Felix LABISSE (1905 - 1982)
Born in 1905 in Marchiennes (France) and died in 1982 in Neuilly sur Seine (France)
Félix Labisse was a French painter linked to the surrealist movement, to which he never fully adhered. He began his career as a painter in 1922 in Ostend under the protection of James Ensor. The first works of Felix Labisse are very much influenced by Ensor and are rooted in Flemish expressionism.
In Ostend, he founded the 'Galerie d'Art Moderne' with his sister Ninette. But it only had a short existence because the summer people preferred the pleasures of the beach to art nouveau.
Together with Henri Storck, Felix Labisse also founded the 'Ostend Film Club', which was enthusiastically supported by the artists of Ostend and the entire 'Intelligentsia' of the city.
In 1932 he moved to Paris where he became friends with Jean-Louis Barrault, Robert Desnos and Antonin Artaud. From 1935, he was linked to the surrealist milieu and met Jacques Prévert, André Masson, Max Ernst, Raymond Queneau, René Magritte and Paul Delvaux.
Mobilised in 1939 and back in Paris in 1940, he became one of the major artists of the young French painting scene. From 1943 onwards, he devoted his time to painting and theatre sets, including those for the play Le Diable et le Bon Dieu by Jean-Paul Sartre directed by Louis Jouvet in June 1951. Felix Labisse divided his time between Paris and Knokke Le Zoute.
In 1968, he completed his masterpiece "Le Bain Turquoise", which in itself sums up all the production of the following years: Les Femmes Bleues.
These were the years of his pictorial maturity. Metamorphosis is at the heart of his work, taking it to the frontiers of fantasy, mythology and eroticism.
His nude women, with their lacified bodies, huge eyes and smooth forms, are now part of the history of painting.
In 1966, he was elected member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. In 1974, he was a member of the jury for the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival.
He died in 1982 at the age of seventy-six and is buried in the Douai cemetery.
L'Oreille et le Buccin
38 x 36 cm
Oil on canvas
Les présages de la guerre
100 x 150 cm
Tempera on canvas
Conjuration pour perdre au jeu
46 x 38 cm
Tempera on canvas
Eve transportée par des animaux préhistoriques
18 x 27 cm
Encre de Chine sur papier. Monogrammée en bas à droite.