Michel Macréau

1935 (Paris) - Laignes (1995)

Signature de Michel Macréau artiste moderne

Biography

Michel Macréau was born on July 21, 1935 in Paris and had a difficult childhood, being placed from family to family.

As a young adult, he enrolled in the Arts section of the Lycée de Sèvres from which he graduated in 1953. The same year he participated in the realization of cartoons for the tapestries of Le Corbusier under the direction of Pierre Baudouin. From 1954 to 1956, he took courses with Lesbounit, a fresco artist at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, a famous Parisian art school.

In 1959, he moved with friends and family to an old uninhabited castle in the Chevreuse Valley to form a collective workshop. It is there that he will make his first collective exhibition after having evolved his technique: he drops the brush in favor of the tube of paint that he uses directly on the canvas. As a precursor, he associates characters, graphics and writing. He explores a multitude of supports (cardboard, fabric, wood, sheet…) and does not hesitate to leave the frame when he composes his works impregnated with strangeness and pain.

The 60’s were synonymous with success, which he quickly met thanks to his first solo exhibition at the Raymond Cordier gallery in 1962.  Michel Macréau was strongly inspired by Pablo Picasso whom he discovered in a book. This influence can be seen in his work in the composition of his faces, the assembly of colors, and the lines he draws. He is obsessed by the human body, that of men but especially that of women whose organs he paints in a symbolic way.

It was in 1972 that he began to have doubts and fell into a depression that led to several long stays in hospital. The arrival of free figuration, of which he is considered a precursor, and the emergence of new artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Robert Combas in the 1980s, allowed him to regain confidence in his pictorial approach.

He met the dealer Alain Margaron who still defends his work with fervor today. This support will allow the artist to be present in the largest exhibitions, famous museums and in the most important art collections.

He died at the age of 60 on November 19, 1995 in Laignes.

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