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Biography of John-Franklin Koenig
Born to French mother and American father, John-Franklin Koenig was born in 1924 in Seattle (United States). As a young man, he served with the Armored Division in Europe during World War II and has been wounded. After finishing his studies in United States, he came to France. In 1945, he started painting at the G.I University in Biarritz. Being in Paris in 1948, he joined the Sorbonne. He met Jean Robert Arnaud who became his professional partner. In the fifties, the Galerie Arnaud, and the art review « Cimaise », were devoted entirely to non-figurative art in France. He did a column in the magazine about daance. The young art critic Michel Ragon, (he made him discover United States in 1958), associated Koenig to artists like Martin Barre, James Guitet or Pierre Fichet as a representative of abstract landscaping. American in Paris, John-Franklin Koenig was always between Seattle and Paris, but he was also travelling regularly in the whole world. His artworks were showed in more than 220 personal exhibitions and more than 400 group exhibitions. John-Franklin Koenig, in his research about light, space and rhythm, used a palette of different sizes and various techniques : collages, oil and acrylic on canvas, prints (linocuts and lithographs), inks, drawings and gouaches on paper, monotypes, tapestries. « Painter and Glue Man », as he defined himself, Koenig used to excel in many areas. Protean artist, he said that a painter could be at the same time a writer, a poet, a weaver, a musician... Great traveller, he found inspiration in Americas, Orient, Indochina, and most in Japan where he used to travel : John-Franklin Koenig became a kind of ambassador of parisian artistic cosmopolitanism. Paris has been his home base for 35 years, then in 2004 he went back in his hometown to end his days. He died in Seattle in 2008.