Jean Dufy  (French, 1888-1964) 


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Biografie Jean Dufy
1888   Jean Dufy was born in Le Havre in 1888, the seventh of eleven children. His father was an accountant in a metallurgy company as well as a talented amateur musician. We have very few visual and artistic tracks of Jean’s childhood in Le Havre, of his job as an itinerant clerk for an overseas import business, or of his stint as secretary on the transatlantic liner La Savoie, which linked Le Havre to New York.
1906   It was nonetheless during this period that the painter cultivated his artistic sensibility by strolling around the Le Havre port and reading Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Rimbaud. He then discovered Matisse, Derain, Marquet, and Picasso at the 1906 Le Havre exposition. Matisse’s Fenêtre ouverte à Collioure, with its dazzling light and violent, boisterous colors, showed Jean Dufy his true calling
1910 - 1912   After his military service from 1910 to 1912, Jean moved to Paris and grew acquainted with Derain, Braque, Picasso, and Apollinaire.
1914   In his first watercolors, which were shown at the Berthe Weill gallery in 1914, muted tones and somber browns, blues, and reds mingle with the hatching technique he inherited from Cézanne by way of his brother Raoul Dufy.

Jean was drafted shortly after this first exposition. This did not stop him from painting and drawing the flowers, horses, and landscapes he discovered in places like Val-d’Ajol, in the Vosges region, where he was given medical treatment upon returning from the war.

1916   In 1916, after briefly working with his brother for the textile painting studio of the famous Bianchini-Férier company in Lyon, Jean embarked upon what would become thirty years of decorating porcelain for Théodore Haviland in Limoges.
1920   Back in Paris in 1920, Jean settled into Montmartre, where Georges Braque was his neighbor. Amid this intense atmosphere of artistic ebullience, the artist’s knack for working with color became apparent through his use of patchworks of colorful squares and bold distributions of light.

Successive expositions in Paris (Salon d’Automne at the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées in 1920, 1923, 1924, 1927, and 1932, Galerie Bing in 1929) and New York (Balzac Galleries in 1930, Perls Galleries in 1938) put Jean in the public eye for the first time.

1925   Wins a gold medal at the 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts for the “Châteaux de France”set.

Two events in the postwar Parisian cultural scene decisively affected the artist’s career: the comedy Le Bœuf sur le toit, in 1920, which gave him the chance to meet the great French musicians of the era (Darius Millaud, Georges Auric, Erik Satie, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger); and La Revue Nègre, in 1925, which crystallized the marriage of color and music in his paintings that would lead to exceptional works of art. Jean’s interest in music inspired many depictions of pianists and orchestras, awash with analogous color schemes. Heads of musicians are drawn like whole notes on a staff, organ pipes are aligned like eighth notes, and harps are placed to evoke quarter rests.

During the same period, Jean also paid homage to the Fratellini brothers in paintings of circuses and clowns that teem with the music and language of color, plays of light, and a penchant for the liberal use of white, usually for clowns, horses, and athletes.

1930   Over the following years, Jean’s stays in Le Havre gave rise to majestic works such as Le quai Videcoq au Havre (1929), which features a perfect harmony of colors. Honfleur, his mother’s birthplace, Villefranche-sur-Mer, which he began visiting in 1920, and the Limousin and Touraine regions, where he lived with his wife for part of the year, inspired other highlights of his oeuvre, featuring views of forests, valleys, and the Château du Lion, for example.
1937   For the 1937 World’s Fair, the general manager of CPDE (Compagnie Parisienne de Distribution de l’Electricité, the Paris electricity distribution company) asked Jean’s brother Raoul to decorate the electricity pavilion. Jean helped him create an enormous fresco celebrating electricity over a surface of 600 square meters.
1950 - 1960   Jean devoted the years between 1950 and 1960 to travel, mostly in Europe (Italy, Greece, England, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal) and North Africa. But he remained loyal to Paris and only Paris for 35 years, part of a long tradition that includes his contemporaries Aragon, Hemingway, and Prévert, who described it, and Utrillo, Chagall, and Marquet, who painted it. In his oil paintings and watercolors, Jean Dufy chose to represent the city using a constantly evolving creative process dominated by a harmony of blue tones. For Jean, blue was an insatiable source of inspiration for the Gates of Paris, the streets, the horse-drawn carriages, the Eiffel Tower, the sky, and the Seine.

A well-known painter with frequent expositions in Paris (Galerie Barreiro, Galerie Jos. Hessel, Galerie Drouand-David, etc.) and the United States (the Georges de Braux Gallery in Philadelphia, James Vigeveno Galleries in Westwood Hills, and Hammer Galleries and the Chase Gallery in New York), with works displayed in the collections of the most prestigious museums in Europe and in the United States: the Musée national d’Art moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, the Art Institute of Chicago and the MoMA in New York.

1964   Jean Dufy passed away on May 12, 1964, in La Boissière in the village of Boussay, two months after the death of his wife Ismérie.
  Biography courtesy of Galerie Jacques Bailly
Ausgewählte Ausstellungen
2011   Galerie Jacques Bailly, Paris, France (solo)
2011   Raoul et Jean Dufy, Complicité et rupture, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, France
2009   American International Fine Art Fair, West Palm Beach, FL, USA (solo)
2002   Galerie Jacques Bailly, Paris, France (solo)
1987   Soufer Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1982   Boston Art Museum, Boston, MA, USA
1969   The Chase Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1968 - 1969   Wally Findlay Galleries, Chicago, IL, USA (solo)
1967   Raoul Dufy - Jean Dufy, Galerie Reine, New York, NY, USA
1966   Hofstra University, Hempstead, Long Island, NY, USA (solo)
1964   The Marble Arch Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1961   Recent Paintings, Hammer Galleries New York, NY, USA (solo)
1958   Galerie Abels, Cologne, Germany (solo)
1957   Hammer Galleries, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1957   Dominion Gallery, Montreal, Canada (solo)
1956   Galerie Barreiro Stiebel, Paris, France (solo)
1955   Van Diemen-Lillienfeld Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1953   Perls Galleries, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1952   James Vigeveno Galleries, Westwood Hills, Los Angeles, CA, USA (solo)
1951   Niveau Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1950   Georges de Braux, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, USA (solo)
1948   Old Paris Gallery, Boston, MA, USA (solo)
1948   Galerie Jos. Hessel, Paris, France (solo)
1947 - 1948   Georges de Braux Inc., Philadelphia, PA, USA (solo)
1939   Galerie A Barreiro, Paris, France (solo)
1938 - 1939   The Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, USA
1938   Perls Galleries, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1930   Balzac Galleries, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1929   Galerie Bing et Cie, Paris, France (solo)
1927   Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées in the Salon d'Automne, Paris, France
1925   Galerie Vavin-Raspail (February 4 to 20) Paris, France (solo)
1923   Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées in the Salon d'Automne, Paris, France
1914   Galerie Berthe Weill, Paris, France (solo)