Gabriel Paris Biography

Gabriel Paris

1924-2000

Biography

Gabriel Paris, painter and graphic artist, was born in 1924 in Alès, France. Though he came from a military family, Paris showed an early interest in the arts, including poetry, theater set design, and painting and printmaking. He studied architecture at the Beaux-Arts in Paris before enrolling in advanced classes at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques in Paris. There, at age twenty-five, he graduated with a degree in set design.

Paris continued to produce paintings and prints on his own time. He collaborated with artist Mario Avati, fellow printmaker and painter, to create "la jeune estampe" in the 1950s, among other projects. In 1968 he quit the theater set design business, uninterested in competing with the popularity of television, and during the following three years he exhibited at the Gallery Le Soleil Dans la Tête in Paris, with Bernard Rancillac. He also participated at the most important art fairs of the time: Autumn, Comparaisons, Mai, Independent Fair, and Grands et jeunes d’aujourd’hui.

Paris’ love of the written word remained an aspect of his fine art, and as time went by he began to focus more on incorporating typography into his pieces. From 1961 on he designed children’s book in his Parisian studio. He began to abandon the more contemporary bent of the art world and focused more on his influences: Seurat, Bonnard, Desnoyer; stylistically, he was drawn to Surrealism and Impressionism. These influences were incorporated into his alphabets and the works that focused on typography and his works that illustrated the writings of Queneau, Mallarme, and others.

1968 proved to be a particularly productive time for the artist. He exhibited many of his literary-inspired works in at various prestigious bookshops, such as Fischbacher Gallery, and began an ambitious poster project with the student protestors in Paris, a series of images that reflected the tumultuousness of the times for both Paris and the world. It wasn’t long after the poster project that he abandoned the financial security of his design job to dedicate himself exclusively to pursuing visual arts. Though this often left him on a slim budget, the artist was nonetheless as prolific as ever. By the of his life, Gabriel Paris had accumulated an extraordinary body of work, including 1800 engravings, a dozen artist’s books, and almost fifty paintings.

Gabriel Paris died in Paris in 2000.