Roger Bezombes Biography

Roger Bezombes




Painter, printmaker, and sculptor Roger Bezombes was born on January 17, 1913, in Paris, France. Orphaned as a child, he spent much of his teen and young adult years working a variety of jobs to support his painting career, including helping to install the major 1930 Bauhaus exhibition at the Grand Palais. When he was of age he enrolled in the Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts where he studied under Paul Boudouin and Rene Barotte, and would spend his available hours copying the works of old masters at the Louvre. His friend, artist maurice Denis, introduced him to the works of Gaugin, Van Gogh, and Matisse, all of whom would remain influences throughout Bezombes' career. 

In 1936 he won his first major award, the second Grand Prix de Rome, and the same year was given a travel grant to study in Africa. He continued his travels into the following year, living for a time in Morocco before returning to Paris for his first major solo exhibition at the Charpentier Gallery. He would continue to exhibit and travel regularly, including through the Second World War. In 1950, he secured a professorship at the Academie Julian, and in 1951 a working trip to Greece introduced him to the art of tapestry, which would becoming one of his main mediums. In 1954 he was elected Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur, and in 1955 he was appointed the official painter of the French Navy.

Bezombes retained a studio in Paris in 1930 and a house in Saint-Remy-de-Provence in 1950, both of which he kept until his death. In 1978 he was elected into the French Academy of Sciences. He died in Paris on August 9, 1994.

Solo Exhibitions:
1938: Galerie Charpentier, Paris
1950, '53, '55, '57: Galerie Andre Weil, Paris
1953: "Recent Paintings by Roger Bezombes, Wildenstein Gallery, London
1954: Institut Francais, Cologne
1956: Galerie Matarasso, Nice
1957: Horn Gallery, Luxembourg; Guilde de la Gravure, Paris
1958: Denys-Puech Museum, Rodez
1962: Musee de l'Athenee, Geneva; "Roger Bezombes - Selected Works," Chateau Grimaldi, Cagnes-aur-Mer
1966: Galerie des Ponchettes, Nice
1967: Galerie Martel, Montreal
1968: Romanet-Vercel Gallery, New York; "Roger Bezombes: Works of Provence," Reattu Museum, Arles; Le Corbusier Center, Firminy
1969: Galerie Philippe Ducastel, Avignon; Musee des beaux-arts d'Orleans
1970: "Roger Bezombes: Murals, Masks, Medals," Palais de l'Isle, Annecy; Musee des beaux-arts de Reims 
1971: Musee des beaux-arts de Nimes; Musee des beaux-arts de Besancon
1972: Musee de la Monnaie, Paris; Galerie Presence de l'art, Cannes
1975: Musee du Bastion Saint-Andre, Antibes; Musee des Ursulines de Macon
1979: Abbaye des Prémontrés de Pont-à-Mousson
1981: "Roger Bezombes - Vie du monde, Sixteen Posters for Air France," Center Georges-Pompidou, Paris
1984: "Roger Bezombes: Variations Around a Poster," Centre Culturel du Marais, Paris
1987: "Roger Bezombes - retrospective," Tokyo, Osaka
1993: "Chaussures Insolites: Roger Bezombes," Musée international de la chaussure
2008: "Roger Bezombes retrospective," Reattu Museum, Arles
2015/'16: "Roger Bezombes: Life Around the World," FIAF Gallery, New York

Group Exhibitions:
1937: Salon d'automne, Salon des independants, and Salon des Tuileries, Paris
1943: "Contemporary French Artists," Madrid, Spain
1949: "Twenty Years of Scared Art," Rio de Janiero, Brazil; Salon de l'Imagery, paris; Salon des artistes decorateurs, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris
1950: "The French Tapestry," Tunis, Copenhagen
1951: "Salon of painters, Witnesses of their time," Palais Galliera, Paris; 1st Sao Paolo Biennial
1951-1952: "Twenty-eight young painters, twenty-eight young women," Galerie Drouant-David, Paris
1956-1965: Salon Comparaisons, Paris
1958: Pavilion francais de l'Exposition Universelle, Brussels
1961: Salon Grands et Jeunes d'aujourd'hui, Hotel Martinez, Cannes
1963: "Exhibition Oganized on the Ocassion of the Estates Gerneral on Disarmament," Cercle Volney
1967: Montreal World's Fair; International Exhibition of the Monnaie, Musee de la Monnaie, Paris
1974: Festival of the Arts, Adelaide, Australia; 5th Biennale des arts graphiques, Warsaw
1975: "The Bestiary of Coins, Seals, and Medals,' Musee de la Monnaie, Paris; Tapestry Miennale, Dublin
1981: "Humor and the Medal," Musee de la Monnaie
1987-1988: "Paris - Prague," Hotel de la Monnaie, Paris and the National Gallery, Prague
2017: "The Orient Dreamed by the West," Marrakech Art and Culture Museum