ARTIST NAME: Marcel Mouly
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Marcel Mouly (French, b. 1918)
Marcel Mouly was born in Paris in 1918. Like numerous painters of genius, he starts in life with a variety of little jobs before discovering a real profession. After primary school, he began work as a beach vendor, he then worked as a dental technician, next a cellar man. Although he had an interest in drawing as a youth, he never pursued a career in art until the hand of destiny reached into his life. It was 1942 and Mouly was arrested by the Germans who mistook him for a spy, and was placed into a solitary confinement in the Fresnes prison for one year. It was during this confinement that he made the decision to secure his creative freedom forever through a career in art. In 1943 he made friends with Pignon and was given his first showing of two paintings at the Salon d'Automne in Paris. From there his professional career took shape, fostered and encouraged by some of the greatest artists of this century. In 1948, the French Government acquired Mouly’s painting “La Femme a la Lampe.” At this point Mouly international career began with an exhibition in Florence, followed by others in Sweden, Denmark, Cairo, Geneva, Palm Beach, even Lapland.
The genius of his artistry took form in the smoky nights and brilliant shadows of an era influenced by the art of Braque, Matisse and Picasso, with whom he walked as a young man in the halls of the French art academies. Mouly was befriended by the great sculptor, Jacques Lipchitz, who became his mentor and an influence on his work through his approach to cubism. Yet, none of the fervor of the new artistic languages, though melded with skill into the reach of his creativity, overpowers the inner vision Mouly so adeptly portrays. Matisse’s influence is strongly felt in Mouly’s work with his Fauvist use of color. Mouly closely studied the master colorist, Matisse, and uses that knowledge and appreciation to create his harmonious and balanced compositions with juxtaposed elements of warm and cool colors in heavy blocks. His female forms, harbor scenes, and still lifes are created with a fluid brushstroke and organic lines and shapes. He paintings are entrancing and beautiful regardless of the subject. Mouly can paint a composition full of movement and suspense with a sailboat caught in the ocean’s fury, or a tranquil interior with two women sitting at a table gazing out their window at a breathtaking view of the harbor. Mouly fulfills to the utmost degree the demand which Baudelaire imposed on painters when he said: “imagination is the queen of truth.” Mouly breathes life into his artwork with his joy of living and his enthusiasm and passion for the art of painting is always evident in his artwork.
Mouly has achieved monumental acclaim and is exhibited in prominent museums around the world including the Musee Nationale d'art Moderne, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the Musee de Geneve in Switzerland. He has been honored with two of France's highest awards, the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1957 and the Premier Prix de Lithographie in 1973.
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