Gérard Schneider

The modern and contemporary art market of the twentieth century recognises in Gérard Schneider an important contemporary painter whose abstract paintings regularly provoke enthusiasm. This enthusiasm comes as much from collectors as from exhibitions and museums of modern and contemporary art as from auctions. His work has long since made its entry into the history of art and particularly into the history of abstract painting.

Born in Switzerland, Gérard Schneider (1896 – 1986) arrived in Paris at the age of twenty where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. He settled there permanently in 1922 and exhibited in 1926 at the Salon d’Automne. At the beginning of his career as a painter, his palette is dark, black playing a structuring role. In the immediate post-war period, expressionism successfully manifested itself around great figures such as Bernard Buffet or Gen Paul. It is characterized by a figuration of self-pity, a reflection of the difficult period at the end of the 1940s. It was then that young artists turned to the opposite approach, notably Hans Hartung, Georges Mathieu, Pierres Soulages… Gérard Schneider was one of them. Together they founded a new pictorial style, abandoning reference to reality and advocating a return to a radical abstraction: Lyrical Abstraction.

The 1950s were for Schneider the beginning of exhibitions around the world. His works were first shown in prestigious French and American galleries, then three times at the Venice Biennale. Subsequently, between 1960 and 1970, Gérard Schneider made a new change of style. The artist frees his gesture and his palette to concentrate on wide movements and bright colours. While his fame was growing, a retrospective of his work was held in Turin in 1970.

The Opus series, which began in 1945, is a theme that Schneider worked on throughout his life and allows us to understand the evolution of his work. The works in this series can be found in the most important museums, including the MoMa, which acquired Opus 95B in the 1960s, and the Pompidou Museum, which in 1982 acquired Opus 15C from 1955.

The auction house Aguttes Commissaire-priseur has offered several works by Gérard Schneider for sale at auction with very satisfactory results each time. This was made possible by the dynamism of the Contemporary Art department, which offers collectors the opportunity to have their works by Gérard Schneider appraised and appraised. The international network built up over time by the auction house Aguttes enables all buyers and sellers to be connected. Thus in 2019, an acrylic on paper, executed in 1974 (49 x 64 cm at sight – 19 1/4 x 25 1/4 in.) was sold for €5,200.

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