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 Henri Hayden  (1883 - 1970)

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Lived/Active: France/Poland      Known for: cubist, abstract still life and landscape painting

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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.

It is typical that a Polish-born artist, especially one who was a Jew, at the beginning of this century should regard Paris as his natural habitat. Henri Hayden arrived in Paris in 1907, aged 24, and only four years later held his first one-man exhibition. From that point onward, Paris became his home.

He was a School of Paris painter, mainly of still life and landscape. Cezanne and Cubism were the classical influences on the young artist. Hayden's career as a whole represents an artist whose periods of significant creativity occurred at the beginning and end of a long professional career.

His first important picture, The Chess Players at La Totonde, in the manner of Cezanne, was shown at the Salon des Indépendants in 1914; shortly afterwards he was introduced to Juan Gris, by a fellow Pole, the sculptor Jacques Lipchitz. Soon after Hayden began his Cubist period, which lasted between 1916 and 1921.

Gris led him to the dealer Léonce Rosenberg, and through him to Metziner, Severini, Picasso, and Matisse, all significant influences on the artist. Although Hayden produced a fine series of cubist pictures, the most famous The Three Musicians, now in the National Museum of Modern Art, Paris, he never completely adopted the cubist aesthetic.

From 1922 his oeuvre took on a more figurative manner, especially in landscape painting, which proved immensely successful with dealers and the public. By 1950 there were signs of a return to a sub-cubist mannerism in his work, and as a result the landscapes and still-lifes of his last 20 years became both more simplified and more definitely composed than the previous period. Never fussy or labored, with an elegant calligraphy, they combine a new richness of color with lyrical melancholy. Meditation and purity of vision mark the painter's last years.


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

Henri Hayden (1883 - 1970)
Henri Hayden was born into a family of wine merchants. In 1902, under parental pressure he entered the Warsaw University of Technology; but in parallel, he enrolled at the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw where he quickly was considered a brilliant student. With financial help from his father he spent a year in Paris in 1907.  Henri Hayden lived a solitary and independent life.

In 1908 , he attended La Palette, painting academy where Charles and Georges Guérin Devaslière taught.  In Montparnasse he met  Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Jacques Lipchitz and Jean Metzinger . Hayden exhibits regularly.

In 1912, Hayden finds strong support in the art of Cézanne. In 1914 , he signed a contract with Léonce Rosenberg and merchant Charles Malpel . Passionate about music, he attends the Group of Six and illustrates Erik Satie's program for the"Songs pear-shaped." During the war he fled to Mougins where he met Robert Delaunay and befriended Samuel Beckett. In 1944, back in Paris, Hayden finds his shop looted. During the last twenty years of his life, he exhibited in Paris, Dublin, Lyon, Caen, Amiens, Aix-en Provence.

Nadine Nieszawer, Marie Boye, Paul Fogel, Painters Jews in Paris 1905-1939
Paris School Editons Denoël 2000

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