Georges Mathieu (1921-2012)
Mathieu was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, and gained an international reputation in the 1950s as a leading Abstract Expressionist.
His large paintings are created very rapidly and impulsively. Despite his unconventional technique, he considers himself an historical painter working with abstract subject matter. His paintings are related to American Lyrical Abstraction and to Art Informel as well.
Mathieu lacked a formal art education. In 1947 he was working for American Express in Paris, France and rented a "chambre de bonne" near the Palais Luxembourg. There he executed a number of large canvases with a black background on which he painted colored scrolls, whorls and other shapes.
He subsequently refined his technique, using a white background on which he painted simple geometrical forms, most often a single line in color. In the 1950s he exhibited fifty of these canvases at the Leicester Galeries in London.
He was commissioned by Air France to design a series of posters for destinations serviced by the carrier.