Citing a lack of patience and methodical ways,[2] Goetz invented carborundum printmaking in the 1960s.[3] In 1968, La gravure au carborundum, a treatise on carborundum printing, was published by the Maeght Gallery. It was prefaced by Joan Miró. Goetz created many abstract prints using this method. Other artists such as Antoni Clavé, Antoni Tàpies, and in particular, Joan Miró, employed carborundum printing in their work. The technique has since been used by printmakers around the world.[4]

In addition to his carborundum printing research, Goetz undertook extensive research on pastels.


Biography
Français English

1909 Birth of Henri Goetz in New York, in an American family of French origins.

1930 After studying at the M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and at Harvard University in Cambridge, as well as getting a private teaching of drawing and painting, he studies at the Grand Central Art School in New York. He leaves the United States for France. In Paris, he frequents the Julian academy, the Montparnasse Art studios including the Ozenfant studio. He mainly devotes his time to portrait painting, in a quite realistic style.

1934 He meets Victor Bauer who introduces him to surrealistic painting. His work is influenced by expressionism, fauvism and cubism.

1935 Settled in France for good, Goetz marries Christine Boumeester, a painter he met at the Grande Chaumière. He discovers Picasso and Klee's works. He makes the first of his non-figurative pain-tings. He strikes up a friendship with Hans Hartung who introduces him to the circle of avant-garde painters; as a result of this, he meets Léger and Kandinsky.
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1936 He is now a non-figurative artist, but with a surrealistic spirit. He exhibits his works in the Salon des Superindépendants.

1937 His first own exhibition in the Galerie Bonaparte (Van Leer), on the rue Bonaparte in Paris, with Christine Boumeester. He makes friends with Gonzales, Fernandez, Domela, Vulliamy, Veira da Silva, Schneider, Dominguez, Szenes, Arp, Kandinsky, and Van Tongerloo.

1938 He meets André Breton and the surrealists; he paints the "corrected masterpieces" - as Breton will call them - made with tempera and an egg-based painting on photographic reproductions of mas-terpieces, in a kind of posthumous collaboration with the late masters.
Goetz and his wife put up Hans Hartung at their place.

1939 Beginning of the war years; they live clandestinely because of his American nationality and his activities in the Resistance. Goetz and Christine meet up with Ubac, Magritte and the other Belgian artists in Carcassonne. Back in Paris, they start "La main à la plume" with Christian Dotremont and Ubac, the first surrealist review to be issued under the Occupation.

1940-41 Goetz makes numerous watercolour illustrations (only one copy of each) for Eluard, Hugnet, Fourcade…

1942 Exhibition with Christine Boumeester at the Jeanne Bucher Gallery in Paris; illustration for "La femme facile" by Hugnet for Jeanne Bucher 's publishing house. They become Picasso's friends. Goetz has to take refuge in the South of France, where he meets Arp, Magnelli and de Staël. As a consequence, de Staël makes his first abstract painting, fruit of Goetz, Nicolas and Jeannine de Staël's collaboration.
Goetz and Christine meet the Picabias in Cannes, they become close friends.

1943 Goetz starts the lithograph illustrations for Explorations, a book whose text is by Francis Picabia, published in 1945 by the Editions Vrille.
He also meets Pierre Bonnard in Le Cannet.

1944 Goetz goes back to Paris with Christine.


1945 He presents a radio programme on the Radio Diffusion Française, the first weekly programme dedicated to modern and contemporary painting. He frequently sees Picabia, Picasso, Braque, Hartung, Soulages, Schneider, Brancusi and Kandinsky.

1946 "10 ans de peinture" (10 Years of Painting) exhibition at the Breteau Gallery in Paris.

1947 Alain Resnais shoots "Portrait de Henri Goetz" for the Musée d'Art Moderne (Museum of Modern Art) in Paris, a short 16mm film in which, for the first time, an artist is painting before a camera.

1948 The "Nourritures terrestres" publish an album of etchings by Goetz. Goetz founds the "Graphies" group with Christine, Flocon and Ubac.

1949 Goetz illustrates numerous small volumes of poems. His wife and he get the French nationality.

1950 He makes the film set for "Histoire d'Agnès" (The Story of Agnès) by Roger Livet. He starts teaching painting at the Ranson Academy where he will stay until 1955.

1955-64 He runs painting courses at the Grande chaumière Academy (until 1960), and successively in Notre-Dame des Champs, Raspail, Fréchet and Malebranche academies, as well as in the Fontainebleau Conservatoire. He also runs etching lessons in several Fine Arts schools.
He starts his researches on the technique of pastel.

1965 He opens his own academy in the premises of the former André Lhote Academy, where he will teach voluntarily until 1984.

1967 Henri Goetz is made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (a French honorific distinction).

1968 La gravure au carborundum (The Carborundum Etching), a treatise about "Goetz's method", the latter having been perfected after long researches on the technique of etching, is published. It is prefaced by Miro and published by the Maeght Gallery, then republished by the same gallery.

1969 Goetz runs painting and etching classes at the Université de Vincennes.

1970 Goetz becomes a member of the "one percent Commission", in favour of the decorating of public buildings.

1971 Christine Boumeester dies in Paris on the 10 th of January.

1979 Goetz makes his first heated pastels on paper. He prepares his own papyrus, which he then uses as a support.

1983 Creation of the Goetz-Boumeester Gallery in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

1988 Goetz prefaces Christine Boumeester, published by Cercle d'art.

1989 He dies in Nice on the twelfth of August.
His works are exhibited in more than a hundred galleries and institutions.

His work can now be found in numerous museums and institutions throughout the world including the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, which holds a considerable collection; as does the Musée Goetz-Boumeester, Villefranche-sur-Mer, founded in 1983; others include San Francisco Museum of Art; National Art Foundation, Illinois; Phoenix Art Museum; San Diego Museum; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fé; Museum of Budapest; Jerusalem Museum.
Datum toegevoegd: 20/07/2018 door: De Kunsthistoricus
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