LAPOUJADE Robert
Born at Montauban January 3, 1921. He left school at the age of fourteen and several years later became a butcher, then a riveter, then a tile repairer. At the age of twenty he is a teacher in dramatic arts at Arth-surMeurthe. Having taken care of young Jews and wishing also to escape from the S.T.O. ( Forced Labor Organization), he hides away in 1941 in an obscure part of the Alps. There he spends fifteen months, living in a grotto, where he reads a great deal and completes his education by reading and, at the same time, he makes a careful drawing analysis of trees, branches, even grass. After the Liberation he comes to Paris, and exhibited what he calls "formal" painting at the Galerie Jean Castel in 1947, which is also his first contact with the public. In 1949 at the Galerie Chardin "Fifty Portraits of Writers" ( Breton, Claudel, Eluard, Sartre, etc.) made in silver point, a medium which he then appreciated for its precision which allowed no changes whatever. Tired of this formal technique, he covers a canvas one day with green as one would cover a wall, and then afterwards devotes himself to bringing life to the surface by multiplying the number of tones and brushstrokes. Thus 1950 marks the beginning of non-figurative elements in his work. In 1952 he exhibited at the Galerie Arnaud, Hell and the Mine without forgetting his Concentration Camp, seven large paintings conceived in a non-figurative manner as a reaction against Fougeron's Neo-Realist painting The Miners and also to demonstrate that abstract painting is equally capable of social preoccupations. In the summer of 1954 Lapoujade went to Spain. His range source of forms is directly inspired by Nature and, strangely enough, by the old stained walls mentioned by Leonardo da Vinci, whom he cites in his essay The Mechanisms of Fascination (Edition du Seuil, 1955). Lapoujade is far from repudiating the subject. But he wants the form of an "allusive ambiguity"; let us first of all be sensitive to the panel painted by Lapoujade himself, to its rhythm, to its color; then read the title of the painting, and we will have found the presence of these things. The Elephants (Galerie Pierre) is one of the most striking examples of this; Lapoujade exhibits regularly at the Galerie Pierre. He participates in the Salon de Mai, and teaches drawing and painting at the Ecole Alsacienne.
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