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 Henry Valensi  (1883 - 1960)

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: Cubist painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Henry Valensi


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Cubist painting

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Biography from Papillon Gallery:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Henry Valensi (1883 – 1960)

Henry Valensi was born on September 17, 1883 in Algeria.

Valensi moved to Paris in 1898 where he studied with Jules Lefebrve and Tony Robert-Fleury at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris.  Before World War I, Valensi traveled through Europe, and in Russia, Turkey, and Greece.  This journey greatly inspired him.  In 1912 he participated in the creation of the Section d’Or, along with Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Dumont and Gleizes, among others. During World War I, Valensi was the peintre de l’Etat-Major du General Gourand. He collected many war documents that are now in the Musée de la Guerre de Vincennes.  After the war he traveled again in Europe and Africa.

Valensi was the leader of the group of artists that he himself named the “Musicalistes.”  Painting during the 1930s through the 1950s, the “Musicalistes” interpreted the rhythms of music in two dimensions through abstract shapes.

In 1932 Valensi organized and participated in the first Salon de Peinture Musicaliste at Galerie Renaissance, Paris.  The group exhibited 22 subsequent shows.  Valensi exhibited in the Salon des Orientalistes beginning 1905 and Salon des Indépendants in Paris from 1907 on.

Valensi also participated in many other Musicaliste exhibitions in cities across Europe, including Prague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Budapest, Bratislavia, and Limoges.  After World War II, Valensi participated in the 1947 Salon des Realités Nouvelles.  He later became the committee’s vice-president.

Valensi had several solo exhibitions, including a gallery in Vichy in 1909 and Galerie la Boétie, Paris in 1913.  Additionally, F.T. Marinetti, who was the leader of the Italian Futurist art movement, organized a 1923 exhibition of Valensi’s work.

In 1973 the first retrospective of the Salons Musicalistes was held in Paris at the Galerie Hexagramme.  The Centre Georges Pompidou included Valensi’s work in the 1979 exhibition “Paris-Mosco.”

Biography from Schiller & Bodo European Paintings:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Henry Valensi; French, Algiers 1883-1960 Bailly (Oise)

Henry Valensi was a dominant artist and theoretician of the Cubist movement. In 1912, he, along with Metzinger, Gleizes, Gris, Léger, Duchamp, Delaunay, Picabia and others, founded the Section d’Or, or “Golden Section.”  The name of the group was intended to draw attention to the mathematical foundations of Cubism and it's connections to Classical systems of spatial organization, and Valensi maintained various manifestations of this basic principle throughout his career.

Valensi became best known for his creation of an approach called both “effusionist” and “musicalist,” typified by a rhythmic, “musical” division of the composition and the superimposing of different views of the same motif.  His Salons of the Musicalistes, established in 1932, were held in Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Budapest,
Bratislava, and Limoges.

Valensi was widely traveled, known for his landscapes painted in all of the capitals of Europe, Russia, North Africa and the near East.

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, France; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

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