Bernard Cathelin Biography

Bernard Cathelin




Bernard Cathelin, painter and printmaker, was born May 20, 1919, in Paris, France. After his formative years he enlisted in the service beginning in 1939. Following World War II, he enrolled at the Ecole National Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, from 1945 to 1948; in 1947, he began teaching there as a professor in the Preparatory Studio where he remained until 1953.

Cathelin was appointed the French delegate to the first congress of the International Students Union in Prague, 1948. He began to exhibit regularly, and in the early 1950s earned the Blumenthal and Emily Loewe Prizes. In 1958 he held two major solo shows in Paris and, for the first time, New York, garnering international recognition and kickstarting a touring exhibition career that would take him to nearly every continent.

The focus of his work revolved around Drôme, Provence, the home of his mother's family, and his abstracted depictions of landscapes, flora, and the people of that area endeared him to his French audience. By the time of his death in 2004 Cathelin had been elected to the Legion of Honour by then French president François Mitterand. Retrospectives of his works were held at the Musée de Valence (1995) and in China at the Shanghai Art Museum (2000).

Cathelin's work is held in private and public collections throughout the world.