Geneviève Claisse

French, 1935-2018 Biography

Geneviève Claisse, who specialized in geometric abstraction, was born in 1935, in Quievy, France. She studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Her approach to painting was influenced by reading Art d’Aujourd’hui, Tribune of Geometrical Abstraction.

Claisse was the great niece of Auguste Herbin, a founder of the French group of artists known as Abstraction-Création. In the late 1950s, Genevieve worked as an assistant in Herbin's studio. In Herbin's mind, Claisse was "le successeur désigné par le destin et par l'hérédité" ("the successor appointed by destiny and heredity"). Like Herbin, Claisse's work shows a devotion to the ideals of formal purity and the perfection of execution. At this young age she worked tirelessly, often working at night after a day in the studio, carefully painting abstract forms on bold, colorful canvases.

Claisse's geometric-abstract work went through various creative phases. Her early works showed sharp triangular shapes in fragile compositions. Later, her work was characterized by large colored circle shapes, and black and white line structures. During the 1980s, Genevieve reduced her compositions to precisely executed and sensitively balanced compositions, making use of some few lines and color forms.

Galerie Denise René, Paris, 1961
Museum of Fine Art of La Chaus-de-Fonds, Biennale de Paris, 1967
Art Optique, Museum of Fine Art of Oslo, 1968
Galerie Denise René, Paris, 1970
Galerie d'Eendt, Amsterdam, 1971
Modern Art Center of Alencon, 1972
Concepts multilinéaires, Galerie Denise René, Paris, 1978
Galerie Denise René, Paris, 1981
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, 1983

Musée Matisse du Cateau-Cambrésis

Gouache on paper
13 ⅜ x 11 ⅜ inches
Signed and dated lower right: g. claisse. 1960
Titled lower left: "Pavane"

Private collection, Switzerland