November 21, 2007

Bissière and the arrival of abstract art

By the age of 18, Roger Bissière leaves his notarial studies to join, in Alger, the orientalist painter Rochegrosse. After this first experience of a year, he studies art in Paris and Bordeaux. Discharged against his will from the army in 1914, Bissière sees his career start after war : he takes part in various exhibitions, writes articles in the magazine L'Esprit Nouveau created by Le Corbusier and Ozenfant. He does his first exhibition in 1921. Appointed professor at the famous Academy of Ranson, Bissière opens in 1934 an atelier devoted to fresco and attended by some of the future members of the new school of Paris (as Alexandre Garbell, Jean Le Moal and Alfred Manessier). Very active, Bissière withdraws however in 1939 in the family's house in Lot. He ceases painting. After 1945, he makes artistic hangings made of pieces of fabric, old clothes and socks. In 1950, operated for a glaucoma, Bissière is afraid of losing the sight. He produces, during his convalescence at the island of Ré, small formats with egg paint. In 1951, the Jeanne Bucher gallery exhibits untitled paintings which tend toward an abstract landscaping.

In 1954, Bissière rediscovers oil paint and realises, always for the gallery Jeanne Bucher, the model of The Canticle to Brother Sun by Francis of Assisi. Engraved on wood by Fiorini, then printed in color, the book is release at 48 copies, all signed by Bissière and Fiorini.

In 2001, the Ides and Calendes Editions, publish a catalog of the works of Roger Bissière and, thus, render tribute to one of the the french instigator of abstract art.
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Currently, the librairie Loliée can show you:
  • Bissière - Francis of Assisi. Cantique à notre frère soleil. Paris, Editions Jeanne Bucher, 1954, in-4, in leaves, cover in parchment paper, folder. 11 original wood engravings in colors by Bissière. 48 copies on Auvergne paper, signed byt the artist and the engraver.