Geneviève CLAISSE (1935)
Oil on canvas
160 x 80 cm (63 x 31 1/2 in.)
Oil on canvas
130 x 89 cm (51 1/8 x 35 in.)
H - ARN, 1970
Acrylic on canvas
86 x 86 cm (33 7/8 x 33 7/8 in.)
Acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm (39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in.)
Triangle austral, 1966
polished & painted, black epoxy
monogrammed and numbered on the base G.C - 1/6
82,5 x 30 x 30 cm (32 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 11 3/4in.)
A major representative of geometric abstraction, Geneviève Claisse is born in 1935 in Quiévy, a little village near Cateau-Cambrésis. She discovers geometric abstraction through several art reviews, such as Art d’Aujourd’hui, which lauded various current pictorial movements.
The artist, who was passionate about the theoretical writings of Herbin, was at this time unaware of the family tie that linked them. At the age of 18 she meets her great-uncle in Cateau-Cambrésis. Herbin discovered her work and encouraged her to persevere in this direction.
Geneviève Claisse first exhibits her work in 1958 in both Paris and Cambrai.
The following year she moves to Paris and becomes her great-uncle’s assistant, whilst continuing her own artistic research. She shares his studio for a year.
In 1960, Claisse participates in the Salon de Mai and, in 1961, the gallery Denise René begins to represent her. The gallery owner, who was a renowned visionary, regularly shows the works of Geneviève Claisse in her Paris and New York gallery spaces, as well as at international art fairs.
The artist exhibits at Copenhagen, London, Paris, and Tel Aviv, amongst others.
The 1960s are creatively rich for the artist, particularly 1966, the year in which several series of compositions on the theme of circles and triangles appear in parallel in her sketch books. This significant series of works will continue to be explored by the artist until the following decade. From this transpires some remarkable canvases which are exhibited during important collective events and solo exhibitions across the world.
During the 1970s the artist participates in the Salon de Mai and exhibits her work in New York, Paris, Amsterdam and Bâle, amongst others.
In 1971, Geneviève Claisse opens a second studio in Ecluzelles.
This period is marked by a return to rectilinear forms, notably in the fabulous DNA canvases, in which the squares become the focus of the intelligent study of colourimetry employed in the circles.
The investigation into lines really materialises in the works executed during the second half of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s. Several years are devoted to this very methodical work, where lines of different thickness are placed in parallel, coexist, separate and converge, forming a series of paintings that resemble a form of Kinetic art.
The artist retains the linear focus in her works, but with various nuances with regard to thickness and layout of the line.
In 1982, the Musée Matisse in Cateau-Cambrésis devotes a room to the works of Geneviève Claisse.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the artist exhibits in Brussels, Milan, Paris, Rome and Zurich, amongst others.
Her studies evolve, we no longer speak of fine lines, they thicken, transforming into little bars with a coloured surface, arranged on the canvas without ever reaching its extremities.
The end of the 1990s features a very interesting series focused on the association of two feelings: transparency and plenitude.
The first feeling evokes emptiness whilst the second, developed initially from the first, evokes completeness.
Entirely connected, these works bring significant movement, depth and dynamism to the white space of the canvas.
During the 2000s, the artist revealed through her painting, her notable capacity to expand on her former studies, employing a rigorous approach and an unmatched application.
Her works are composed of rectilinear forms, of symmetrical or dissimilar squares, evolving into a collection of horizontal or vertical lines, at times reminiscent of the Suprematism of Malevich.
The cohesion of the oeuvre of Geneviève Claisse is unique, imbalances are not to be found and colours are flawless.
Geneviève Claisse lives and works in Paris.