Robert Helman

Robert Helman (1910-1990) was one of the major representatives of abstract painting of the Nouvelle Ecole de Paris.


He was born in Galaţi, in 1910, into a wealthy family. In 1927, he went to Paris to study law and became a lawyer in 1933. His wife was from Romania. During the WW2 he went to Barcelona, from where he returned in 1946 and installed in Montparnasse, in the former workshop of the Mane Katz.


After numerous participation in group exhibitions, in 1983 he organized a major retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.


In 1984, he lost his left eye (remember that in 1938, Victor Brauner lost his left eye, also from a shard of glass!). He continued to paint, but he realized also metal sculptures. In 1990, he had another major retrospective at Cannes. Robert Helman died in November 1990 and he was buried at Berulle, on his tomb being placed his sculpture "The flight".


In 2010 at Orangerie des Musées des Sens was organized a large retrospective exhibition and Lydia Harambourg published an album on the artist. Quote from this album presentation: “Un paysage imaginaire de la genèse " : telle était la phrase employée par Helman à la fin de sa vie pour qualifier sa création. Et de fait, cet artiste d'origine roumaine installé à Montparnasse dès 1946 se détache rapidement de la Nouvelle Ecole de Paris pour construire une œuvre panthéiste hautement personnelle qui se distingue également par la diversité de ses supports. Helman multiplie les médiums pour élaborer une vaste cosmogonie et travaille sans relâche des sujets "obsessions" : les genèses et les soleils, les figures, les germinations et les racines, le candélabre, l'arbre et les branches, les envols...

Photos from here and here.

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