Jean Lurçat (1892-1966)

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Woman With a Cigarette, 1920

Jean Lurçat was a French Expressionist/Surrealist artist born in Vosges. He was exposed to art as a young boy when his parents introduced him to the founder of the Ecole Nancy, Victor Prouve. He traveled to Paris when he was 20, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and then the Academie Colarossi.

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The Collar, 1921

Throughout his career, Lurçat would form a style of his own, derived from his travels through the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East. His unique style had a primitive, native art feel and was composed of symbols and hieroglyphic-like imagery. Within this style, he created ceramics, paintings, tapestry and a number of other art pieces.

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Ceramic Bowl with Lid

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“Le Coque” ceramic tile

It was in fact Lurçat’s tapestry creations that brought him the most attention, and he is even often credited with bringing this age old art form back into fashion. He has been called the leading tapestry designer of the 20th century, and worked for the Aubusson factory creating his textile designs.

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Still Life Tapestry

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Aubusson Tapestry

During his lifetime, Lurçat also traveled to Spain and the Sahara where he was influenced to paint a number of Surrealist landscapes. He was only briefly associated with the Surrealist movement, as he experimented often with Expressionism and tribal art.

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Landscape, 1930