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Biography

Jean Miotte was born in Paris in 1926. After mathematics studies, he decided to become a painter. He is a French painter known for his lyrical abstract work which channeled introspective thought and athletic movements. Miotte was a part of the Art Informel movement, and compared his working style to that of jazz musicians or ballet dancers in its use free-flowing movements within a structured practice. The artist studied under Othon Friesz and Ossip Zadkine in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris. With his friend Gino Severini, he decides to work about Movement and Time : for him, this real artistic quest has to be resolved by non-figuration : at the begining of the 50’s he became an abstract painter. Influenced by dance, his gesture at the begining is very jerky, and Miotte chooses to express his feelings with bright colors, in an abstract way.

As he has travelled to New York in 1961, he meets Modern painters such as Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell, whose work had a major influence on Miotte’s development, notably the incorporation of aggressive gestural forms. The works display a strong tension in their aim to discern human existence with its anguish but also with its happy moments, in his quotidian acts, in all its complexity.

An abstraction reaching interior realities, in which one discovers one-self through accents of a seizing sincerity.

No systematization, no repetitive symbolism, but simply a revolt against mediocrity searching a way towards the unknown, in the aim of finding a possible perception of life itself, of our existence, assuming society as it is, and the same time finding a glimpse of a possible future. Regarding this work we are reminded of the theories of antiques and modern philosophy. In the 50-60’s, Jean Miotte works on a painting made of juxtaposition of touches of colored paint, very dynamic, with a lot of reliefs. Then, influenced by Japanese Zen art, in the 70-80’s, his art evolves, as it is inspired by calligraphy : a large dark gesture dances on the white prepared found of the canvas. The third period of the evolution of his style, until his death, proposes big sizes canvas covered with large fields of colors, and where always dances his dark calligraphy inspired by Asian Art.

Miotte had an international carreer, between Fribourg in Switzerland, where he opened a museum, Germany (Hambourg), and New York, where he has opened a Miotte Foundation (part of the Chelsea Museum). His works are held in great private and public collections, such as the collections of  the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, the National Museum in Singapore, the Contemporary Art Museum in Dunkirk, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, among others. Miotte lived between Paris, New York, and Fribourg, Switzerland. He establiches in the south of France, in Pignans (Var) over the last decades of his life. He died on March 1, 2016 in New York.