Biography - Expositions
copyright ATELIER LIBERT - ADAGP
Jean Claude Libert (1917-1995)
translated from French biography by Jean Patrick LIBERT
Studied at the University of ENSAD in Paris (Decorative Arts). Discovers at the same time the Salon d'Automne and Robert Delaunay in 1937, at the international exposition and at the Salon des Tuileries. Works in the afternoons in the textile design studio firm owned by his father, Marcel Libert. Begins to paint with oils.
Birth of Jean Patrick, his first son, from his marriage to Jacqueline Mireau. Leaves for the war, is taken prisoner in the Sarre on May 25, 1940. Is held captive at Oflag 4D, and Oflag 17 near Vienna. Attempts to escape but is caught and moved to another camp. Works a lot with watercolor and with pen and ink with the painters Christian Caillard, Jean Edelmann. Liberated by the U.S. forces in April 1945.
Partners with his father in the management of the textile design studio and sketches in the evenings at the Grande Chaumière where he associates with the painters of the Groupe de l'Echelle : Patrix, Cortot, Calmette, Busse, as well as with Michel Thomson, Rebeyrolle, Mouly. Creates a few canvases in his studio rue de Chézy in Neuilly and outdoors on the banks of the Seine.
Not feeling comfortable working in his father's design firm, his father grants him a sabbatical year. He takes advantage of it to go back to Villeneuve lez Avignon where he starts painting again and sends a few design sketches to his father which generate some income. Gets to know George Braque in Varengeville sur mer where his parents have a home " Le prémesnil ". He is attracted by the typical luminosity of the shoreline near Dieppe and loves to paint in this area. There, he also befriends the architect Paul Nelson. Meets his future wife Yvette in Paris during a gallery opening. He meets her again to paint her portrait and invites her to go with him to Villeneuve. They will eventually decide to remain there together.
In Villeneuve, meets Elsa Keberley who lives in a beautiful home inside the Fort St André, from which will originate many sketches and paintings. She introduces him to the poet Jules Supervielle who will reside at their home during the Festival, during which takes place the performances of his play Shérazade staged by Jean Vilar. That is how the actors from the Theatre National de Paris end up visiting the Libert home to visit the poet Supervielle in order to finalize the rehearsals. A private showing takes place in Avignon. During the same year, he meets Albert Gleizes. He is attracted to the great painter not only by his research on sculpture but also by his philosophy of life. From his friendship with him will flow a rich exchange between the two painters. Both of them are very attracted by the christian philosophy of René Guénon and the thoughts of Lanza del Vasto. Returns to Paris at the end of 1949 as his father becomes ill so that he could take care of the family business and take over the management of the firm. Shows his works at the Salon d'Automne and at the Salon des Réalités nouvelles.
Weds his close companion, Yvette. They set up their home at rue Gros in Paris. Goes often to the Gallery Colette Allendy which exposes the abstract painters of the Cobra Group and he meets Vieira da Silva with whom he will have fascinating conversations. He also meets the painter Jacques Villon and the sculptors Gilioli and Etienne Martin. He continues to see his friend from prison camp the painter Jean Edelmann. 1951 Death of his father. Decides not to continue in the field of textile designs.
Leaves Paris with his wife Yvette and moves close to Sablons en Isère in Moly Sabata in the artists' retreat founded by par Albert Gleizes. Birth of their first child Blandine on November 9, 1952. While continuing his apprenticeship with Paquot, country potter of the Rhône valley, he acquires the pottery studio and the wood fired kiln of Anne Dangar while attempting to rekindle the activity of this great home with the weaver Lucie Deveyle. Death of Albert Gleizes in the Spring of 1954. Shows at the Salon d'Automne in Lyon. Birth of their second child Guillaume.
After five years in Moly Sabata, decides with his wife to return to Villeneuve lez Avignon in the family home and to open a pottery studio while still continuing to paint. In Villeneuve lez Avignon he fires earthenware in an electric kiln and continues to paint. He has shows in Marseille, Nîmes, Avignon, Lyon and sells his canvases to Swiss and American collectors. 1956 Wins the first prize for painting by the City of Avignon. The canvas was acquired by the Musée Calvet. Their friend Hélène Cingria, art critic for the Provençal and of the Nouvelles Littéraires will become one of the most faithful friends of the couple. During these years, a faithful clientele, for the pottery as well as for the paintings will visit the Libert Studio in Villeneuve Wins first prize for painting in Aix en Provence. 1957 -58 With his wife, he is commissioned for the decoration of the mural of the new Frédéric Mistral High School in Avignon. Shows in Avignon and in a gallery in Geneva, Switzerland.
Frequent visits to Paris where he is looking for a studio in which to move. 1961-62 Death of Marguerite Libert, his mother, in 1961. Spends a short time in Paris, returns to Villeneuve where he continues to paint while leaving the responsibility of the pottery studio to his wife. Birth of Frédéric, his youngest son. Shows his works at the Salon d'Automne in Paris. Decorates an elementary school (Thor in the Vaucluse ) Creates, with his wife, following one of her models, a mural decoration at the Young Women's High School of d'Avignon. 1963 Shows at the Salon Comparaisons in Paris. Leaves the Provence and moves to Bourg la Reine. After having had a studio rue Notre Dame des Champs in Paris, launches a ceramics studio with his wife in Sceaux. Shows his works at the Galerie Arlette Chabaud, rue Bonaparte.
Begins as Professor of two-dimensional composition at the Technical High School of Applied Arts in Paris. 1966-67 Takes part in the Commission for the reform of teaching of architecture in the Department of Arts and Letters. Continues to paint. Tackles a new pictorial phase, that of his "upheaval-sketches", his "scrublands" and of his "feminine-cliffs", inspired by the geological rhythms of the Provence.
Continues to paint and to teach. Attracted by Graphic Arts, he creates a large number of pen and ink drawings. Each year, he attends the International Symposium at Lure, writes essais on imagery " The image, what is its purpose? ", " a metaphorical discussion on the subject of sequential images . Teaches courses at the l'UER d'Arts Plastiques St Charles, where he creates with Pierre Noël Drain and Bernard Bellacicco a class on the theory of sequential images.
Deceased in July 1995 in Antony.