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Jean Miotte

1926 Paris

The French painter Jean Miotte was born in Paris, in 1926. He was one of the first exponents of L’Art Informel, an art movement that began in Paris in 1945. He is regarded as one of France’s great abstract painters. After World War Two, Jean Miotte began studying mathematics and engineering. He executed his first oil paintings during this period, mainly painting still lives and imaginary compositions.
Between 1947 and 1949, he visited the studios of Montparnasse for the first time, including those of his future teachers Othon Friesz (1879 – 1949) and Ossip Zadkine (1890 – 1967). Jacques Villon (1875 – 1963), Georges Rouault (1871 – 1958) and Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954) also had a significant influence on Miotte’s work.
In 1948, Jean Miotte made his first trip to Italy. In 1950, Miotte lived and worked in Meudon, where he met Hans Arp (1886 – 1966) and Gino Severini (1883 – 1966). He painted his first abstract works around this time. Sam Francis (1923 – 94) met Jean Miotte in his studio in Ville-d’Avray. In 1953, the artist began showing his work at the Salon des "Réalités Nouvelles" exhibitions in Paris. Miotte also took part in a group exhibition at the Galerie Durand in Paris, and moved his studio to Prince Yiourievitch’s residence in Bologna. In 1954, he participated in the opening exhibition of Iris Clert’s (1917 – 86) Galerie Haut Pavé. He also associated with the painters Serge Poliakoff (1900 – 69), Pierre Dimitrienko (1925 – 75) and André Lanskoy (1902 – 76).

In 1957, the artist had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Durand, showing works dominated by dark and black fields of colour. During the following year, gallerist Jacques Dubourg began representing Miotte. The artist participated in his first Biennial, and a group exhibition "15 Painters from Paris", at the Cologne "Kunstverein". The artist annually holds exhibitions of his work in the main European and American cities.
In 1961, he completed a six-month Ford Foundation scholarship in New York, where he met numerous American artists, including Robert Motherwell (1915 - 91), Mark Rothko (1903 – 70), Jacques Lipschitz (1891 – 1973) and Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976). In 1963, Jean Miotte built a studio on some land that he had purchased in Pignans in Provence. In 1971, he stopped painting in oils and began using acrylic paint, and moved to Hamburg. By 1973, he had obtained a studio in Vitiry near Paris and later a studio in Soho (New York).
His later works were very stripped down, rhythmic compositions, dominated by the colour white. In 1980, Jean Miotte was the only Western artist to be invited to exhibit in Peking after the collapse of the Maoist regime. His work can also be seen in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei. In 1994, Miotte moved his studio to Fribourg in Switzerland, and returned to Pignans in 1995. In 1996 the newly founded Miotte foundation was offered the use of Miotte’s Fribourg studio, but the building burnt down two years later.
In 1999, the foundation was registered in New York and opened a museum in Chelsea.
Jean Miotte died on March 1, 2016.

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