Auguste Herbin (France, 1882 – 1960)
Auguste Herbin is a French abstract painter, born in Quiévy in 1882 and died in Paris in 1960. From 1898 to 1901, he studied at the School of Fine Arts of Lille. He then moved to Paris.
At first, influenced by the Impressionist style, his encounter with Picasso and Georges Braque in 1909 led him to approach cubism, an approach encouraged by his friend Wilhelm Uhde, a German art critic and collector. Between 1913 and 1923, he moved to Céret and created several Cubist pieces such as ” Landscape in Céret”. He focused in the notion of perspective.
In 1919, Herbin wanted to definitely give up Cubism, which he thought was becoming old fashion. “Art can only be monumental” he wrote in Gleizes. He then started creating a collection of “monumental objects” that led him to paint on geometric wood in relief. This work was not well received by the critics and Rosenberg advised him to come back to a more figurative style, which he did momentarily. In 1922 he married Louise Bailleux.
Auguste Herbin created in the years 1940-1950 a plastic alphabet where each letter was associated to a color, a geometry shape and a particular sound. The letter I for example corresponds to the color orange, a circle and a triangle and the note ré. During those years, his painting was very geometric, consisting of simple forms and pure colors.
Suffering from hemiplegia in 1953, Herbin had to relearned to paint with his left hand. He died in 1960 in Paris.
In the 2000s, Didier Marien made a collection of original carpets, signed and numbered Herbin, which he exhibited in France, London, New York and Moscow, a collection that greatly contributed to the rediscovery of the artist in these major cities.