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René Brô


Autumn at Courgeron

1960
 


René Brô was born René Brault on November 21, 1930, in Charenton, near Paris. At the age of fourteen, he left school and started studying art, attending various art schools while working as an illustrator for advertisements. In the late 1940s he frequently visited the Musée de l’Homme and the Louvre and was particularly attracted to Primitive and Egyptian Art. His work dating from this period - ceramics, drawings, and paintings - are close to Klee’s work or Dubuffet’s Art Brut. In 1949 he took part in a group show at the Galerie Mai, Paris, and along with Micheline Breuil and Bernard Rousseau took a trip on foot to Italy, walking through Tuscany and Rome and making it as far as Sicily. In Florence he met the Austrian painter Hundertwasser, with whom he painted several murals in Saint Mandé, near Paris, after returning to France in 1950.

In 1954 he had his first solo exhibition at Paris’s Centre Saint-Jacques, and three years later he took part in the “Micro-salon” at the Galerie Iris Clert; this was to be the first of many solo exhibitions. Brô also took part in the activities of this gallery during the 1960s. In 1962 his painting L’Automne à Cougeron was acquired by Peggy Guggenheim. Two years later, he was invited to represent France at the Venice Biennale, and in 1966 he took his first trip to the United States, where he had a solo exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, Scottsdale, Arizona, and met Andy Warhol while in New York.

Back in France in 1967, despite the encouraging welcome and favorable reviews he was receiving, the artist went through a difficult time that evolved into a period of depression. Emerging from it the following year, he opened a studio in Venice, where he carried on working for the following decade and successfully showed at the Galleria Meneghini in 1972 and at the Galleria d’Arte Gigli in 1977. During the 1970s and 1980s he held numerous solo exhibitions and went on various journeys to Mexico in 1972, to India, to Nepal, and accompanied by his friend Hundertwasser, to New Zealand in 1981. In 1984 he spent several months in Tahiti, where he showed at the Musée Gauguin and to which he returned two years later. The artist retired to Courgeron and died unexpectedly on December 6, 1986.

credits: Hangar Design Group