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Marcel MOULY


Bathing in the Ganges (Lithograph) - Marcel MOULY

MOULY Marcel

Bathing in the Ganges, 1986

Lithograph DCDV13


Marcel MOULY


Marcel Mouly was born in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. He was 5 years old when his parents, of modest means, moved to the Place Félix-Faure where he remained until he came of age. In 1931, the port of Le Havre inspired his first drawings. It was at this same date (he was 13 years old), according to Gisèle d'Assailly, that he left primary school to become an apprentice and thus support his parents financially: "In 1935, his boss, a former dramatic actor who also painted, encouraged him to distract himself with a brush in his hand and Mouly, having run out of white surfaces, used the walls of his room to decorate them with exotic themes using charcoal and ripolin alternately. In 1935, he enrolled in André Auclair's evening classes at the Beaux-Arts studios at 80, Boulevard du Montparnasse.

From 1938 to 1940, Marcel Mouly did his military service in the Navy. He then towed cannons in the Cotentin peninsula. During the harsh winter of 1938-1939, he fell seriously ill and, to relieve the hospital during his convalescence, he helped the nurses. On his way to Cherbourg, he was bombed in Abbeville and Amiens. During a leave in Paris, the armistice of 22 June 1940 was signed and he did not rejoin the army. He then had a series of makeshift jobs (lorry driver, carpenter, labourer) and shared a large workshop in Auteuil with a friend.

In 1942, he was caught by the Gestapo without permission, making drawings in Houlgate, a very sensitive area. He and his friend were suspected of being spies. For this reason, they were held incommunicado for three months in the Fresnes prison, after which they were cleared and released. He then met Édouard Pignon and lived with this new friend in the studio of the sculptor Chaim Jacob Lipchitz in Boulogne-Billancourt where, in addition to drawing and painting, he devoted himself to clay modelling and, in order to earn a living, to pottery.

1945 (the year in which he married Sylvana, who, being Italian by birth, abandoned singing in favour of mosaics), 1946 and 1947 marked the launch of his career; he exhibited at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon de Mai, in the company of Matisse, Picasso, Fernand Léger, Édouard Pignon, Maurice Estève, Manessier, Jean Bazaine, Gustave Singier, Jean Le Moal and Marcel Burtin. In 1946 he moved to La Ruche (2, passage de Dantzig), where he met Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncuși. A relentless worker, he was in front of his easel from morning to night, interspersed with trips during which he executed drawings or sketches that would fuel his inspiration throughout his life. In 1950, he began a long series of personal exhibitions in France and throughout the world, culminating in the 2007 exhibition on the rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. He was selected for the Prix de la Critique in 1956 and 19574.

In 1982, Marcel Mouly was one of the nine founding members - along with Jean Bertholle, Roland Bierge, Jack Chambrin, Paul Charlot, Jean Cornu, Albert Laurezo, Jean Marzelle and Roger Montané - of the Association 109, which in 1983 initiated the Biennale 109, a new annual event that broke away from the Salon d'automne.

Marcel Mouly died on 7 January 2008 in Clamart.

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Two galleries in Paris

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