Raymond Guerrier /   Raymond Guerrier

France 1920 - 2002

Minimal Art

Raymond Guerrier
Raymond Guerrier
December 22, 2013
Balasz Takac is alias of Vladimir Bjelicic who is actively engaged in art criticism, curatorial and artistic practice.

The oeuvre of Raymond Guerrier is a really good example of how various painterly currents influenced one’s own artistic development in order to establish the personal style. The way the artist transferred from figuration to rigid abstraction and as the time passed by became known for it tells much about his search for the perfect form. By simplifying his compositions, depriving them of perspective and framing the forms with the thick black line he managed to create outstanding aesthetical and compositional format that made his art renowned in the terms of both local and global art history.

The artist has passed away in privacy of his Provence home in rather stabile conditions
Raymond Guerrier – Desert d’Almeria

Becoming an Artist in Hard Times

Raymond Guerrier was born in 1920, in Paris. The artist was self-taught and absorbed his knowledge about art from many of the museum’s attendance. That has helped him to shape austere temperament and to reject the picturesque. The oldest listed painting by Raymond Guerrier dates from 1934. Guerrier stated that he developed as a painter largely thanks to the exhibition of Georges Braque and the workshops at the Galerie Maeght in 1947. In the early 1950s, the artist was involved with photogravure in order to maintain his existence. His work at this time, typically for the post-war atmosphere, consisted of a semi-figurative style painted in a muted palette that had affinities with the Forces Nouvelles movement.

Abstraction as a final destination

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Raymond Guerrier – Clair obscur(Left)/ Raymond Guerrier – Accord(Right)

Further Career

It was in when Guerrier was taken on by Galerie Stiebel and given his first solo show. In 1953 painted Paysage au mask and was awarded the Prix de la Jeune Peinture, and in 1954 he was a member of the jury alongside Paul Rebeyrolle, Bernard Buffet and André Minaux, three painters with whom he shared his position in the aftermath of the post-war pessimism. In 1955 Guerrier left Paris and moved to Provence, where he became friends with the Provencal poet Charles Galtier. Some years later, he married Francesca, daughter of the painter Francis Montanier, herself a painter and ceramist. The landscape surrounding him in Eygalières, as well as his travels which offered him to see Spain, Sardinia, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Jordan, Israel have influenced him much.

Intense relations between the forms

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Raymond Guerrier – Omega II, detail

Constituting Authentic Style

These travels seem to have had a significant influence on his painting which became more minimalist with increasingly abstracted forms and cleaner more radiant colors. His palette gradually was formed out of austere bare tones in which the ochres dominate became somehow his trademark. In one point, Raymond Guerrier tried to describe his approach by saying that the search for the essential, the rejection of the anecdote, the importance of reality and its depth and its role to the key of matter are the most relevant aspects of his work.

Astonishing formal and compositional language

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Raymond Guerrier – Lagune I, 1993 (Left)/ Raymond Guerrier – Barque sur le sable, 1994 (Right)

The Honored Artist

The year 1957 brought Guerrier with the utmost recognition of Chevalier des arts et des letters or The Order of Arts and Letters which is high ranked French decoration given to the persons who have distinguished themselves by their creation in the artistic or literary field. Three years later, the established artist was called to realize costumes and décor for the theater play Génousie, directed by René de Obaldia. Later on, the final transition to abstraction was embodied at a major show in Geneva at the Galerie l’Athénée in 1962 and since then Guerrier continued to hold numerous exhibitions throughout Europe, also in Venezuela in 1964 and Buenos Aires in 1970. Over the years Guerrier has exhibited worldwide and his works are represented in many museums spanning from Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris over Musee des Beaux-Art, to the national art collections of Venezuela, Japan, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

Raymond Guerrier passed away in 2002, in Eygalières, France.

Featured image: Raymond Guerrier – Barques en Camarque, detail – image courtesy of The Sale Room
All other images courtesy of Galerie 22

YearExhibition TitleGallery MuseumSolo Group
2009Raymond GuerrierGalerie Sabine Vazieux, ParisSolo
2007Raymond GuerrierGalerie Sabine Vazieux, ParisSolo
1996Raymond GuerrierMusée Paul Valéry, SèteSolo
1996Raymond GuerrierGalerie Florence Basset, Moulin de la Grande Bastide, Flassans-sur-IssoleSolo
1990Raymond GuerrierPalais Bénédictine, FécampSolo
1989Raymond GuerrierOrangerie du Sénat, Palais du Luxembourg, ParisSolo
1989Raymond GuerrierGalerie Carnot, PoitiersSolo
1989Raymond GuerrierGalerie Berlioz, Sausset-les-PinsSolo
1988Raymond GuerrierMusée des Alpilles, Saint-Rémy-de-ProvenceSolo
1987Raymond GuerrierCloître des Cordeliers, TarasconSolo
1987Raymond GuerrierAbbaye de Flaran, Valence-sur-BaïseSolo
1986Raymond GuerrierCentre de la Minoterie, Mont-de-MarsanSolo
1986Raymond GuerrierGalerie Hélène Trintignant, MontpellierSolo
1984-85Raymond GuerrierChapelle du Grand couvent, CavaillonSolo
1980Raymond GuerrierGalerie L'escapade, GenèveSolo
1980Raymond GuerrierThéâtre de l'Olivier, IstresSolo
1979Raymond GuerrierGalerie Saint-Guillaume, ParisSolo
1979Raymond GuerrierMaison de la culture, AjaccioSolo
1979Raymond GuerrierCentre culturel Jean Houdremont, La CourneuveSolo
1978Raymond GuerrierSalle de l'Aigalieolor, MartiguesSolo
1978Raymond GuerrierGalerie des Trois ormeaux, Aix-en-ProvenceSolo
1977Raymond GuerrierCentre culturel de Chateauvallon, ToulonSolo
1977Raymond GuerrierGalerie Suillerot, ParisSolo
1976Raymond GuerrierPalais de arts et de la culture, BrestSolo
1976Raymond GuerrierSalle du Spetier, Salon-de-ProvenceSolo
1974Raymond GuerrierHôtel de ville, ArcueilSolo
1974Rétrospective GuerrierCellier du château de Châteauneuf-du-PapeSolo
1973-74-76Raymond GuerrierGalerie Ducastel, AvignonSolo
1973Raymond GuerrierGalerie Helias, ParisSolo
1973Raymond GuerrierCentre culturel communal d'AubagneSolo
1972Cent-quinze peintures de Raymond GuerrierMusée d'art et d'histoire de Saint-Denis, marsmaiSolo
1971Raymond Guerrier Musée des beaux-arts du HavreSolo
1970Raymond GuerrierGalerie du Fleuve, BordeauxSolo
1969Raymond GuerrierGalerie du Grand Mazel, GenèveSolo
1968-70-71Raymond Guerrier Galerie de Paris, ParisSolo
1967-75-77Raymond GuerrierGalerie Tamara Pfeiffer, BruxellesSolo
1967Raymond GuerrierGalerie Thot, AvignonSolo
1966-72-77-80-83Raymond GuerrierGalerie Malaval, LyonSolo
1964Raymond GuerrierGalleria Arte moderno, CaracasSolo
1964-67Raymond GuerrierGalerie Jouvène, MarseilleSolo
1962Rétrospective GuerrierMusée de l'Athénée, GenèveSolo
1960-62-64Raymond GuerrierGalerie Hervé, ParisSolo