Pierre Courtin Biography

Pierre Courtin




Pierre Louis Maurice Courtin, painter and printmaker, was born in Rebréchieu, Loiret, France on January 20, 1921. From 1939 to 1942, Courtin studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Orléans with the French illustrator Louis-Joseph Soulas and it was during this period that he learned the engraving process. In 1942, Courtin entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and worked at the atelier of André Lhote. The following year Courtin studied briefly at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In 1944, he enrolled in l'Académie Ranson and met artists César Domela, Auguste Herbin, Alberto Magnelli, Antoine Pevsner, Serge Poliakoff, and other abstract painters.

In 1941, Courtin exhibited at the Salon de l’Imagerie, Musée Galleria in Orléans and his first solo exhibition of his engravings took place in 1944 at the Galerie Guiot in Paris. The following year he exhibited with the group Jeune Gravure Contemporaine, of which he was a member from 1946 to 1956. In 1946 he exhibited in the Salon d’Automne and two years later his work was included for the first time in the Venice Biennale. In 1964, he was included in the exhibition Contemporary Painters and Sculptors as Printmakers at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. During his career, there were numerous international solo exhibitions of his work.

Courtin illustrated William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying in 1945. He worked as an engraver for the printer Georges Leblanc and he printed the gravures of Jacques Villon and Roger Vieillard between 1947 and 1951. Courtin created a series of engravings to illustrate 6 poémes de Nicolas Beauduin in 1951 and the following year created around thirty engravings for a fragment of a poem by Paul Éluard.

Courtin became a member of the Board of Directors of the Salon de Mai in Paris in 1951, and in 1971, he was awarded the Grand Prix National des Arts. Courtin is represented in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; the British Museum, London; the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Pierre Courtin died in Paris on September 14, 2012.