Sunday, April 5, 2015

Felix Labisse

Le grand depayseur
other details unknown
(fair use)

Felix Labisse (1905-1982) was a French Surrealist painter, illustrator, and stage designer. He was born in Marchiennes, France. He was of Flemish and Polish descent and worked in both France and Belgium. His paintings depict fantastical hybrid creatures, and are often erotic. He sought to render both his own poetic reveries and the preoccupations of modern life through a technique of smoothly painted and strongly outlined violent colours. He specialized in images of a particular type of woman, at once strangely sensual and cold, whom he painted in blue and other exaggerated hues and who haunted his pictures like a mythical goddess.

The Labisse family was originally from Douai, in northern France, but after I World War they moved to Ostend, Belgium. He was self-taught. He made his debut as a painter in 1922, under the wing of James Ensor, the lifelong friend who influenced his work. In 1927 he set up his studio in Ostend, where he was associated not only with Ensor but also with poets and film maker. From 1932, he settled in Paris. In 1935 approaches the Surrealist group and knows Paul Delvaux, Max Ernst, Andre Masson and Rene Magritte. Mobilized in 1939, at the outbreak of II World War, he returned to Paris from the front in 1940 and became one of the leading artists of the young French painters. From 1943 he devoted himself entirely to painting and stage design.

He was the subject of a film by Alain Resnais, Visite a Felix Labisse (1947). In 1966 he was elected to the Academie des Beaux-Arts. In 1966 he was elected to the Academie des Beaux-Arts. He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1982.