Serge Brignoni Biography

Serge Brignoni




Serge Brignoni was born in Chiasso, Switzerland in 1913. His family moved to Berne in 1907 where he eventually studied with Victor Surbek. He continued his studies in Berlin between 1922 and 1923 and in Paris with Andre Lhote. His first solo exhibition was held in 1926. Brignoni was a friend of Stanley William Hayter, Wolfgang Paalen and Alberto Giacometti and worked at Atelier 17 in Paris through the 1930s. Brignoni contributed both paintings and prints to a number of Surrealist exhibitions but was best known as a sculptor.

He experimented with lyrical cubism and romantic expressionism before finding his artistic home with the surrealists, and at an early age his works were included in international surrealist exhibitions in leading European capitals as well as the United States. Brignoni always said nature inspired him, adding that his artistic credo could be summed up in two words: balance and harmony. The onset of World War II led him to abandon his Paris studio along with many early sculptures – which later disappeared – and return to Bern with his wife, the Chilean artist Graciela Aranis.

Brignonin went on to travel extensively in Africa and Oceania, collecting artefacts from both regions, which were also to inspire his work as a painter and sculptor. His work is represented in the collections of the Musee des beaux-arts du Canada; Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki; Kunstmuseum Basel; and Musee cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne. Brignoni died in Bern in 2002