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Sans titre (Lithograph) - Jean CARZOU


Sans titre, 1956

Lithograph LCD4632


Galerie Tamenaga (Poster) - Jean CARZOU


Galerie Tamenaga, 1973

Poster AF1




Born in Aleppo, Syria, on January 1, 1907, to an Armenian family, his real name was Garnik Zouloumian, and his father was orphaned at a very young age. Jean Carzou first studied with the Marist Fathers, then at the French high school in Cairo, where, in 1924, his brilliant academic results earned him a scholarship from the Armenian community.

He then moved to Paris where he entered the École spéciale d'architecture from which he graduated in 1928, studies "in spite of which he was a self-taught painter". As the 1930s approached, he was "making circles and squares" in Montparnasse. He freely attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, and more particularly the studio of Édouard Goerg, of whom he remained a friend, and made a living from his caricatures of politicians published in the press (his caricature of Adolf Hitler as a German Father Christmas appeared at the 1933 Christmas party) and his drawings on fabric. He painted "far from the schools".

He began to exhibit at various Parisian salons, notably the Salon des indépendants, the Tuileries, the Salon d'automne, etc. He also organised private exhibitions of his work in Paris, in the provinces and abroad. His first private exhibition was in 1939 in a gallery on the rue de Seine in Paris. France, Great Britain, the United States, Lebanon, Egypt and Japan hosted several of his exhibitions of inks, pencils, gouaches and strange pastels. He also participated in several official exhibitions organised by France outside Europe, and received the prestigious Hallmark Prize on three occasions (in 1949, 1952 and 1955), as well as the Public Prize of the Painters Witnesses of their Time in 1953.

He is the father of television director Jean-Marie Carzou, born in 1938, and the grandfather of writer and journalist Louis Carzou. He is also a theatre designer.

In 1977, he drew his own academician's sword before being admitted to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Jean Bouchaud's chair.

Author of an important lithographic and illustration work (Les Illuminations de Rimbaud) and tapestries, decorator of the chapel of the convent of the Presentation in Manosque, which became the Carzou Foundation in 1991, the artist saw his work consecrated in 1986, in Vence (Alpes-Maritimes), with the opening of a private museum in his name, but which was closed a few years later.

Jean Carzou died on 12 August 2000.

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Two galleries in Paris

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