Galerie des Modernes

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jacques villon

Groupe de Puteaux, Section d'Or, cubism

(Damville, 1875 - Puteaux, 1963)

Gaston Duchamp, known as "Jacques Villon", was the eldest of six children, four of whom had devoted themselves to art: Raymond Duchamp-Villon (1876-1918), Marcel Duchamp (1887-1967), and Suzanne Duchamp -1958). To distinguish himself from his brothers, he adopted the pseudonym of Jacques Villon, in reference to the French poet of the Middle Ages.

His maternal grandfather, Emile Nicolle, a painter and engraver and a Rouen businessman, initiated his first prints at the age of 16, a technique which he practiced throughout his life.
From 1894 to 1906, Jacques Villon worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for several magazines in Paris. At that time, a large number of posters and humorous leaflets were born.

Villon ceased all collaboration with the newspapers in 1910, at the death of Jules Roques, director of the Courrier Français, and devoted himself to painting and engraving.

Beginning in 1911, he organized a discussion group with his brothers Raymond and Marcel, who met regularly with artists and critics such as Francis Picabia, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger and others who were soon to be named of "Groupe de Puteaux" or "Section d'or". This Groupe de Puteaux was baptized according to the theory of proportions demonstrated by Leonardo da Vinci and based on the number of gold. Villon played a major role in the group's exhibition. More than 200 works by thirty-one artists appeared at their first exhibition at the gallery La Boetie in October 1912.

In 1913, he exhibited at the famous Armory Show in New York, which helped introduce modern art to the United States. His works are now very popular and sell easily. His reputation grew so much that in the 1930s he was better known in the United States than in Europe.

In 1942, the Galerie de France exhibited his works. It was that same year that Jacques Villon met Louis Carré who became his dealer and organized exhibitions all over the world. These steps of recognition was crossed for Villon who notes with humor that "what is difficult in painting are the first 70 years"!

In 1956, at 82 years old, he received the order of the windows of the cathedrale Saint-Etienne of Metz and realized five bay windows.

Exhibitions and prizes multiplied until his death in 1963.

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