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 Francois Arnal  (1924 - 2012)

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: abstract painting, sculpture, furniture making

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BIOGRAPHY for Francois Arnal
1924 (La Valette, France)


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abstract painting, sculpture, furniture making

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

François Arnal was born in 1924 in La Valette (France), from a family of wine growers. He went to high school in Toulon and graduated in Law and Literature from the Aix en Provence University.

In 1943, he entered the "maquis d’Auvergne" as a member of the Resistance. There, he became acquainted with Conrad Kickert, a Dutch artist refugee from Paris and friend with Le Fauconnier. It’s he who taught Arnal the first rudiments of his job and encouraged him to paint.

Arnal started painting in 1947. In 1948, François Arnal moved to Paris where he met the painters Dmitrienko, Rezvani and Quentin but also the writers Raymond Queneau, Hubert Juin, J.C Lambert and Alain Jouffroy.

His first solo exhibition took place at the Galerie Maeght in 1949. As early as 1950, his works were exhibited internationally.

In 1957, he started a long journey that would take him to Mexico, Polynesia, Central America and the U.S.A.

Since 1958, he has only been creating series of works. The same year, he participated to the 19th Venice Biennale.

He joined the movement of Lyrical Abstraction (Charles Estienne) and Informal Art (Michel Tapié).

Arnal started sculpting in 1960.

At this time, Arnal was living in the U.S.A six months a year where he was exhibiting and working.

In 1964, Francois Arnal settled in Paris.

In 1968, he opened Atelier A (Studio A with standing for Arnal), which until 1975 had for aim to make art accessible and at the reach of all. This ideal is put in practice through the creation of objects and furniture by him and other artists (Arman, Brusse, César, Lebovici, Malaval…).

Arnal came back to the practice of painting and sculpting in 1975 when he also started writing novels, poetry and plays.

For three years (1975-1978), he lived in Corsica in a house built with his own hands.

He eventually comes back to Paris, where he pursues his series (série des Élémentaires, série de la Mémoire, les Meeps, Pruneaux crus / Pruneaux cuits)

 Francois Arnal
1924 born in La Valette, France
Lives and works in Paris, France

1959: 2nd John Moores award, Liverpool (United Kingdom).?
1964: Négresco Award, 4th Menton Biennale (France).?
1966: 2nd Alexandria Biennale Award (Egypt).?
1971: Médaille d'or (gold medal), Europe award Ostende (Belgium).?
1984: Nommé officier des Arts et des Lettres.

1955: Palais des beaux-arts de Bruxelles (Belgium). ?
1958: Musée Grimaldi (Picasso), Antibes (France).?
1963: Elkon Gallery, New York (U.S.A).?
1979: Musée de La Chaux-de-Fond (Switzerland).?
1982: Maison de la culture, Nantes (France).
?1983: Musée de Toulon (France).?
1985: Musée de Dunkerque (France).?
1991: Musée de Vesoul (France).?
2009: «Peintures, sculptures et dessins», Musée de l’hospice Saint?Roch, Issoudun (France).

Francois Arnal,

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