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Othon Friesz

"Without the sublime truth of painterly light, no fullness of form, no agreement, no unity."


Notes of biography

Henri (Emile Othon) Friesz is born in Le Havre in 1879. At the age of thirteen, he takes night classes at the School of Fine Arts in his hometown. There he meets Raoul Dufy, befriends Georges Braque. In 1898, Othon Friesz win a scholarship that allows him to pursue his studies at the School of Fine Arts in Paris until 1903 (atelier Bonnat).
He befriends Matisse, Rouault, Marquet, Vlaminck, Derain. He paints landscapes in the tradition of Impressionism, inspired by Pissarro and Guillaumin. He exhibits in groups exhibitions (Salon des Indépendants, Salon d'Automne).
His first solo exhibition is held in Paris in 1904. Othon Friesz joins the fauvism movement at the end of the year 1905. He simplifies and summarizes his forms and paints canvases with clear and pure colors (ports, portraits, landscapes of southern France). Around 1909, Friesz adopts a more classical "way" which remains his until the end of his work.
In 1912 the artist opens a studio in Paris where he teaches painting, interrupted by war, this activity starts again in 1919. In 1913, he participates in the Armory Show in New York. Mobilized in 1914, he is wounded the following year and posted at the technical services of Aeronautics in Paris; this gives him the occasion to become the instigator of the origin of a museum of aviation documentary. Outside his usual way, in 1915, he paints a series of expressive paintings inspired by the war. Throughout the course of the inter-war years, Friesz continues to explore, in his classical style, the themes that are dear to him: nudity, landscape, female figure, still life, flowers and portraits.
From 1911 to 1938, Friesz successively travels to Portugal, Belgium, Italy and the United States. In 1941, as Derain, Othon Friesz participates to the journey of French artists in Nazi Germany. The artist creates tapestry cartoons and painted murals.
Othon Friesz dies in Paris in 1949.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
*« L’oeuvre peint », Vol. I, R. Martin & O. Aittouares, Paris, 1995, 2000 *« C. R. », Vol. II en préparation, R. Martin & O. Aittouares All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « E.-O. Friesz », A. Salmon, Les Peintres Fr. Nouveaux n°5, Ed. N.R.F., 1920
  • « Friesz », F. Fleuret & autres, Ed. Chroniques du Jour, Paris, 1927
  • « Othon Friesz », Roger Brielle, coll. Les Artistes Nouveaux, Ed. G. Crés, 1930
  • « Othon Friesz », M. Gauthier, Ed. P. Cailler, Genève, 1957
  • « Othon Friesz », coll., cat., Ed. Musée Galliera, Paris, 1959
  • « Rétrospective O. Friesz », c« Othon Friesz », coll.,at., Musée de La Roche-sur-Yon, 1979
  • « E.-O. Friesz, rétrospective », cat., Galerie K. Granoff, Paris, 1989
  • « Braque - Friesz », coll., cat., Musée de Lodève, Ed. Mazzotta, 2005
  • « Othon Friesz », Jean-Luc Chalumeau, Ed. Cercle d'Art, 2006
  • « Othon Friesz : Le fauve baroque », David Butcher, Ed. Gallimard, 2007
To read from the artist :
  • « O. Friesz, notices diverses », J. Busse, P. Cailler, Genève, 1958
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Art movements

+ FAUVISM / 1902-1907 / Charles Camoin, Auguste Chabaud, etc.
+ ARMORY SHOW / 1913 / Constantin Brancusi, Charles Camoin, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Hopper, Joseph Stella, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover