Edouard Goerg (1893-1968)
Edouard Goerg was a French Expressionist and engraver. Born in Australia to French parents, Goerg moved to France in 1913 to pursue his career as an artist. He studied at the Academy Ransom in Paris for a year, but would eventually go on to create a style all his own. Goerg would work primarily in oil and gouache, but was also a prolific lithographer. During this time, he also worked under the artist Maurice Denis, and is hailed as one of the most original representatives of the French Expressionist movement.
In 1919, Goerg moved to the French Indies, only to return to Paris again in 1919.
From 1949 to 1965, Goerg taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts as a professor. He continued to paint during this time, and well up until his death in 1969. During this time he was also awarded the prestigious rank as a Knight of the Legion of Honor.
Goerg would often paint young women with large eyes and heads, almost in a cartoon-like fashion. Some critics may call Goerg’s individualistic style a more “softened” version of Cubism. In fact, Goerg seemed to jump into Cubism just as it was emerging and pieces of his such as “The Bar” show that perhaps he was working in this style before it gained great popularity.
While the bulk of Goerg’s work would insinuate that he painted primarily lighthearted scenes, he did not ignore social commentary completely. Like so many other artists, Goerg served in World War I, and was left with horrific memories as a result. This also was reflected in some of his lithography and paintings.
Though some critics try to compare his work to that of George Grosz, Goerg was in a league all his own. Goerg’s former home in Callian is currently being restored to become a museum for the artists’ work, despite a long struggle to obtain property rights. Today his work is housed in modern museums in Europe and The United States, and perhaps in your own home.