Signature de Jacques Germain


Jacques Germain was born in Paris in 1915. Very soon, he is interested in art. Jean Grenier, a galerist, pays attention to his painting and very quickly propose to exhibit Jacques Germain‘s works. The works by Germain are rooted in this great movement of abstract art in France, just after the Second World War.

Germain’s painting has a tasty flavour, given by colored harmonies of symphonic intensity and a tonal vibration totaly incredibles. Jacques Germainembodies in a very clear way the impressionist concept adapted to abstraction. He is at the same level as Ubac, Manessier, Bazaine or Le Moal, who where some of the great fathers of the movement.”

Roger Van Gindertael

Let us now read the words written by Lydia Haramabourg, specialist of the Ecole de Paris, about Jacques Germain, in her dictionnary titled ” L’Ecole de Paris, 1945-1965, Éditions Ides et Calendes, Neuchâtel, 2010, p. 198-200 :

At the begining, on the advice of Blaise Cendrars, he enters the Académie Moderne with Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant, in 1931, but in 1932 he decides to go to Dessau (Germany) to enter the BAUHAUS, and meets there Kandinsky and Albers, who became his teachers. Then he studies publicity and graphic arts in Francfort with Baumeister. In 1936 he is called back to France, then it’s the War, and thetime of the captivity in Germany.

Back from the war, I have realized that I had a lot to learn. I began with figurative painting… I have not “become” a non-figurative painter, because naturaly I had always been one. And so, when I decided to express myself, deeply and truly, I felt the need to paint without showing objects, real or not real”. “Do what comes to your mind” was used to tell me Léger… This beautiful piece of adivce, full of liberty, I could just apply it by painting non-figurative works.” (in Jean GRENIER, Entretiens avec 17 peintres non-figuratifs).

He paints there in an abstract geometric style, but is not totaly satisfyed about it.

In 1947, he sends a canvas to the Surindépendants, and participates to the group exhibition “White and black” with Fautrier, Hartung, Wols, Georges Mathieu, Bryen, Seuphor, at la Galerie des Deux Îsles where one year later he proposes his first solo exhibition, with a beautiful text written by his wife, Marthe Robert, (met at the Bauhaus).

Germain will not deviate from this commitment, acquiring with the years more freedom of painting, in a colorful burst of an extreme refinement – characteristic of his painting – , and in an apparent entanglement only of vertical and diagonal lines organized in shimmering beams, sometimes widening or tightening and whose mastery does not betray this effusion, this lyricism which is so personal to him.

In 1949, he participates to the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, where he will exhibit his works until his death. At this time he became a great friend of Antonin Artaud, met in 1946.

1951 Solo show at Zimmer – Gallery Franck in Francfort.

The same year, he begans to exhibit his works at le Salon de Mai, until 1962. He participates in the exhibition “Tendance” organized by the Gallery Maeght, with Poliakoff, Pallut, Kelly, Palazuelo

1952 and1953 : Charles Estienne invites him to his Salon d’Octobre.

1953 second solo exhibition in Paris, Galerie Pierre. Ch. Estienne writes about his “melodic clarity”.

1954 Solo show, galerie Michel Warren in Paris, and also in 1956.

1957 Show in galerie Kaiser.

1958 and 1959, shows in galerie Jacques Massol.

En 1958, show paintings and gouaches at André Schoeller gallery.

1960 oils on paper, galerie Dina Vierny, Paris.

1961 Drawings, galerie Adrien Maeght and paintings, galerie Kriegel, Paris.

1963 oils on paper and gouaches, galerie Le Divan, Paris.

1964 gouaches, galerie Melisa à Lausanne.

1965 galerie Kriegel and also in 1969.

The most recent exhibitions : galerie de Messine (monotypes) 1967, galerie Bongers 1968, galerie Sapiro 1974 and in 1980, 1984 galerie Coard.

He tooks part in a lot of group-exhibitions.

Participates in “Comparaisons” in 1957 and 1964, in l’ « École de Paris », galerie Charpentier, in 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961 et 1962,  “Grands et Jeunes d’aujourd’hui” and “Salon d’Automne“.

1968 Works made in 50-60. Galerie Jacques Barbier. Paris. Catalogue.

1987 Recent works. Galerie Barbier. Paris.

1988 Works from 1950-1960. Galerie Arnoux. Paris.

1989 Recent works. Galerie Barbier-Beltz. Paris.

He is present in some great museums : National d’Art Moderne, Paris – Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris – Lille – Lausanne – Brême – Bergen – Oslo.

A monography had been dedicated to him : Jacques Germain Monographie. Biographie et bibliographie complètes (textes et écrits critiques). Ed. Jacques Barbier-Caroline Beltz. Paris. 1990.

Le Couvent des Cordeliers in Paris organized a great retrospective in 1997.