"PORTRAIT DE MADAME DUCLOS"
OIL ON CANVAS, SIGNED
25.5 X 21.25 INCHES
Eugene Paul, known as Gen Paul, was born in 1895 and raised in the bohemian atmosphere of Montmartre. In his life he came to know a great many of the artists, from the anonymous to the world famous, who established themselves in the neighborhood. A self-taught artist, Gen Paul began expressing himself in drawings and paintings as a child, his earliest works show a remarkable talent. He was apprenticed to a wallpaper hanger. until his life was interrupted by war. He was wounded twice in World War One, the second time he lost one of his legs. During his recovery he turned to painting, which became his passion and his livelihood for almost 60 years.
late teens until about 1930 Gen Paul produced a large number of exceptionally
strong, vibrant expressionist paintings. His work from this period is
particularly interesting when compared that of Chaim Soutine. While
their techniques are clearly similar, Soutine’s paintings seem
dark, pessimistic, and distorted (by no means a flaw), while Gen Paul’s
are filled with a vital, positive energy and emotionalism. The work
of Willem de Kooning also has many similarities to that of Gen Paul,
though Gen Paul came 30 years before de Kooning and the other “action
painters” of the 1950’s.
Gen Paul began the 1930s with a serious illness, as he recovered his paintings changed, he became more interested expressing rhythm in is work and began employing calligraphic forms in his work. After World War Two Gen Paul returned to the motifs of his earlier period, which he reproduced in great quantities.
worked without promoters, agents, or regular gallery representation.
He painted into the 1960’s. When he died there were no paintings
left in his estate, everything had already been sold. Perhaps because
of his disdain for the art establishment, Gen Paul’s work has
never approached the price levels of many of his famous peers.
Many of Gen Paul’s greatest works from the 1920s have remained in private collections. A Catalog Raisonné of Gen Paul’s paintings which were completed before 1930 is in preparation.