René Brô was born René Brault on November 21, 1930, in Charenton, near Paris. At the age of fourteen he left school and started attending different art schools while working as an advertising illustrator. In the late 1940s he frequently visited the Musée de l’Homme and the Louvre and was particularly attracted to so-called 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 in 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 held his first solo exhibition at Centre Saint-Jacques in Paris, and three years later took part in the Micro-salon at the Galerie Iris Clert, where he went on to hold numerous solo exhibitions and took part in many of its activities in the 1960s. In 1964 he was invited to represent France at the Venice Biennale, and in 1966 he took his first trip to the United States, where he held a solo exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Scottsdale, Arizona, and met Andy Warhol while in New York.

Back in France in 1967, despite the warm welcome and favorable reviews he received, Brô experienced a difficult time that evolved into a period of depression. The following year he opened a studio in Venice, where he continued to work 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 journeys to Mexico in 1972, and to India, Nepal, and New Zealand in 1981 with his friend Hundertwasser. In 1984 he spent several months in Tahiti, where he showed at the Musée Gauguin, to which he returned to two years later. Brô retired to Courgeron and died unexpectedly on December 6, 1986.


Artworks