Andre Lhote (1885-1962)
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Andre Lhote was a French Cubist painter and sculptor born in Bordeaux. He initially started out as a wood carver, and his first painting are in a self-taught Fauve style. Lhote typically painted landscapes and mythological scenes, as well as portraits and figure studies, but was also known for his sculpture. He would typically sign his work “A. Lhote” and worked in a number of media.
In 1898 he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux where he studied decorative sculpture. He remained there for the next six years learning how to sculpt, all the while continuing to teach himself to paint. In 1906, he moved to Paris where he was influenced by the work of Cezanne and Gauguin. By 1910, Lhote had his first exhibition at the Galerie Druet.
By 1911, he had basically abandoned Fauvism and focused more on Cubism, joining the Section d’Or group in 1912. By being involved with this group, he became one of the founding fathers of modern art as we know it.
The outbreak of World War I put a hold on Lhote painting, and he served until 1917. Despite the fact that he was able to forge a career as a painter, Lhote was better known in his lifetime as a teacher and a founder of organizations. From 1918 to 1940, he worked on The Nouvelle Revue Francais, a magazine that he founded. In 1918 he also taught at the Academie Notre Dame des Champs until 1920. He founded the Academie Montparnasse in 1922, and in 1952 opened up another branch of the school in South America.
During the World War II years, Lhote waited out the war in a rustic home in Gourdes that he shared with his wife and painter Marc Chagall. He returned to Paris in 1942, and after the war, Lhote traveled extensively, lecturing at schools and other venues in Italy, Belgium, England, Brazil and Egypt. He also won the Grand Prix National de Peinture in 1955, seven years before his death in Paris, and was commissioned by UNESCO to create sculptures later on in life. His later works lean more towards Abstract Art than either Fauvism or Cubism, but these are far fewer than his early Cubist works.
Today his work is housed in modern art museums around the world in France, China and the United States, and perhaps in your own home. Still wondering about a Cubist landscape hanging on your wall? Contact us…it could be by Andre Lhote.