ARNAL, François
Born at La Valette (Var) October 2, 1924. His mother was Spanish. After studying at the lycée in Toulon, he enrolls at the Faculty of Law and Letters at Aix-en-Provence. For a time he is an instructor in judo. In 1940 he begins to paint instinctively with the spontaneity of a child ( Fort Apache, The Grape Gatherers). Already one finds in his first paintings the hieroglyphic signs which appear in his later work. Drawn to Paris, Arnal arrived one day in 1948 with four canvases under his arm and full of hope. He soon discovered the jungle of painting and the controversy over abstract art. After a troublesome and discouraging period, he turned his back completely to all the established rules and paints with a passionate freedom. Forms in intense, rich and vibrating colors (the red often predominates) burst forth from his canvas without any concern at all for "prettiness." Everything is sacrificed to the expression; the object and its "sign" are juxtaposed, creating a feeling of mystery and magic. A thick coat of paint worked over with a palette knife takes on life and becomes land, sea or a melting metal. Prix de la Jeune Peinture in 1949. Arnal exhibited first at the Galerie Drouant-David ( 1950), and then at the Galerie "Rive Droite."
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