Max Papart Biography
Of all the modernists who were part of “The School of Paris,” Max Papart is most clearly the most direct successor to Picasso and Braque. One of the great French art critics, André Parinaud, claimed “We are going to rediscover Papart as one of the masters of the second cubist generation.” Yet, Papart forged into new territory with his own style of cubism. In printmaking he was not only a master of color etching, aquatint, and lithography, but one of the pioneers in the complex and difficult carborundum print. In fact, in his printmaking he far out-did Picasso, who was a prolific printmaker. The Director of the Bibliothèque National in Paris not only acknowledged Papart as a master printer of the 20th century, but stated that his aquatints were some of the most significant prints being made in France during this era. Papart’s style of cubism is upbeat, and he bathed his works in the light and bright colors of the French Riviera where he was born. His favorite subjects included circus scenes, flirting couples, soaring birds and similar cheerful subjects. He typically overlapped planes of brilliant colors and by introducing collage in his prints created contrasting textures. Papart’s works are in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art and the Bibliothèque National in Paris, the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and major fine arts museums across the United States. (1911-1994 ) Master printmaker, born in Marseille, he learned the techniques of classic engraving in 1936 in Paris. In 1960, he added to the classic processes the technique of etching with carborundum invented by his friend Henri Goetz. In the years 1969-73 Papart taught printmaking at the University of Paris VIII-Vincennes. He continues to make his own plates and to supervise the hand printing of his prints. One of the most intriguing intellectual concepts which Papart achieves in his two-dimensional, semi-cubistic style is a "window" through which the viewer senses the past or future, or even another time or place. This development has become more pronounced since 1981 and in recent years it is seen even more graphically in such works as Circle, Indian Summer, Dreams, and Silent Woman. It has been said the Papart does not "paint," he "composes." His compositions come together in a symphony of line, shape and color. Papart contends that he never attributes any specific meaning to his work. He feels that each painting has its own meaning and needs no interpretation from him. Papart's paintings, in his own words, "force the viewer to think, and it is for the viewer to respond to the art based on his own personal experiences."