Biography

1939

Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, February 22

1959 – 1961

Before devoting himself to painting, Alain Jacquet became interested in theater and architecture. In 1959, he began studying architecture at the Beaux-Arts in Paris. It was at this time that he met and became friends with Jean Tinguely, Yves Klein, Nikki de Saint Phalle, Martial Raysse.

Had a capital encounter with the theorist of New Realism, Pierre Restany, who would follow him throughout his career.

Met with writers Harry Mathews and John Ashbery.

Lecture of Impressions from Africa by Raymond Roussel.

Began painting the Abstract series.

1961 – 1962

Painted his Backgammon Games. Begins and ends his series of Images of Epinal.

First personal exhibition at the Breteau gallery.

First trip to New York. Met American pop artists (Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, etc.)

1963

From paintings inspired by popular French images of Epinal, Alain Jacquet begins his work on Camouflages, where the artist confronts, among other things, masterpieces of art history with the advertising icons of his time. He also “cites” these classics that are not yet there: American pop artists. He reinterprets, he literally camouflages works by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein… The Camouflage period ends in apotheosis at the Breteau gallery where Alain Jacquet offers the Camouflage Hot Dog Lichtenstein, which was cut out in more than 300 rectangles the same day of the opening.

Mets with Alexander Iolas in New York through Jean Tingulely.

Exhibits his Camouflages in London at Robert Fraser’s.

1964

Alain Jacquet settles in New York in the famous Chelsea Hotel, a nursery for New York and international artists.

Alexander Iolas exhibits a “retrospective” of Camouflages in his Manhattan gallery. Leo Castelli and Roy Lichtenstein pose with Alain Jacquet in a camouflage costume during a memorable opening. Meeting with Andy Warhol.

He discovered photomechanical transfer and screen printing, widely used in advertising and already in contemporary art.

Recreates the Déjeuner sur l’herbe after Manet. The characters are “played” by art critic and theorist Pierre Restany, Italian artist Mario Schifano, gallery owner Janine de Goldsmith (Galerie J) and her sister. The work will be reproduced in 97 copies on canvas, each table is considered both unique (not one reproduction is identical to the other, the paintings are signed) and both as part of a whole, of series. A constant concern appears in the work: the fragment is constitutive but also autonomous.

1965 – 1967

He travels across Europe, Guyana and Brazil.

Begins an in-depth work around the Déjeuner sur l’herbe and extends a mechanical approach to art around serigraphic screens. Instates himself as one of the greatest representatives of French Pop Art. We’re talking about Mec’Art with Pierre Restany. Alain Jacquet continues to reinterpret his illustrious predecessors (Velazquez, Ingres, Ecole de Fontaineblau…) while creating a very personal register of fragmented images by the application of frames, and the selection of primary color ranges (Bulldozers, Satellites, DS Motor …).

Alain Jacquet created his own screen printing workshop in Paris, then in Argenteuil. He visited New York more and more frequently, where he eventually settled.

He collaborates with the gallery owner Guido Le Nocci and his gallery Apollinaire in Milan for many series productions, as well as with the Galerie Daniel Varenne (Paris-Geneva).

Represents France at the 1967 Sao Polo Biennale.

1968 -1973

Alain Jacquet explores new artistic territories.

Exhibits his screened materials (Burlap and Canvas, Floors, Corrugated sheets, etc.) at the Wadell Galery in New York.

Created a surprise at the Yvon Lambert gallery in 1968 with a disconcerting exhibition which combines a conceptual approach and a form close to Arte Povera. He was spotted by Harald Szeeman and was the only Frenchman chosen to take part in the famous exhibition “When Attitudes Become Forms” (Kunsthalle in Bern) in 1969.

Beginning of the interest for esoteric thought and in particular for the systems of synthesis which it establishes.

Study of braille, Yi Ching and binary systems.

Creates the Tricot de Varsovie and work to exhaust the trades that constitutes the knit stitch.

Discovery of Earth images from space during Apollo missions. He takes over one of these images which will become recurrent: the First Breakfast.

At the same time, he finished exploring the fragmentation of the raster image by making the Silver Marble, or Geneva Ball, in Geneva, a point 12 meters in diameter made up of points. This achievement is funded by Jan Runnqvist (Galerie Bonnier in Geneva).

1974 – 1977

Long trip to Morocco and frequent trips between Paris, New York and South America.

Works for several years on the Amazonas sculpture, based on a drawing by Boullée and intended for the National Library. Not knowing then, that the sculpture would remain a subject of overwhelming study for the artist.

Creates numerous sculptures, results of his esoteric, philosophical and physical research: Alain Jacquet seeks to synthesize his vision of the world in a universal language.

Fascination for topological spaces (Klein bottle, Möbius ring).

Represents France at the 1976 Venice Biennale.

Returns back to Paris.

1978

Alain Jacquet settles in Saint-Martin in the West Indies. A long and productive period of hand painting begins. Alain Jacquet rediscovers the smell of turpentine and gives free rein to his imagination by creating his Visons de la Terre. With the image of the Earth as a backdrop, it superimposes a more or less tight circular frame that reveals characters, scenes inspired by mythology, and erotic scenes sometimes bordering on pornography… Alain Jacquet knits his visions between the regular lines of the trades and the organized disorder of the cloud layers, of the continents.

Large retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris.

1980 – 1981

Returns to New York, then returns to Saint Martin.

Continues his work on Visions of the Earth, the first of which he will exhibit at the Galerie de France in Paris in 1981.

1988

Back to Paris.

Works in his studio in Beaubourg, on loan from the National Museum of Modern Art.

Meets Sophie Matisse.

1989-1990

Lives between Paris and New York.

Works at Ensad (Decorative Arts in Paris) on the New Technologies program of the Delegation for the Plastic Arts. Resumes an artistic practice where the machine performs the work. He works on images of the Earth from Russian and American space programs. The Earth is then the object of multiple interpretations in its very form.

Exhibition tribute to the Beaubourg Gallery of Marianne and Pierre Nahon: “25 years of the Déjeuner sur l’herbe“. Edition of a reference catalog written by Pierre Restany.

French pavilion of the Sao Polo Biennale 1990.

1992

Marries Sophie Matisse.

Created his French workshop in Sologne.

French Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Seville.

1993

Birth of his daughter, Gaïa Jacquet-Matisse.

Exhibition at the Center Pompidou: Atelier de New York, Galeries Contemporaines.

1995-1997

Continuing his “digital” work, the planets become characters, the cosmos a decoration, the computer his brush.

Designs the Cannes Festival stage curtain with La Danse.

Exhibits at the Daniel Templon gallery.

1998

Lives in France where he prepares for a retrospective at the Musée de Picardie in Amiens that same year.

2001-2002

Prepares from Sologne a retrospective of Camouflages and Trames at the Couvent des Cordeliers in Châteauroux.

2004-2005

Alain Jacquet meets the serigraph of the Arçay workshop in Paris who allows him to reconnect with a technique and procedures inherited from the sixties. He can complete works designed between 1965 and 1972 and reissue two destroyed works. This work will be wrongly classified as a “remake”.

Preparation and realization of the Alain Jacquet retrospective at the MAMAC in Nice.

2008

Alain died in New York on September 4 and was buried on September 11 at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

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