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 Jules Pascin  (1885 - 1930)

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Lived/Active: New York / France/Bulgaria      Known for: mod female figure painting, landscape, early cartoons

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Ad Code: 1
Jules Pascin
from Auction House Records.
Femme en Robe Rose
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Jules Pascin was born in 1885 in Vidin, Bulgaria. His name was Julius Mordecai Pincas and he was the eighth of eleven children of a Spanish Sephardic Jew and his Serbian-Italian wife. He was raised in Bucharest, Romania. He attended art schools in Vienna and Munich and traveled to Berlin and Paris. From 1905 to 1929, he worked as a satirical cartoonist for a Munich weekly. From 1914 to 1920 he lived in America.

He changed his name to Pascin (French) but he was equally at home in any country; he became a citizen of  the United States in 1920. He traveled extensively in the southern states and portrayed the downtrodden segments of society. In 1920 he returned to Paris and from there he traveled throughout Europe and North Africa. He changed his mediums from watercolor and drawing to oil paint.

Pascin's preoccupation was women. Everywhere he went he liked to sponge up wine, Pernod and brandy; he liked to work with thirty or forty friends carousing about him in his studio. Mostly his subjects and companions were the girls of easy, and available virtue.

Pascin was sensuously ugly with heavy features under a perennial black derby. As he began to age, his art more and more portrayed the image of an old man teased by willing sprites. Slowly his vision of women softened to match their contours.  As his nudes grew ever more evanescent in powdery pastels, they also became even more erotic.

In 1930, at the age of forty-five, Pascin slashed his wrists, wrote a note to his mistress on the wall in blood, and finding death too slow in coming determinedly hanged himself from his studio door.

Sources include:
Time Magazine, January 20, 1967

Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Widdin, Bulgaria with the name of Julius Pincas, he was raised in Bucharest, Romania. He later adopted the name, Jules Pascin, under which all his paintings are known.  He attended art schools in Vienna and Munich and traveled to Berlin and Paris.  From 1905 to 1929, he worked as a satirical cartoonist for a Munich weekly.   Later he changed his mediums from watercolor and drawing to oil.

From 1914 to 1920, he lived in America and became a U.S. citizen to escape military service in France.  He traveled extensively in the southern states and portrayed downtrodden segments of society.  In 1920, he returned to Paris, where he was a regular at the fashionable Cafe du Dome.  He also traveled throughout Europe and North Africa.  However, in 1927, he returned to New York City to re-establish his American citizenship.  He stayed in Brooklyn Heights with Robert Laurent and Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and with "his trademark derby hat and outlandish drunken antics" (Pollock, 73) was very popular in a circle that included art dealer, Edith Halpert.

Suffering depression and alcoholism, two years later, he committed suicide on the eve of a prestigious solo show by slitting his wrists and hanging himself in his studio in Montmartre.

Sources include:
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Lindsay Pollock, The Girl With the Gallery

Biography from
Born Julius Mordecai Pincas in Vidin, a small town in Bulgaria, the artist spent part of his childhood in Bucharest before attending boarding school in Vienna.  About 1902, he studied painting in Vienna and in 1903 or 1904 went to Munich, where he enrolled at the Heymann Art School.  During this period, he worked as an illustrator, contributing cartoons to such German periodicals as Jugend and Simplicissimus.  He also further studied in Berlin.

In 1905, about the time that he changed his surname to Pascin, he moved to Paris, where as a member of an international circle of artists who frequented the Cafe du Dome, he became a leading modernist.  He had his first one-man show at the Paul Cassirer Gallery in Berlin in 1907, and later exhibited at the Berlin Secession and the Cologne Sonderbund-Ausstellung.

On immigrating to New York City in 1914, Pascin associated with a coterie of progressive painters, among them Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Max Weber, who were influenced by his figurative style in which he conjoined elements of Expressionism and Cubism with a highly personal vision of his environment.  His aesthetic, especially his subtle handling of line and tone and his fine draftsmanship, was especially influential to Kuniyoshi and to such artists as Peggy Bacon. During the 1920s he exhibited in both Paris and New York and traveled extensively.

Although Pascin's watercolors, oils, and drawings were generally well received, a series of unfavorable reviews in 1930 left him severely depressed.  He committed suicide in Paris in June of that year.

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Jules Pascin is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
New York Armory Show of 1913
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

See Artists Appearing in the Same Auctions:
Alexander Calder
George Grosz

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