Georges Mathieu, creator of lyrical art

Georges Mathieu

George was a renowned French artist who was born in 1921 and lived for just over 91 years before his demise in 2012. From a tender age,  George Mathieu started being taught how to draw, by his mother. Even so, it took him a couple of years to begin exploring his talent as an artist. On the other end, his father worked as a manager at Barclays. When he was 12, he went to be under the care of his aunt, after his parents divorced.

Was George Always an Artist?

No, he was not. From his popularity as a painter, it is easy to assume that every career that Mathieu George pursued was in line with the art of drawing or painting. His education entailed studying English and Law. When he was 21, he got a job as an English teacher in the Northern region of France. At the age of 23, he secured a position serving as an interpreter in Cambrai, for the American army. Between the age of 24 and 25, he served as a teacher in universities.

When Did George Begin Pursuing Art?

It was in 1944, at 23 years of age when Mathieu George actively started exploring his interest in art. His main focus was on aesthetics and he possessed a relatively authentic take on painting. With his unique interpretation of the painting and how it does not need to be emblematic for it to exist, his work on non-representational paintings commenced. He drew his inspiration from a few books that he was reading, written by some English authors. “Inception” was the title of his first abstract painting. 

What Kind of Art Did George Love?

George mainly paid attention to lyrical art. Those who are familiar with art probably understand the concept of lyrical art. However, some of us may be clueless and possibly coming across the term “lyrical art” for the first time here. Lyrical art can be defined as art that is displayed in an attractive or visionary manner. Such art bears a suggestive element to it.

Even though the idea of lyrical art can also be applied in other forms of art such as poetry, George only used it in his paintings. It may have appeared unachievable trying to capture motion, charm, insight, or any other form of artistry in a concrete way. Nevertheless, George’s paintings depicted everything that he ever imagined. Due to his exemplary skill in this kind of art, George Mathieu is regarded as a pioneer of lyrical art.

Did George Display His Work in An Exhibition?

George managed to start getting his work featured in exhibitions 2 years after embarking on his painting journey. The first non-figurative paintings made by George Mathieu were displayed at an exhibition in Paris, in 1946. He created an artistic team that worked towards having an exhibition a year later, in 1947. The initial theme of the exhibition was a lyrical abstraction. 

However, since the exhibition was expected to incorporate a wide variety of paintings, the title of the exhibition was changed. The adjustment made it easy for art that was not aligned to lyrical abstraction, to be included too. This decision was highly attributable to the work of other celebrated artists such as Pablo Picasso, that was part of this exhibition.

In 1952, George made his first sizeable canvases and went international 5 years later, in 1957. He toured and painted in several countries across different continents. As he traveled all over, he got to showcase his impeccable talent, giving his work some massive international recognition and admiration. Between 1965 and 1978, George had made numerous paintings. Currently, his work is available globally, in close to 100 museums.

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