Henri Goetz





Biography
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1909 Birth of Henri Goetz in New York, in an American family of French origins.


1930
After studying at the M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and at Harvard University in Cambridge, as well as getting a private teaching of drawing and painting, he studies at the Grand Central Art School in New York. He leaves the United States for France. In Paris, he frequents the Julian academy, the Montparnasse Art studios including the Ozenfant studio. He mainly devotes his time to portrait painting, in a quite realistic style.


1934
He meets Victor Bauer who introduces him to surrealistic painting. His work is influenced by expressionism, fauvism and cubism.

1935 Settled in France for good, Goetz marries Christine Boumeester, a painter he met at the Grande Chaumière. He discovers Picasso and Klee's works. He makes the first of his non-figurative pain-tings. He strikes up a friendship with Hans Hartung who introduces him to the circle of avant-garde painters; as a result of this, he meets Léger and Kandinsky.
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1936
He is now a non-figurative artist, but with a surrealistic spirit. He exhibits his works in the Salon des Superindépendants.

1937
His first own exhibition in the Galerie Bonaparte (Van Leer), on the rue Bonaparte in Paris, with Christine Boumeester. He makes friends with Gonzales, Fernandez, Domela, Vulliamy, Veira da Silva, Schneider, Dominguez, Szenes, Arp, Kandinsky, and Van Tongerloo.

1938
He meets André Breton and the surrealists; he paints the "corrected masterpieces" - as Breton will call them - made with tempera and an egg-based painting on photographic reproductions of mas-terpieces, in a kind of posthumous collaboration with the late masters.
Goetz and his wife put up Hans Hartung at their place.

1939 Beginning of the war years; they live clandestinely because of his American nationality and his activities in the Resistance. Goetz and Christine meet up with Ubac, Magritte and the other Belgian artists in Carcassonne. Back in Paris, they start "La main à la plume" with Christian Dotremont and Ubac, the first surrealist review to be issued under the Occupation.

1940-41
Goetz makes numerous watercolour illustrations (only one copy of each) for Eluard, Hugnet, Fourcade…

1942 Exhibition with Christine Boumeester at the Jeanne Bucher Gallery in Paris; illustration for "La femme facile" by Hugnet for Jeanne Bucher 's publishing house. They become Picasso's friends. Goetz has to take refuge in the South of France, where he meets Arp, Magnelli and de Staël. As a consequence, de Staël makes his first abstract painting, fruit of Goetz, Nicolas and Jeannine de Staël's collaboration.
Goetz and Christine meet the Picabias in Cannes, they become close friends.

1943 Goetz starts the lithograph illustrations for Explorations, a book whose text is by Francis Picabia, published in 1945 by the Editions Vrille.
He also meets Pierre Bonnard in Le Cannet.

1944
Goetz goes back to Paris with Christine.

1945 He presents a radio programme on the Radio Diffusion Française, the first weekly programme dedicated to modern and contemporary painting. He frequently sees Picabia, Picasso, Braque, Hartung, Soulages, Schneider, Brancusi and Kandinsky.

1946
"10 ans de peinture" (10 Years of Painting) exhibition at the Breteau Gallery in Paris.

1947 Alain Resnais shoots "Portrait de Henri Goetz" for the Musée d'Art Moderne (Museum of Modern Art) in Paris, a short 16mm film in which, for the first time, an artist is painting before a camera.

1948 The "Nourritures terrestres" publish an album of etchings by Goetz. Goetz founds the "Graphies" group with Christine, Flocon and Ubac.

1949
Goetz illustrates numerous small volumes of poems. His wife and he get the French nationality.

1950
He makes the film set for "Histoire d'Agnès" (The Story of Agnès) by Roger Livet. He starts teaching painting at the Ranson Academy where he will stay until 1955.

1955-64 He runs painting courses at the Grande chaumière Academy (until 1960), and successively in Notre-Dame des Champs, Raspail, Fréchet and Malebranche academies, as well as in the Fontainebleau Conservatoire. He also runs etching lessons in several Fine Arts schools.
He starts his researches on the technique of pastel.

1965
He opens his own academy in the premises of the former André Lhote Academy, where he will teach voluntarily until 1984.

1967
Henri Goetz is made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (a French honorific distinction).

1968
La gravure au carborundum (The Carborundum Etching), a treatise about "Goetz's method", the latter having been perfected after long researches on the technique of etching, is published. It is prefaced by Miro and published by the Maeght Gallery, then republished by the same gallery.

1969
Goetz runs painting and etching classes at the Université de Vincennes.

1970
Goetz becomes a member of the "one percent Commission", in favour of the decorating of public buildings.

1971
Christine Boumeester dies in Paris on the 10 th of January.


1979
Goetz makes his first heated pastels on paper. He prepares his own papyrus, which he then uses as a support.

1983
Creation of the Goetz-Boumeester Gallery in Villefranche-sur-Mer.


1988
Goetz prefaces Christine Boumeester, published by Cercle d'art.

1989
He dies in Nice on the twelfth of August.
His works are exhibited in more than a hundred galleries and institutions.