Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Roy, Pierre

The Cauliflower    
oil on canvas
60 x 73 cm
Private collection

Pierre Roy (1880-1950) was a French painter, illustrator and designer, born in Nantes. One of the original surrealists and a relative of the famous French writer Jules Vernes, Roy's paintings, often inspired by memories of his childhood, show some affiliation to Surrealism and Magic Realism.

After working briefly in an architect's office in Nantes, he moved to Paris and studied at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs and the Academie Julian. He first exhibited in 1906 at the Salon de la Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts and in 1907 and 1908 at the Salon des Independants. In 1910 Roy came into contact with the Fauves and the circle of writers around them, such as Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire, an association that influenced his style away from its earlier academicism. In 1913, he met and quickly became a friend of De Chirico who introduced him to Andre Breton , Louis Aragon, Max Ernst and the other Surrealists. Unusual and "mystere onirique" are the keys to his work which represents, in meticulous detail, recognizable scenes and objects which are taken out of natural context, distorted and combined in fantastic ways as they might be in dreams. He died while on a visit to Milan.