LABISSE, Felix (1905 – 1982)

Felix Labisse - Photo - Archves YLA

Felix LABISSE (1905 - 1982)


Félix Labisse was born on March 9, 1905 and died on January 27, 1982; He was a French Surrealist painter, illustrator, and designer. The surrealists, however, refused to accept him as one of their own.

He was born in Marchiennes. He divided his time between Paris and the Belgian coast from 1927.
In Ostend he met James Ensor and his first artworks were influenced by Ensor and the Flemish expressionism movement.

Beginning in 1931 he designed for the theater. His paintings depict fantastical hybrid creatures, and are often erotic.
The end of 1930, he undertook a series of murals depicting portraits of writers in the Corman bookshop in Ostend. The following year, he participated in the summer to shoot a film romance at the beach of Henri Storck on a script by Jean Teugels, with the main actors Raymond Rouleau and Gwen Norman. He finished writing a story entitled The goddess. In October, he made the decorations Liliom by Ferenc Molnar, directed by Raymond Rouleau galleries at The Royal Theatre in Brussels.

1932: beginning of his stay in Paris. He became friends with Jean-Louis Barrault, Robert Desnos, Antonin Artaud, Roger Vitrac, Germaine Krull. In early summer, it decorates the nightclub in the Casino of Ostend on the theme “Cuban Nights”.
He was the subject of a film by Alain Resnais, Visite à Félix Labisse (1947).
He was linked from 1947-1948, because of his friendship with Christian Dotremont, with adventure Revolutionary Surrealism. By the early 1940s, his work has been recognized and supported by Robert Desnos, Paul Eluard, Philippe Soupault, Jacques Prévert. Patrick Waldberg has dedicated to him an important monography in 1970. Alongside his career as a painter, Labisse led a career as a decorator in theater, dance and opera.
He painted the first of a series of blue women in 1960; among them is the Bain Turquoise.
He participated in the exhibition “Surrealism” organized by Patrick Waldberg at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris. He invented the Big D, a series of paintings in which all titles beginning with D which represent the celestial shapes hovering in space. In 1965 he painted the Château Saint Bernard in Hyères his first selenides, which are to him the daughters of the moon blue faces whose eyes, nose, mouth are within the contours of the canvas. In 1966 he was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Sets and costumes for Le Roi d’Ys at the Opera National Theatre. In 1968 he participated in the exhibition “Treasures of Surrealism” at the Casino in Knokke.
In 1966 he was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
In 1973 his paintings were shown in a retrospective exhibition at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. In 1981, his has last exhibition with The Mysteries of Isis.

He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine 27 January 1982. He is buried in the cemetery of Douai.

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