Today is the letter X in the A to Z Challenge
I am taking this opportunity in this challenge to learn more about art and the artist who make them today’ s artist is
(I see Picasso looking back at me with this one)
hiding behind curves
peering back from safe distance
diversion – bottoms up
Jean Xceron (1890–1967) was an American abstract painter of Greek origin. He immigrated to the United States in 1904 and studied at the Corcoran School of Art. . For the next six years he lived and worked with relatives in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and New York City . He first encountered modernism when, in 1916, two fellow students arranged an exhibition of avant-garde paintings borrowed from Alfred Stieglitz. He exhibited in the New York Independents’ exhibitions in 1921 and 1922. In New York, Xceron studied Céanne and read as much as possible about new artistic movements abroad.
Xceron was finally able to travel to Paris in 1927. There he began writing reviews of the latest in art for the Boston Evening Transcript and the Paris edition of the Chicago Tribune. His articles on Jean Hélion, Hans Arp, John Graham, Theo Van Doesburg, and other artists showed his increasingly sophisticated understanding of recent art. About the same time, his own painting underwent a dramatic transition.
As a writer, he was quickly accepted into the Parisian art world as one of the few critics sympathetic to modern art; but few realized that Xceron was an accomplished painter as well. Boy, was he living a double life. Soon word of his talent came out and a solo exhibition at the Galèrie de France in 1931.
His style was that of an artist who was working his way through Cubism, Still-life and,figural motifs over the years he moved away from his figural foundations, introducing at first gridlike structural patterns and, by the mid 1930s, planar arrangements of severe Constructivist purity. I have to say, I don’t know what any of that means. But some of you might so I left it in.
When Xceron returned to New York in 1935 for an exhibition at the Garland Gallery, he was among the inner circle of Abstraction-Création and other leading Parisian art groups. Moreover, he had achieved some reputation. He again visited New York in 1937 for a show at Nierendorf Gallery. Although planning only a visit, his move proved permanent. Xceron soon joined the American Abstract Artists, who welcomed him as a leading Parisian artist. Despite his reputation, however, he fared little better commercially than did his new colleagues. He was hired by the WPA Federal Art Project and executed an abstract mural for the chapel at Riker’s Island Penitentiary.
Clearly his art didn’t really provide a consistent means of support. He worked at the Guggenheim Museum as a security guard for 28 years from 1939 to his death. He is described as a “pioneer of non-objective painting” by the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. His works are in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
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