Henri Goetz (1909-1989)

Sainte-Genevieve Des Bois, 1965

Henri Goetz was born in New York and would become a leader in Abstract art. He originally studied at Harvard University and M.I.T., but eventually began painting on his own. He enrolled in the Grand Central Art School in New York, but left after only six months. Goetz then traveled to Paris in 1930 to attend workshops at the Academie Julien. He briefly returned to New York, but settled in Paris in 1932.

Graphisme Jaune et Noir, 1951

In the mid-1930s, Goetz began painting Surrealist compositions, only to return to Abstract. He exhibited often, and one of his first being at the Salon des Independents in 1935.


By the 1950s, Goetz began steadily teaching art, which he would continue to do for the rest of his life. He even founded his own art school, the Atelier Goetz in 1965.

Abstract Composition

Goetz was married to painter Christine Boumeester, whom he also worked with during World War II. They fought alongside one another in the resistance against German occupation creating false passports for people running from the Nazis. They were eventually caught and forced to leave Paris for a time, lucky to have been spared their lives. It is not unlikely that during this time some of Goetz and Boumeester’s work was pillaged by the Gestapo and could be housed unknown and unauthenticated in Germany or elsewhere.


During his lifetime, Goetz exhibited and traveled worldwide. Today his work is housed in Modern Art museums in Europe and The United States, and perhaps in your own home.