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Lucien Coutaud
Lucien Coutaud 1950 Original French Surrealist Gouache Painting Figures




"Abstract Figures" Hand signed and dated 1950 Lower Right. Measures: site, 9" x 7", framed, 16-1/2" x 14-3/4". Lucien Coutaud (French Surrealist artist, 1904-1977) Known for etchings, engravings and printmaking and for theater, ballet and opera set decoration as well as for his superb tapestries produced for Marie Cuttoli and with Jacques Adnet at the Aubusson tapestry atelier Pinton workshop for the Compagnie des Arts Français. Lucien Coutaud was born in a small town in the Gard, between Nîmes and Beaucaire. His father Adrien Antoine Coutaud was a watchmaker and jeweler in Nîmes. His mother Françoise Célestine Priad is from an old Mynoise family. He spent his childhood and adolescence in Nîmes, apart from a short stay in Marseille in 1917. In 1920 he enrolled in the School of Fine Arts of Nîmes where he studied with Armand Coussens. In October 1924, at the age of twenty, Coutaud moved to Paris. He attended the art academies of Montparnasse. He is accepted to the School of Decorative Arts. In 1926, on the advice of André Salmon, he met Charles Dullin who asked him to make the sets and costumes for the Birds, the play by Aristophane, adapted by Bernard Zimmer. In April 1928, he returned to Paris and, in 1929, painted his first important paintings: The Bicycle, Woman and Soldier, Soldiers arresting a spy and Young Girl with three wheels. Rose Adler takes an interest in his work. There he meets Max Ernst, Paul Klee and eventually becoming part of the artistic circles, making friends with key figures of the Parisian cultural scene like Pablo Picasso, Jean Paul Sartre, Jacques Prévert, Paul Eluard, Boris Vian, and others. He is mostly known for Surrealism and erotic symbolism. He was included in the show Surrealism and its Affinities along with Leonor Fini, Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Roberto Matta, Andre Breton, Roberto Matta In 1930, he made his first engravings with drypoint on zinc. He enters into a relationship with the writer Jean Blanzat. In 1931, the Quatre Chemins gallery in Paris organized his first private exhibition for him. He befriended Jean-Louis Barrault who made his stage debut at the Théâtre de l'Atelier. In 1932, he works almost exclusively in gouache, painting numerous bouquets of flowers and large esoteric compositions. Sets and costumes for Le Château des Papes by André de Richaud directed by Charles Dullin at the Théâtre de l'Atelier. Sets for Venus and Adonis by André Obey directed by Michel Saint-Denis and represented by the Compagnie des Quinze. He is interested in the activities of the surrealist group, reads Breton, Soupault and Aragon but maintains his independence. He meets Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso in Antibes. In 1936, he marries Denise Bernollin, a Parisian artist. The Jeanne Bucher-Myrbor gallery organizes a solo exhibition of his work. In 1947, private exhibition at the Bonaparte gallery in Paris in January, and at the end of the year at the Jérôme gallery in Brussels . He illustrates with four etchings Rue de la Gaîté, Voyage en Bourgogne by Robert Desnos, published by Les 13 Épis. He meets Boris Vian who will subsequently dedicate a poem to him entitled Les isles. In August, he went to Lacoste to admire and draw the ruins of the castle of the Marquis de Sade. In 1948, he designed the sets for the Spring Games ballet , set to music by Darius Milhaud at the Opéra-Comique . He spent the summer in Brittany at Belle-Île-en-Mer . He exhibited at the Maeght gallery in Paris. Alain Resnais is making a short film about his work. In 1952, he participated in Saarbrücken in the Surrealist Painting in Europe exhibition organized by Edgar Jené. In 1953, a retrospective was dedicated to him at the Kamakura Museum of Modern Art in Japan. In 1959, the David and Garnier gallery devoted a special exhibition on the theme of flower-women, characters made up of thoughts and irises. In 1960, he painted the cartoons for three large exotic gardens tapestries for the Paquebot France. Sets and costumes for The Trojan War will not take place by Jean Giraudoux. He travels to Moscow and Leningrad for the presentation of the play. In 1962, a private exhibition in February at the André Weil gallery where Reapers of the Waves and Belles Demoiselles de Mer appear . Retrospective in May - June at the Galliera museum with Félix Labisse and Robert Couturier. In 1963, he went to Japan where he exhibited at the Nichido gallery in Tokyo a set of paintings and gouaches from 1957 to 1963, an exhibition then presented in Osaka and Nagoya. In 1964, he participated in the exhibition Le Surréalisme. Sources, history, affinities at the Charpentier gallery in Paris. He invented the Nîmes and the Nîmoises, characters often composed of architectures. A monograph is dedicated to him by Pierre Mazars published by Pierre Cailler. In October, he was appointed head professor of the etching workshop at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, a position he held until 1975. In 1967, he was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting by the City of Paris. He travels to Cuba in July with the painters of the Salon de Mai. In 1968, in July he participated in the Trésors du Surréalisme exhibition at the Knokke-le-Zoute casino . He painted many compositions on the theme of hands and ears. In 1972, sets and costumes for Socrate by Erik Satie at the Marseille Opera . Sets and costumes for the Fourth Day of the Soulier de Satin (or Under the Wind of the Balearic Islands ) performed in October at the Théâtre d'Orsay by the Compagnie Renaud-Barrault. Coutaud's figurative style, which evolves towards dreamlike abstraction, is close to surrealism with southern themes and colors: the poetry of bullfighting, the dramaturgy of death. This painter-poet who was the friend of Jean Blanzat , André Fraigneau, Marc Bernard, Jean-Louis Barrault , Óscar Domínguez , Paul Éluard , Pablo Picasso, Jacques Prévert, Boris Vian, Gilbert Lely, Jean Paulhan, Yves Tanguy, Félix Labisse and Jean-Paul Sartre never ceased to claim his independence. Since Coutaud's death in 1977, the Performing Arts department of the National Library of France has been enriched with numerous pieces thanks to donations from his widow. Donations were also made to the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris ( L'Escalier de mademoiselle Phèdre , 1946), the departmental tapestry museum in Aubusson, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nîmes. Salon de Mai Salon of French painters-engravers Salon des surindépendants in 1935 Solo exhibitions 1931: Quatre Chemins gallery, Paris 1932: Gimpel gallery, Paris 1934: Vignon gallery, Paris 1936: Jeanne Bucher-Myrbor gallery, Paris 1946: Roux-Hentschel gallery, Paris 1947 Bonaparte Gallery, Paris Galerie Jérôme, Brussels 1948: Maeght gallery, Paris 1951: Rive Gauche gallery, Paris 1952 International Guild of Engraving, Geneva La Sirène Gallery, Brussels Modern Gallery, Stockholm 1953 Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura Bridge Stone Gallery, Tokyo 1954: Gallery of the Four Winds, Caracas Marcel Guiot Gallery, Paris 1955: Sagittarius Gallery, New York 1959: David and Garnier gallery, Paris 1960 Sagot Gallery - Le Garrec , Paris Chappe-Lautier Gallery, Toulouse 1961: Stadtische: Schloss gallery, Oberhausen 1962: André Weil Gallery, Paris Aktuaryus Gallery, Strasbourg 1963: Nichido gallery, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya 1964: Sagot gallery - Le Garrec , Paris 1965: Chappe-Lautier Gallery, Toulouse Retrospective at the castle-museum of Cagnes-sur-Mer 1967: Lucie Weill gallery, Paris 1969: Goyert Gallery, Cologne 1972: The Gallery, Nîmes 1980: Sagot gallery - Le Garrec , Paris 1985: Isy Brachot gallery, Brussels 1989 "Retrospective" Exhibition of one hundred and twenty major works: drawings, watercolors, gouaches, paintings, sculptures, tapestries", Drouot-Montaigne, 15 avenue Montaigne , Paris. 1992: Barès gallery, Paris 1994: Retrospectives at the Center Georges Pompidou and at the Anglet town hall 1999: Retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Menton 2001: "Lucien Coutaud - The Years of the Brick Horse", Minsky gallery, Paris 2004 : "Lucien Coutaud decorator", departmental museum of Aubusson tapestry "Lucien Coutaud painter of the Estuary", Boudin gallery, Honfleur “Lucien Coutaud, scenographer of the unusual and the marvelous”, Musée de l'Opéra, Paris “Homage to Lucien Coutaud”, Galerie des Modernes, Le Louvre des Antiquaires, Paris "Lucien Coutaud and Painting", The Museum of Fine Arts Outside the Walls, School of Fine Arts, Nîmes 2007: "Lucien Coutaud - A surrealist dream", Les Yeux Fertiles gallery, Paris 2009: “Lucien Coutaud”, Pour Que l'Esprit Vive gallery, Paris Awards 1951 awarded at the 1 st Biennial paint of France Menton 1952: Daumier prize for engraving 1964 first prize in the 5th Biennial of Menton, in conjunction with Olivier Debré 1967: grand prize for painting of the city of Paris 1971: Grand Prize of the Institute of Fine Arts He was a Chevalier in the Legion of Honor, an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, and a founding member of the Salon de Mai. He won the Prix National Daumier de la gravure in 1952, the Grand Prix de Peinture de la Ville de Paris in 1967, and the Grand Prix de l'Institut des Beaux Arts in 1971. His work has been shown in many galleries and museums in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, Italy, and the U.S.


  • Creator
    Lucien Coutaud (1904 - 1977, French)
  • Creation Year
  • Dimensions
    Height: 16.5 in. (41.91 cm)Width: 14.75 in. (37.47 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU3828423682

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