Day TWENTY-SEVEN and only five paintings to go until the month is done! Then only 11 months more to go. Whew! I was excited about today’s artist when I researched his artwork. I recognized his work mildly, but really didn’t know anything about this man. Today I present to you Jean Crotti!
Jean Crotti (24 April 1878 – 30 January 1958) was a French painter.
Crotti was born in Bulle, Fribourg, Switzerland. He first studied in Munich, Germany at
the School of Decorative Arts, then at age 23 moved to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian. Initially he was influenced by Impressionism, then by Fauvism and Art Nouveau. Around 1910 he began to experiment with Orphism, an offshoot of Cubism, and a style that would be enhanced by his association in New York City with Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia.
A refugee from World War I, he looked to America as a place where he could live and
develop his art. In New York, he shared a studio with Marcel Duchamp and met his sister, Suzanne Duchamp. She was part of the Dada movement in which Crotti would become involved. In 1916, he exhibited Orphist-like paintings, several of which had religious titles that also included his Portrait of Marcel Duchamp and his much discussed Les Forces MÈcaniques de l’amour Mouvement, created by using found objects.
In the fall of 1916, Crotti separated from his wife, Yvonne Chastel, and returned to Paris. He had begun a relationship with Suzanne Duchamp that would culminate in his divorce in 1919 and immediate marriage to Suzanne. An artist in her own right, she would greatly influence Jean Crotti’s painting. In 1920, he produced one of his best known works, a portrait of Thomas Edison. He would be part of the 1925 Exposition International in Paris, and the International Exhibition of Modern Art at the Brooklyn Museum in 1926 – 1927. Over the ensuing years, he would create numerous paintings and be the subject for several solo exhibitions at major galleries in England, France, Germany, and the United States.
Crotti died in Paris.
Jean Crotti’s heirs donated his personal papers to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, where they can be consulted by researchers.
In Spring 2011, Francis M. Naumann Fine Art showed an exhibition, Inhabiting Abstraction, including important examples from
every significant phase and development in the realm of abstraction that Crotti explored, as well as one-of-a-kind works such as “Parterre de reve” (1920), in which he framed his painting palette and then signed it.
Biography from wikipedia.
Here’s an excerpt from Papillon Gallery’s site.
Jean Crotti’s spiritual beginnings deeply affected his development as an artist. Born in 1878 in Bulle, near Fribourg in the western, French-speaking section of Switzerland, his early arts education was in Germany and France. Crotti struggled with questions of a religious and spiritual nature while at the School of Decorative Arts in Munich and the Académie Julian in Paris. As an artist, he wrote, “seems to be an instrument of God charged with transmitting messages to men….art must be therefore a kind of magic, bringing signs and messages to man…” He left school in 1902 in order to detach himself and become independent as an artist.
Through each one of these artists I seem to learn something new. Through Crotti, I learned about orphism!
The Section d’Or (“Golden Section”), also known as Groupe de Puteaux (or Puteaux Group), was a collective of painters, sculptors, poets and critics associated with Cubism and Orphism. Based in the Parisian suburbs of Puteaux and Courbevoie, the group was active from 1911 to around 1914, coming to prominence in the wake of their controversial showing at the Salon des Indépendants in the spring of 1911. This showing by
Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Robert Delaunay, Henri le Fauconnier and Fernand Léger, created a scandal that brought Cubism to the attention of the general public for the first time. The Salon de la Section d’Or further exposed Cubism to a wider audience. The group seems to have adopted the name Section d’Or to distinguish themselves from the narrower style of Cubism developed in parallel by Pablo Picasso andGeorges Braque in the Montmartre quarter of Paris, and to show that Cubism, rather than being an isolated art-form, represented the continuation of a grand tradition (indeed, the golden ratio had fascinated Western intellectuals of diverse interests for at least 2,400 years).
Read more about that movement and technique here.
I had so much fun painting this piece. There was a feeling of calm as I painted it. It wasn’t intimidating and I felt a level of freedom while painting. I think the only stressful aspect was color choice…which seems to be a common thread with almost all these pieces. Except Giger which was very monochromatic. I think I made the right choices and captured his spirit and style. I will definitely be experimenting more with orphism in the future. I know that there will be some more of them in the future like Duchamp and some cubists are coming up for sure.
Please enjoy my tribute to Jean Crotti and see you tomorrow on Day 28! xoxo, Linda