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Édouard Goerg is one of the major artists of his generation.
Coming from a Champagne family, he was born in Sidney, Australia, in 1893, during a professional stay of his father. After passing through London, he arrives in Paris at the age of seven. At twenty, between 1913 and 1914, he studieds painting at the Académie Ranson with Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier. He travels to Italy and India. Mobilized in 1914, he is sent to Artois, then to Argonne. From 1920, he exhibits at the Salon des Independants, then at the Salon d'Automne where he joins with Laboureur. At Berthe Weil, in 1924, he participates in the exhibitions of the Gromaire group, a prelude to a series of exhibitions in Paris (Berthe Weill, Bernheim Jeune), as in Brussels (Le Centaure). Goerg illustrates books including Table of the beyond by F.Boutet. In 1928, he meets Paul Guillaume who exhibits his works in Boston and the Art Institute of Chicago. He continues to show his works, satires of the bourgeois manners, at Bernheim Jeune, then at Lucie Krogh. In 1934, he travels to Belgium and Holland where he paints surrealist paintings that will be exhibited at Jeanne Castel. In 1935-1936, he meets Aragon, who opened the doors of the houses of the cultures created by the Association of Writers and Revolutionary Artists. The Spanish war and the Second World War mark it deeply. He must protect his daughter and his Jewish women against the pursuit of the Nazis. The latter will die by lack of care. In 1949, Goerg is appointed professor of Fine Arts and teaches at the Grande Chaumière. He is elected to the Academy of Fine Arts in 1965. He dies in 1969.
" His satirical verve is that of a Toulouse-Lautrec of the Roaring Twenties. Goerg instigates the world from which he comes, his ceremonial, morgue and the falsity of important people " (Michel Charzat, La jeune peinture française)
In the paintings of his early period he attacks the morality of post-war bourgeois society, and in that sense was similar to expressionist painters like Georg Grosz. The major works of this period are: Pirate (1922); Gourmand (1923); Bar (1923); Marriage (1924); Window (1924); Don Quixote (1925); and Good fortune (1925). He travels extensively, and in 1935 visits the museums of Holland, where he is deeply influenced by the works of Hieronymus Bosch and Bruegel. He then directs a series of paintings on the theme of the tragedy of the human condition, under the generic title: "eThis is how the world turns under the eye of the police".
After the Second World War, he savs his vitriolic commentary for his etchings, and in his paintings ceased to criticize real life and instead celebrated the evil charms of the flower-girls. He illustrates many books, including: Tales of Hoffmann, Picture of the Beyond by Frederick Boutet, Knock by Jules Romains, The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire, The Book of Job and Apocalypse of St. John by Sir Isaac Newton, who have all demonstrated his engraving skills. Asked about his art, he confesses that he had first wanted to try to unblock the "comedy of everyday forms". Essentially a painter of figures, he generally paints groups of feminine nudes; however, these nudes are often accompanied by conservatively dressed male spectators, who are the most enduring symbol of his first comic intentions. Nevertheless, the comedy is loaded with bitterness and sarcasm.
After several refusals, he is accepted at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in 1922. His work then appears at the Salon d'Automne, at the Salon des Tuileries, at the Salon des Peintres Témoins of Their Time and at the Salon of the Society of Painters-Engravers, where he becomes honorary president from 1945 to 1958. He makes his first personal exhibition in Paris in 1925. After that, he exhibits regularly in France and abroad. There have been several retrospectives of his work, notably in 1988 at the Grand Palais in Paris and the Salon du Verney in Vichy. In 1949, he receives the very prestigious Hallmark prize for Nativity. In 1950 he receives the Lugano Prize for Engraving.
"In the mid-twenties, he developed his plastic code: canvases with a flat surface, a chromatic range that has brightened with phosphorescent blues and greens, a craft that wants to transcend the subject by intrinsic beauty. Goerg works with the patience of the alchemist his paste that he superimposes to obtain the sumptuousness of enamels. A pictorial magic unifies the different periods of the work" (Michel Charzat, La jeune peinture française)
chronology taken from the site http://edouardgoerg.fr
1893-9 June birth of Edouard Joseph Goerg in Sidney (Australia), son of Gustave Goerg, director of family counters champagne Irroy Australia and Blanche Adet (half-Irish, half-Bordeaux).
1894 - The family settles in London
1900 - Arrival in Paris, 111, rue de Longchamp (XVI °)
1903 - Studies in Gerson then Janson-de-Sailly
c.1910 - decides to become a painter, against the advice of his father who wants to see his business partner with 1912 - Enrolled at the Académie Ranson, where E. G. follows the teaching of Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier. He meets Ker Xavier Roussel and Paul Vallotton. Settles in a workshop 9, rue Campagne Première (XIV °) 1913 - Study trip to Italy (Florence, Assisi and Siena)
1914 - Trip to India. Return precipitated in France to the declaration of war. Mobilized, he is sent to the Somme, Champagne and Ardennes.
1915-1917- E. G. volunteers in the East Army (18 months)
1919 - Demobilized, he returns to the Ranson Academy, where he meets Andrée Berolzheimer.
1920 - Exhibits for the first time at the Salon des Independants. June 9, wife Andrée Berolzheimer.
1921 - May-June, travels to Italy. June, the couple buys a house in Cély-en-Bière in Seine-et-Marne.
1922 - First private exhibition at the Panardie Gallery, Paris Received at the Salon d'Automne.
1923 - Meeting Jean-Emile Laboureur at the Druet Gallery, who introduces him to Marcel Gromaire and encourages him to make etchings.
1924 - July, birth of his daughter Claude-Lise.
1925 - Berthe Weill Gallery Exhibition, Paris
1926 - Move in Cité Seurat (101, rue de la Tombe Issoire, fourteenth) in a home-workshops (built by André Lurçat) co-owned with Marcel Gromaire. Appointed member at the Salon d'Automne
1928 - Meeting Paul Guillaume, with whom he exhibited in Boston and the Art Institute of Chicago. Death of his father, E.G. takes care of his mother.
1929 - Special exhibition at Georges Bernheim
1934 - E. G. changes his style and subject, he starts a series of so-called fantastic works. Get in touch with Emmanuel Mounier and the Esprit group.
1935 - May-June, exhibition of his recent works at Jeanne Castel. Meeting Aragon and participate in the activities of A.E.A.R. First Salon du Temps present, E. Goerg is part of the organizing committee, chaired by André Lhote. Travel to Belgium and Holland.
1936 - May, participates in the first debate on Realism and Painting, organized by the House of Culture. 1937 - February, Edouard Goerg leaves, with 6 other members of A.E.A.R. (Cabrol, Jannot, Labasque, Lauze, Lefranc and Masereel) in Barcelona. Participates with 9 paintings at the exhibition "The Masters of Independent Art 1897-1937" at the Petit-Palais
1938 - Settles in a mansion 11, rue Ducouédic (XIV °)
1939 - With the war, his painting focuses on feminine and floral themes: "flower-women" that he will paint until the end of his life.
1940 - Signs a contract with Galerie Drouant
1941 - Remains in Paris during the whole occupation
1944 - February, death of his wife Andrée, he is totally shot and only a shock treatment will restore him. Approach the lithography. June, collaborates on the album Vaincre, published by the National Front of Painters for the benefit of the French Francs Tireurs et Partisans Français.
1945 - President of the Society of French Painters-Engravers (until 1958) Illustrates The Apocalypse of Saint John (J. Haumont editor)
1946 - Appointed professor of engraving at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Trip to Grisons with the Marquet, offered by the Swiss government to French artists. December, trip to Algiers.
1947 - Second marriage.
1949 - Hallmark Award, Knight of the Legion of Honor. Exhibition in London.
1950 - First engraving prize in Lugano.
1954 - Participates in the Venice Biennale. Exhibitions in Cairo, Alexandria and Beirut.
1955 - Exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires
1956 - Death of his mother. Exhibition in Nantes (Mignon-Massart), Reims (Andre Droulez), Nancy (Librairie des Arts, engravings), Strasbourg (Aktarius) and in Lausanne (Maurice Bridel and Nane Cailler).
1957 - Acquires a property in Callian (Var).
1960 - Permanently leaves Paris and the Paris region to settle in Callian.
1965 - Appointed member of the Institute at the Academy of Fine Arts.
1969 - April 13, death in Callian.
E. Goerg, by Gaston Diehl, Editions de Clermont, Paris, 1947
"For nearly a century the history of art has recorded a series of successive revolutions, of which we have been able to boast about the magnitude and importance. Almost all, from Impressionism to Nabism, from Fauvism to Cubism, tended to free the means of expression solely on the level of visual aesthetics, in the sense of a renewal of plastic forms; this extension of the power of visuality corresponds very exactly to the very evolution of society towards a fatal development of materialism.
(...)Today Rouault and Goerg, who belong to this same spiritual family, begin only with the recoil of the years to be truly rehabilitated and put back as they deserve, one by the Church, the other by history. And there is something surprising in a world that preaches so much the spirit of freedom and glorifies the revolutionary will. Indeed, it is they, even more than the best creative geniuses, who will present themselves in the future as the true revolutionaries. The revolt that manifests itself in them is total, demanding, despotic. It has in itself a value of eternity: it is based on the man and not on the idea, it goes to the bottom of things and disdains the accidental in spite of the first appearances, and especially it preserves to life its force gushing, its density and its richness. As and when their work will be defined with increasing authority compared to our time, as its most lucid portrait and the most complete.
(...) The place occupied by Goerg in contemporary art has certainly been recognized for a long time already, because of the power of expression and the pictorial qualities of his work. But it is only now, through the various aspects that the latter has taken, that one can deduce without confusion its actual importance and verify to what extent this language corresponds to the fundamental data of our time.
(...) Yet among the artists there are some who claim from life all its fullness and refuse this tacit acceptance, this passivity a little shameful, this resignation of moral and spiritual forces. They are not afraid to confess openly and highly the drama that is in them and around them, the threats that hover. They denounce weaknesses and laches, they deliver the spirits and hopes that are common to everyone. They are, so to speak, the interpreter of destiny and assign before him men and events.
(...) "For nearly a century the history of art has recorded a series of successive revolutions, of which we have been able to boast about the extent and importance of almost everything, from Impressionism to Nabism, Fauvism to Cubism, tended to liberate the means of expression solely on the level of visual aesthetics, in the sense of a renewal of the plastic forms, this extension of the power of visuality corresponding very exactly to the very evolution of the society towards a fatal development of materialism.
(...) From now on the horizon that such a work discovers gives the measure of its extent of elocution and its imperious legitimacy. (...) It determines the profound significance of this last quarter century; it gives the most valid and most definite definition. It presents itself as the very consciousness of our time which it assigns to history by marrying by its fluctuations all its hesitations and torments. (...) It summarizes beautifully each major event by keeping only the essential, exceeding it in time and in its immediate range. Thanks to it, the atmosphere of the first world war can be traced back to the second, that of the two post-war periods, as well as that of various world crises or incidents.
(...) Thus, by the happiest conjunction, this work evokes on a spiritual level the salient facts of the time and goes beyond the latter, stands out from the moment, interpreting also the eternal tragedy of man, his loneliness, his metaphysical anxiety, the desires, the impotence or the despair that he carries in him. At once present and virtual, it is almost nothing more than a mere refuge, the very one that the individual lost in the middle of the crowd wishes to hide and hide his dismay under the appearance of exasperation or defiance. . (...) Precisely matured by the 1914 war and painfully affected for four years by his spectacle of destruction and death, he kept a particular affectivity for the human suffering which gives him this faculty of penetration and this astonishing clairvoyance in face of upheavals and incessant convulsions of our world.
(...The universe in which he introduces us is, moreover, intransmissible from the formal point of view, by his own subjectivity, by his very intensity and his power of revelation. (...) The figures that move there, although reduced to the state of signs, have an eternal value by the force of their accent and their degree of humanity. Stretched and deformed to the point of grinning, simplified and hollowed out to the point of the watermark, they nevertheless present themselves as beings endowed with evidence by the very characters they accuse. Hardly sketched, these allusive silhouettes that retain the awkwardness of intuition, seem to emerge directly from the inner dream. They have the astonished immobility, the naive grandeur of the fairground massacre characters, and belong to the same legendary caricature and familiarity. Their register is almost as restricted and they obey a ritual almost similar evoking the immutable Gehenna. From the immodest young rake to the unscrupulous matron, from the simple-minded to the boastful, from the matamore to the raptor, the whole human comedy unfolds here in an endless round. Does not vice or stupidity always have an identical face! But these traditional types interpreted by an artist of genius with an extraordinary sharpness and a rare sense of observation take an extreme relief and become living symbols that are renewed, while repeating themselves, thanks to their emotional power. A few salient features, a few spots of color are enough to define them accurately and this eloquent synthesis underlines all the internal violence they are responsible for.
(...) And behind all these puppets, who dispute it alternately with burlesque and tragedy, is there not nature condensed into brief forms, suggestive by their very brutality; and especially space, this mysterious space, vague, uncertain, always immense, phosphorescent, which finally imposes itself as the proper sign of fatality, to which no one, being or thing, can escape?
(...) When finally in his paintings from 1933, during the years of crisis and anxiety that preceded the war, and recently in his magnificent series of illustrations for "the Apocalypse" or "the Book of Job", Goerg gives free course to his prophetic imagination and brings up a fantastic universe teeming with foul larvae, is not all the useless desperation of our world today that he discovers in a cosmic message that fits naturally in the metaphysical tradition of great initiates or visionaries, from Hieronymus Bosch to William Blake? "
You can buy this book on the secondhand market.
Some exhibitions among countless:
1922: Paris, Panardie Gallery
1922: Autumn Salon
1925: Paris, Berthe Weill Gallery
1929: Paris, Georges Bernheim Gallery, special exhibition
May-June 1935: Paris, Jeanne Castel gallery Premier Salon of the present time. Goerg is part of the organizing committee, chaired by André Lhote
1937: Édouard Goerg leaves for Barcelona in February with six other members of A.E.A.R. He sends nine paintings to the exhibition The Masters of Independent Art 1897-1937 at the Petit Palais in Paris
1954: Venice Biennale. Exhibitions in Cairo, Alexandria and Beirut
1955: exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires
1956: exhibitions in Nantes (Mignon-Massart), Reims (André Droulez), Nancy (Librairie des Arts, engravings), Strasbourg (Aktarius), Lausanne (Maurice Bridel and Nane Cailler)
2012: Paris, National Museum of Modern Art (Center Georges Pompidou), Art at War
National Museum of Modern Art, Pompidou Center, Paris
Menton Museum of Fine Arts
Fabre Museum, Montpellier
Reims Museum of Fine Arts
Pierre Descargues dans Connaissance des Art, Juillet 1961 (Edouard Goerg, page #4)
The record, as we know, works of Edouard Goerg in public sale was established in Drouot October 16, 1994 in Paris. FF302.500 (sales charge included) for an oil on canvas of 80 x 129 cm entitled "The city". The discounted amount in March 2018: € 45,700 or $ 58,300 USD.
Then "The wooden horses on the Champs-Elysees" (FF300,000 fdvi, € 43,500) oil on canvas at Drouot, Paris in 1990, "Life begins again" (FF237,500 fdvi, € 35,700) oil on canvas at Drouot, Paris, in 1993, etc.
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