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Double Rhythm: Writings About Painting

Double Rhythm: Writings About Painting


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Jean Hélion, the French painter who died at eighty-three in 1987, brought together in his copious and essential writing on art the theoretical authority of the intellectual and the fundamental insights of the craftsman in his studio. His writing extended throughout the five decades or more of his career.

Soon after the young painter’s arrival in Paris from the provinces, he began a literary-art magazine; he wrote polemical articles as a leading avant-garde abstractionist; he wrote about the great tradition of figure painting while still painting abstractions; and he wrote journals, notes on studio practice, pieces about the role of the artist in society, and much more. His prolificacy is made more extraordinary because he wrote in two languages—having lived in the United States for some years, he wrote many of his articles in English for an American and British audience.

This volume collects, for the first time, the diverse writings by Hélion that appeared in print originally in English, including “The Abstract Artist in Society,” “Poussin, Seurat, and Double Rhythm,” “Objects for a Painter,” and many more. Double Rhythm is sure to become essential reading for art historians and painters.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611459081
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Series: Artists & Art
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jean Hélion was a noted French modernist painter and author. He was a member of the Free French Forces during World War II. His work later influenced Roy Lichtenstein, Nell Blaine, and Leland Bell. He died in 1987.

Deborah M. Rosenthal, consulting editor for the Artists & Art series, is a New York painter and writer. She is a professor of art in the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Rider University.

Table of Contents

Introduction Deborah Rosenthal ix

The Evolution of Abstract Art as Shown in the Gallery of Living Art 03

From Reduction to Growth 15

Seurat as a Predecessor 29

Poussin, Seurat and Double Rhythm 45

Avowals and Comments 63

The Abstract Artist in Society: Interview with Jean Hélion 73

Ten Frenchmen on a Prison Farm 87

Escape Through Germany 117

Colors and Walls 149

How War has Made Me Paint 151

The Making of a Picture 157

Untitled Text Included in "Eleven Europeans in America" 163

Notes from a Letter to the Author 171

Text 175

Figure 181

Objects for a Painter 191

Art Concret 1930 209

New York City 221

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